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Conversations with Friends

Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (309 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Frances is a 21-year-old college student in Dublin; she performs at spoken word events with her best friend and ex-lover, Bobbi. When they are profiled by journalist Melissa, they enter an orbit of beautiful houses and raucous dinner parties. Initially unimpressed, Frances begins an affair with Nick, Melissa's husband, which gives way to an unexpected intimacy. Desperate to reconcile her desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances's intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

©2017 Sally Rooney (P)2017 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Forensically smart and pin-sharp witty, this is a book to cherish and a writer to fall in love with." (Thomas Morris, author of We Don't Know What We're Doing)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narrator was brilliant, story was average

I finished it for two reasons: the narrator was excellent, and I was hoping something interesting might happen at some point. Sally Rooney is a good writer, she’s beautifully descriptive and perhaps people will find this book enjoyable (other reviews seem to suggest as much). Personally I just found it tedious and couldn’t care about any of the characters or their self absorbed ordinary lives.

3 people found this helpful

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Yes... and no

I’d just finished listening to Normal People... it’s v good... so was keen to read/hear more of her. This had such similar tropes, and concerns... fine- author prerogative of course. But somehow in the listening, I could discern elements and description that came up again and again... so much do, I could finish lines. Sigh.
Still... I did get attached to a couple of the characters... damning with faint praise, I know.

3 people found this helpful

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Listen to it.

Okay so that was amazing and I’m floored. The performance of Aoife and the story; I was completely transported.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

A simple story of observations, revealing and charming. I loved the narrators reading, a pleasure to listen too. Excellent!

1 person found this helpful

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So many emotions

This book was a lot, very immersive and emotional. I loved the character development and writing. Finished in two weeks 👍

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  • CMG
  • 19-05-2020

I stayed till the end, but.....

I couldn’t get into this story. I found it to be a waste of 4 characters and some very important topics. It was all just so flat. It has a sense of being written to justify a life once lived, but all that came out of it was how hollow the main character really was. A train wreck. I wasn’t even looking for a happy ending, I knew it wouldn’t have one either, I was just hoping for some sort of charisma and all I got at each turn was a mental head slap. I just didn’t think it would be so empty. I don’t know why this story needed to be told. I guess this one just isn’t my cup of tea and maybe I’ve completely misunderstood the moral of the story.

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Interesting

Slow to get going but an intriguing listen
Me thinks this book is almost auto biographical . Almost to close to the bone to be fiction. Many women will recognise themselves in these paragraphs.

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sumptuous delight

Everything, narrative, voice, story -all beautifully executed. I loved this one. Now I'm looking forward to listening to it again.

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Loved it

If I could listen to Sally Rooney's characters, narrated by Aoife McMahon, all day every day, I would.

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Enjoyable story. Excellent narration. Well paced

I would definately recommend this book, lots of dialogue which isn't usually my thing, but Sally does it well.

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  • Paul
  • 14-05-2019

Well written but disappointing book

I had high hopes for this book. The best I can say is that it is a well written story about nothing. Characters were narcissistic and not particularly interesting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cristian
  • 29-10-2019

Unputdownable!

Intelligent.
Sparkling, every line.
Beautiful!
Not one word too many, just the right doses for each thought and dialogue.
Great job Mrs. Roony!
Don't you ever stop telling stories!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anders
  • 17-09-2017

Like a Japanese restaurant without sushi.

A story keeping you alert to the end. Unusual good dialogue. So many writers fails there! I loved that it stuck to one singular theme, without to much surroundings, descriptions or flashing topics semi-relevant to the core of the story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Armand Jarri
  • 05-10-2019

ok. but what's the big deal?

it is an ok story, but nothing special. The writer has generated some hype but the book is overvalued.

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  • Tommilaitio
  • 14-08-2019

feminist, sharp

i feel every man should read this novel. Rooney opens up an inner world alien to many men.

