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A History of Loneliness

Narrated by: Owen McDonnell
Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.50

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Odran Yates enters Clonliffe Seminary in 1972 after his mother informs him that he has a vocation to the priesthood. He goes in full of ambition and hope, dedicated to his studies and keen to make friends.

Forty years later, Odran’s devotion has been challenged by the revelations that have shattered the Irish people’s faith in the church. He has seen friends stand trial, colleagues jailed, the lives of young parishioners destroyed and has become nervous of venturing out in public for fear of disapproving stares and insulting remarks.

But when a family tragedy opens wounds from his past, he is forced to confront the demons that have raged within a once respected institution and recognise his own complicity in their propagation.

It has taken John Boyne 15 years and 12 novels to write about his home country of Ireland, but he has done so now in his most powerful novel to date, a novel about blind dogma and moral courage and about the dark places where the two can meet. At once courageous and intensely personal, A History of Loneliness confirms Boyne as one of the most searching chroniclers of his generation.

©2014 John Boyne (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about A History of Loneliness

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  • Karen
  • 25-07-2020

Utterly compelling

Engaging from the opening paragraph, this is a story that in part highlights how the abuse of power occurs not just through "structures" and "bad people", but also through the inaction, & naivety of "nice" & "good people".....too afraid to really see and speak out..... Truth, fear, complicity, conformity, are all powerful themes of this beautifully written novel.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-08-2020

Another storming Success

I was that obsessed with this book I haven't listened to music in the car for a couple of weeks... Totally engrossed, great story which resonated with me for personal reasons. I totally identified with this story, which made it a difficult and frustrating read at times... Because it was so on the money, John Boyne is definitely my favourite author at the moment.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-07-2020

Read this book in less than a week

Only slight criticism is that the stuff at the Vatican feels a little far fetched. Great story teller and a gripping story. Very sobering in parts. Recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah Simpson
  • 26-08-2020

Wow! Absolutely Amazing

Such a fabulous story, beautifully written and narrated- I have laughed and cried at this book and I honestly cant recommend highly enough.

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  • Carole
  • 20-08-2020

A Perfect Read and Listen

I have read this book twice and listened twice. I have the book in print, and also kindle. Wonderful writing. Thankyou John Boyne.

2 people found this helpful

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  • J. S. Peet
  • 06-10-2020

Exquisitely painful book

Beautiful and terrible equally. Absolutely loved it, but difficult topic, obviously. Beautifully written and read.

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  • Vicuña
  • 18-09-2020

Outstanding narration and complex plot

Brave writer to explore the gross iniquities of the church. That aside, this is a highly satisfying story covering a generation and multiple characters. Themes explored include love, loss, bereavement, friendship.. At the heart is the ongoing story of significant abuse within the church and this is highlighted with sensitivity. Probably in the top 5 of my best audibles...and I have over 800, so I consider this powerful and really well told.

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  • Kiki
  • 16-09-2020

I love John Boyne

John boyne is becoming my favourite author. The hearts invisible Furies was my first book of his. It still remains one of my favourite books. A history of loneliness comes in second of his books. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first one but I still recommend it. The narration was phenomenal!!! Never say no to a John Boyne book. I’m off to purchase my next one.

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  • Mac
  • 02-09-2020

Brilliant

What a compelling and moving book. It gave me an insight into Ireland and the church. Excellent story. Beautifully performed.

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  • nev kidd
  • 10-08-2020

powerful, emotive and beautiful

This book deals with a dark cloud, no, a storm that raged and rages still. The sometimes oppressive nature of religion and the maelstrom it's followers are left to deal with, in any manner they deem fit. John Boyne writes in such a wonderful way, that you are drawn into the story. You feel an affinity to many of his characters and loathing of others, all the while unable to put his books down... and sad when they end.