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Girls & Boys

Narrated by: Carey Mulligan
Length: 1 hr and 46 mins
5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When they met at an airport, it was love at first sight. But in time, everything collapsed. As an unnamed but unforgettable woman muses on her life—from meet cute to marriage and parenthood—her recollections inexorably build to a devastating truth. In this shattering performance, Carey Mulligan, star of the critically lauded drama An Education, captivates audiences with playwright Dennis Kelly’s harrowing ruminations on family, ambition, gender, and violence. An acclaimed Off-Broadway play, the gut-wrenching world of Girls & Boys now thrives as an Audible Theater production.

After the play, this program includes an interview with Tony-winning playwright Dennis Kelly, who shares the inspiration behind his work.

Note: Girls & Boys is intended for a mature audience and contains graphic descriptions of violence.

©2018 Dennis Kelly (P)2018 AO Media, LLC.

Critic Reviews

“This is a one-person show. And what a person. Mulligan is extraordinary in Dennis Kelly’s gripping new play.” (The Observer

“A devastating tour-de-force from Carey Mulligan.” (The Telegraph)  

“Lyndsey Turner’s production is a knock-out. A Hollywood megastar holding her own in an experimental but somehow also massively crowd-pleasing solo show - this is pretty rare.” (Time Out London

What listeners say about Girls & Boys

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  • jdk
  • 23-01-2019

Mulligan Now Warns Against Acting Monologues

Yep, it's topical and it needs to be discussed, but I didn't find Mr. Kelly's work convincing or to a standard required of its subject matter.

There are good lines, the monologue is often snappy and amusing, but that's my point. It's a cheap shot to suddenly turn as the play does. We're only given two precedents to provide insight into the focal events of the play. I would have preferred more detail and subtlety; impossible in the expostion of a single actor monologue.

I struggled with how the material is presented. I feel manipulated when a writer, dealing with such themes, doesn't start with the horror. Sure,
this would distrupt the flow of the plot, but is that really what we have here? Is this a case of the issue carrying the art? I think it can be done better. How? I dunno, perhaps like in Tom Holloway's Red Sky Morning?

Ms.s Mulligan and Turner do their best with the material. Production and perfornance are both excellent. On The Late Show with Mr. Colbert the other night Mr. Gyllenhaal said Ms. Mulligan warned him against doing a monologue. I wonder how she came to this opinion?

Despite its shortcomings Boys and Girls deserves to be read, or you could just read the news on nearly any day of any week and think for yourself what all this violence means.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erin Reeve
  • 05-07-2018

I have never heard a story performed so well.

To me, this is Carey's best work. Its like this is her story and she is reliving it. All of that to say too that the monologue is incredibly smart and emotional. Very thought provoking about our society and family.

57 people found this helpful

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  • GHBeckwith
  • 16-07-2018

Wow. Just . . . wow.

Carey Mulligan is incredible. Her talent shines blindingly throughout this performance. I can scarcely imagine what it must be like to watch her perform this play on stage.

Yes, the subject matter is sometimes dark, but that’s not the overall point of the play, and not the focus of this performance. Despite some of the stark and bleak details, this is an audiobook I will listen to again and again...if nothing else, for the pure pleasure of hearing Carey Mulligan demonstrate her wide-ranging talents. (Sally Sparrow - you are BRILLIANT, and I wish the rain would never stop.)

I didn’t expect a less-than-two-hours audiobook to be so thought-provoking and stay with me so long. The playwright has a genius for natural conversational rhythms and the way we talk to ourselves inside our heads.

Highly recommend. I’d rate it higher than five stars if I could.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Amy A. Bartol
  • 05-07-2018

It should be called 'Stunning & Real'

I listened to Girls & Boys as an audiobook read by Carey Mulligan. (It's more accurate to say she "acted it out"--it was, performed by Carey Mulligan because I could visualize every word she said.) I first listened to the sample, which was, quite possibly, the funniest snippet of an audiobook I've ever heard--and spot on as far as human nature goes...so I bought it, not really reading what this play was about. To be honest, it was Carey Mulligan that attracted me to the monologue. I saw her featured as the narrator--a recommendation from an Audible editor named Sam. The whole thing is only about 90 minutes--the length of a movie and I had time for that so I downloaded it.

It is not a funny story.

It's a story of survival.

It's a tale of violence and heartbreak.

And it feels real--disturbingly, horrifyingly real.

At one point, the narrator says that what she's about to tell you is not happening to you, and you think, "Oh, that's not--that's not good." Her warning, I found, was necessary. It gave me just enough distance to be able to hang on until that part was over. Just enough. Barely.

I'm not sure that I agree with all the conclusions that the author came to in this play. Some of it rings true, while other things are debatable. What I found absolutely brave was that Dennis Kelly had the nerve to ask those questions. The balls.

Carey Mulligan should win awards for this. Dennis Kelly should win awards for this. I know it's something that will stick with me forever.

69 people found this helpful

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  • Anne Marie
  • 11-09-2018

Be aware of the content before listening

The performance of the narrator was top notch. And I like the idea of free content from Audible. However, this title had no description attached to it and the sample gave no indication of the plot of this short story. As the mother of two children who died way too soon, I would have NEVER, chosen this book. This isn’t a topic that anyone, regardless of their background should have sprung on them. It isn’t a fun surprise. And audible should be ashamed for thinking this could be appreciated without a proper warning.