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  • Benry
  • 25-10-2018

Great performance of a not so great novel

I know, I know. Sally Rooney, the voice of her generation. Bright new star etc. Maybe - almost certainly - it's not you, it's me, as the self-absorbed protagonist of this novel would say. I am not her generation and Rooney has nothing to say to me.
The fundamental problem with this book, set in a post-crash Dublin, is that there is no one in it that you care about. Frances, Nick, Melissa and Bobbi are all, in their own way, unpleasant.. Will Nick and Frances get back together? What happens to Nick's relationship? Where is Melissa? What about Bobbi and Melissa? In the immortal words of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, "I. Don't. Care." I was just waiting for it to finish.
I feel bad for being so harsh on Rooney. She certainly writes with a stripped-back flair. Not one for flowery adjectives, her prose is sharp, elegant and witty, but ultimately, like her characters, cold and unloveable.
On the plus side, Aoife McMahon reads the story beautifully and has a voice you can bathe in.

79 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-12-2018

Brilliant narration

Aoife McMahon narrated this story brilliantly - she mastered all of the different voices in a way that made the conversations feel seamless and natural. I loved the story itself - it’s very different to “Normal People”, which I also loved, and felt completely original in its own right. It’s not action-packed, but devastating in the way it depicts the realities of growing older, love and your relationship to your parents. You

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-2018

Relatable taboos

Keeps you glued to the story, Sally Rooney describes taboo topics in such a relatable manner, I wasn't even aware certain feelings could get described with words so accurately. I didn't like it that the narrator put on a different voice to mimic a man's voice, it was distracting. The Irish accent however is a bliss to listen to.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Wosul
  • 04-12-2018

Entertaining and thought provoking

It's another story about a writer and their emotional life. Yet for all that, this book is more real than predictable and resolves in more unconventional and thoughtful ways. Politics and ethics and self realisation weave in seamlessly. A very enjoyable and likeable listen.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jan
  • 06-12-2018

Self indulgent twaddle

I listened to this because it’s a book club read. It was well read but the content was navel gazing, self indulgent and pretentious.

46 people found this helpful

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  • KittK
  • 31-10-2018

Unlikeable tedious characters

The book has given me something to rant about for 5 minutes but that’s about it. In my view the writing wasn’t clever as some reviews maintain, it was childish and banal. The total lack of emotional maturity in any of the characters was quite disturbing and I wondered if that was intentional or a trait actually shared by the author in creating these idiots.

The two student characters were just the type of pretentious, juvenile people I couldn’t stand at university. Spouting feminism and extreme left politics while failing to do anything true to those beliefs and then avoiding all responsibility for anything shit that happens. Quite believable for a couple of 20 somethings I suppose. But there was no character development on these themes as the book went on. Neither seemed to learn anything from their experiences.

The older couple were equally as ridiculous, the ‘gorgeous’ husband basically having his cake and eating it by having two women on the go at the same time. Then getting away with it by supposedly not really realising what he was doing and acting all sensitive and helpless/hapless. I wondered if the couple were exploiting the students to start with which would have been quite believable and given the book a bit more dramatic edge. But as the book went on it seemed that they were too pathetic to even be capable of this.

So all in all I wasn’t actually sure of the point of any of the characters or the story, not that there really is one!

19 people found this helpful

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  • JennyB
  • 09-03-2018

Easy read; hard to swallow.

I really enjoyed this book despite finding almost every character irritating. I guess hats part of the point; none of them (or us) are supposed to be perfect. The political diatribe is a bit much to take though. Having said that, it reminded me of how I felt in my early twenties attending university - like I had to have strong opinions on everything. I think Rooney captures how complicated relationships can be and how hard it is to really know who you are.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel McNeice
  • 06-02-2018

Best character development I have read in a long time

An honest, modern depiction of how non-binary relationships are. Couldn’t stop listening and will have a real hole in my audio-life where these characters were!

The narration is so melodically Irish and a perfect cast for Frances’ voice I think.

Will read again, and probably something different away each time.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-07-2018

Try hard drivel

I can’t believe this book got such good reviews! It was painful to listen to.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 02-05-2020

Yawn...

Like others reviewing here I have to note that I'm the wrong age for this book. But I like plenty of other books about younger people in the current epoch so... The writing is fine, the narration is perfect, the characters and story are... meh...

1 person found this helpful