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Normal People

Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (3,732 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Specsavers International Author of the Year 2018
Winner of the Costa Best Novel Award 2018

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. 

When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. 

Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life. A sparkling new novel from the Young Writer of the Year Award-winning author of Coversations with Friends.

©2018 Sally Rooney (P)2018 W. F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Normal People

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Not worth the download

I persevered with this book as I figured I had to find the point of it eventually... I never did! By the time I realised I never would I was past the point of no return... even the ending just faded off... not one I would recommend

69 people found this helpful

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too much like real life

I read to escape the banality of life so when a book just reflects back at me my bad decisions in relation to lovers and friends I feel cheated. I think this story went around in circles with lovers hurting each other, separating, returning and making the same mistakes. Over and over. I can read the story of my life in that and I would rather not be reminded of that.

36 people found this helpful

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Two complex people - will they, won’t they?

I loved this book so much however I understand why a lot of readers didn’t like the ending. In its core it’s a romance. But it’s not a happy one. It’s flawed, raw, complicated and Is frustrating at times. Be warned: it doesn’t tie up into a nicely wrapped package with a neat little bow. Just like life, it continues on.

34 people found this helpful

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Tedious

I had high hopes for this book. The characters were interesting but the storyline just drivelled along. I failed to see the message of the book, couldn’t wait to finish it and put me out of my misery.

23 people found this helpful

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Disappointing novel of dysfunction

Well written but another dystopian story of dysfunctional characters . The ending left this reader with a sense of incomplete resolution

17 people found this helpful

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Painful

This is a story of insipid characters with zero self awareness. The writers style constantly states the obvious, coupled with a very slow story line where the same plot repeats over and over. I only finished it as I kept expecting something interesting to happen; unfortunately not.

15 people found this helpful

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Best

This is one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. A flawless performance of a compelling narrative of growing up, of social anxiety, of misreading cues, of the consequences of feelings, thoughts and actions. Warm, funny, painfully relatable.

15 people found this helpful

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Right with them

Rooney articulates big issues so succinctly and intimately. I felt like I was in the room with them. living the story right with them.

13 people found this helpful

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Great book hated the end

Great book, great story and awesomely narrated. But the end was bad. It just seemed to end without any conclusion to anything

10 people found this helpful

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Not great

Could've been a good story but it got itself lost all the way through and i ended up disappointed. cant say I liked the ending either. Glad it was free!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Lynne
  • 20-12-2018

Simply sublime

Bear with it. Just when you despair that there’s going to be another misstep, it turns. Entrancing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Donncha
  • 05-05-2020

Tashte.

This book is tashte. A review requires 15 words to be accepted. Cat. Dog. Mouse.

1 person found this helpful

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  • E. D. Saxon
  • 14-02-2020

What is normal, anyway?

I really enjoyed this book. As a Trinity graduate I felt connected to one of the stories main locations, like I was spying on the affairs of people in a place I knew so well. Yet their narratives brought out the sense that we all feel a part of that unfamiliar and foreign, like freaks. In the end that push and pull of normal and abnormal becomes routine experience, even in new contexts. Looking forward to reading more from Rooney.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Janice Windt
  • 11-09-2019

Magnificent journey for the reader

Normal People utterly absorbs the reader from the first page. What a privilege to journey with your wonderful characters in this way. Thank-you Sally! Can’t wait for your next book!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anthea
  • 17-06-2019

Get comfortable

I enjoyed this book most when I was cosy and comfortable - to better deal with the discomfort and emotional turmoil of the characters. A thought provoking story about what shapes a person, from their economic circumstances to the people they’re surrounded by. I felt quite introspective over the course of the narrative, but most enjoyed the scenes of more physical observation which gave some much needed “real world” context to the lives of the protagonists. Certainly not your average chick-lit but I think completely appropriate for the same audience. I’d recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-2019

Beautifully honest and compelling.

What a truly beautifully-honest read. Rooney highlights the intricacies of relationships in such a compelling way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrea
  • 06-09-2019

Utterly Tedious. Vapid Bonkfest.

I don't know what I expected but I had the impression that this would be a good read. It wasn't. I cannot finish it. The narrator's depiction of Connell is unbearably monotone, lacking in ANY character or modulation. This book does nothing to dispel the stereotype of millennials being a self-absorbed, vapid generation. And whilst I appreciate that sex is a big deal when you're young, I don't think the multiple sex scenes per chapter add anything to the story. That said, I've no idea what the 'story' is either... Dull. Dull. DULL! Return Title (thank you, Audible, for that option, this was not worth a credit)

49 people found this helpful

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  • Rix Pyke
  • 31-08-2019

Bleak and disheartening

Horrifically negative depiction of what ‘normal’ is. Bleak portrayal of humanity. Weak and unbelievable characters

27 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 13-08-2019

Boring

I found this very boring and couldn’t finish it . Obviously not for me but maybe for a younger audience . Narration ok but found the male voices very wooden.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-04-2019

Nothing happens. Should have been a short story

Tedious book and struggling to understand why it was written or published. Says nothing interesting

11 people found this helpful

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  • AJ
  • 02-10-2018

Loved it

I loved the characters (I’m missing them already) the story and the excellent narration. Beautiful.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Wras
  • 18-10-2018

It plunges under your skin and invades you.

There is nothing normal about this book; it is more than it should be, deep, turbulent, complex, still and full of subtleties that are furthermore making me think, making me worried for both of the main characters. A beautiful exploration of human frailty and the mystery of love and dependency, grief and misunderstanding, happiness and acceptance of that good when you feel undeserving of it. A fantastic read that has left me full of melancholic fillings; absolute magic.

52 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-02-2019

Wonderful

Beautifully observed, I found the characters believable and compelling. The use of language is wonderful, thoughtful, vivid description, not a word wasted. The narration is excellent throughout. This novel held my attention right to the end.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Prof
  • 28-01-2019

Beautiful novel

Exquisitely written, beautifully narrated. Came to this on a friends recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience- thanks to Audible for making my commute such a pleasure. This is a modern, honest, insightful, mature exploration of love, dependence and the ability to grow and help others grow. It’s not wrapped up with a bow. But it’s a great novel. And that narration is close to perfection. Highly recommended

14 people found this helpful

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  • sean O'halloran
  • 27-06-2019

Maybe I missed the point

I wondered at the end - was it worth so many hours listening? I found the voice of Connell particularly irritating and thought the character name choices a little odd. Coming from an Irish family I was surprised at names like Eric, Helen, Lorraine and Denise. I found it hard to remember who they were.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Hilary Letch
  • 19-06-2019

Disappointing

This started out so well and I was really engaged with the characters. Sadly, half way through, it all went to 'pot' The story lost it's way and became full and confusing The first time ever that I have skipped to the last chapter, just in case the end was thrilling but it wasn't Well narrated but I bet even Sally Rooney was glad when it was over.

6 people found this helpful