143 people found this helpful

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  • H. Donaldson
  • 21-09-2018

Woah! Good, I wish I would have known.

The story was good, it moved along and kept me engaged. the narrator was a lot of fun, although it took me a few minutes to adjust to her very fast paced English accent. ****Spoilers ahead****** but I really wish I would have known what was coming. I mean I get the twist is apart of the good listen, but my neighbor did this to his family 8 months ago. His wife, 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son. I have been haunted and struggling to come to terms with it, I hate that I see their house everytime I look out my window. I hate that the house just sold and that my state is a nondisclosure state so the new owners probably do not know, yet, it is only a matter of time. If I didn't have a more personal connection with murder-suicide, I probably would have loved it. But the moment I realized what was going on, it reopened my mind to thoughts that I was just learning to close up again....

40 people found this helpful

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  • Em
  • 14-12-2019

Hated this.

Carey Mulligan was wonderful. This story was not. I hate that it’s part of my library. I hate that I have the story in my head. It was gut wrenching, depressing, and terribly disturbing. I still want to cry and be sick thinking about it.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Stefan B. Reed
  • 28-06-2018

Wonderful, but it gets dark really fast.

I bought this because the sample made me laugh my ass off. I've actually gotten just as pissed off about people letting gaps open up in a line. So I thought this play was going to be a comedy. It is not a comedy. The sample is the funniest part of the play. This is a tragedy, with a fantastically hilarious opening act.

That being said, it is a great listen and the narration really brings it all together. Carey Mulligan is fantastic. If I lived in New York or London I would definitely go see this in person.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Diana
  • 30-06-2018

Phenomenal Acting but......

tragic. It starts out wonderfully funny, charming and clever. The actress’s accent is immensely engaging & her acting is very believable yet the story is dark. If you purchase it I highly recommend listening to the author’s interview at the end AFTERWARDS (spoiler alert).

22 people found this helpful

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  • Myla Smith
  • 22-09-2018

Amazing narration, but horrific ending

Carey Mulligan does an absolutely incredible job bringing this story to life. Maybe the best narration I’ve ever heard on Audible. Unfortunately, the violent twist ending ruined this story for me. If you have young children, please read the reviews before listening.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Diane D
  • 19-07-2018

Not What I Was Imagining

I didn't exactly know what I was getting when I started listening to this story. It was a bit confusing at first but as I finally got into it I couldn't stop listening. It was heartbreaking.
Carey Mulligan does an amazing job of bringing this story to life.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Lorna North
  • 23-05-2019

All the emotions

The writing of this monologue takes you to some incredible places - both good and very, very bad. Just when you think you know what's coming, it changes course and ends up in some deeply different straits that are more uncomfortable than you could ever have fathomed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Quirkyjay
  • 06-09-2018

Short but powerful

I wouldn't normally buy a title this short for a whole credit but having read the reviews, decided it had to be worth it. I wasn't disappointed. Carey Mulligan is astonishingly good and I was gripped from start to finish.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. R. A. Booth
  • 29-06-2018

My biggest regret...

Is not seeing Girls & Boys when it was on at the Royal Court . My loss.
Please listen to the audioplay. Just sit and listen.
Carey Mulligan, I salute you.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Luce Briggi
  • 21-08-2018

Recommended if you enjoy being punched in the gut

★★★★✰ 4 stars

Carey Mulligan's performance is exceptional. The play itself begins with perhaps one of the funniest scenes and ends with a gut-wrenching tragedy. The audiobook is very short and I can't recommend it enough.
Smart, sharp and very sad. Definitely worth a listen!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jo Thomas.
  • 11-07-2018

amazing

This play gripped me from the very beginning.
Carey is perfect and so very real. Heartbraking and funny in places but so so heartbraking.
Well done all involved. Brilliant work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ruairi
  • 07-07-2018

superbly written, very beautiful

didn't really know what expect but I certainly didn't think I'd be blubbering after just a 2 hour audiobook. it puts forward some difficult questions and topics and doesn't try and spoon feed you answers. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a short thought-provoking listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-07-2020

Beautifully brutal

I liked it but it hurt; I recommend this to anyone with a high emotional pain threshold.

My only criticism is I felt a bit lost at the end; I’d have liked a slightly clearer picture of what “carrying on” might look like...

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  • DocNic
  • 21-05-2020

Incredibly powerful

I missed the show this was based on when it played in London, but Carey Mulligan’s powerhouse performance comes through. even though it’s not, strictly speaking, a radio play. Powerful & devastating.

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  • Stuart anderson
  • 01-05-2020

Brilliant and devastating

Now I am certain that Carey Mulligan is a star. She is utterly convincing and initially scorchingly funny, finally amazing. A Talking head for the MeToo generation. An extraordinary play done proud by this production.

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  • MR K R MARSH
  • 27-03-2020

Powerful

Wow.

Carey Mulligan is utterly, utterly brilliant in this performance. The story draws you in before unleashing raw emotion.

Great. Excellent. Superb.