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Publisher's Summary

You were right when you said that people can't always give us what we want from them.

Poland, 1980. Anxious, disillusioned Ludwik Glowacki, soon to graduate university, has been sent along with the rest of his class to an agricultural camp. Here he meets Janusz - and together, they spend a dreamlike summer swimming in secluded lakes, reading forbidden books - and falling in love.

But with summer over, the two are sent back to Warsaw, and to the harsh realities of life under the Party. Exiled from paradise, Ludwik and Janusz must decide how they will survive; and in their different choices, find themselves torn apart.

Swimming in the Dark is an unforgettable debut about youth, love, and loss - and the sacrifices we make to live lives with meaning.

©2018 Tomasz Jedrowski (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Swimming in the Dark

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed this book

This book had me emotionally connected all the way through. I identified with Ludwik and felt for him. Well done.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nedieh Red Nav
  • 12-04-2020

The pain of these stories cuts deep

The pain of these stories cuts deep. The fact that homophobia was and in some cases is still considered a national pride. That so much effort is taken to stop people living and loving who they really care for. It’s so sad that society got this so wrong.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Arturo Gomez Martinez
  • 05-03-2020

Beautiful story of love and struggle

I loved this book. It just flew at a steady pace, never getting too slow but also not rushing. The love story captivated me, set in a different time and society. Bittersweet, but beautiful nonetheless.

1 person found this helpful

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  • emrys
  • 11-06-2020

A wonderful book

It is a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. It is so well written and replete with with the loneliness and sadness of many people of this genre. The pathos of the ending is memorable. I have to say the narrator was, without any doubt, one of the best I have heard.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Waggy From Derby
  • 31-05-2020

gay and joyous

so well written, so well told. even though I live in Britain and Ludwik in Poland, I felt he was telling the story of my my early life before homosexuality was acceptable in Britain. We are free today but it isn't so long ago we were like Ludwik and Janusz. a beautiful love story

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Humphrey
  • 17-05-2020

I delayed finishing this book...

At about the two thirds mark I started listening less and less, and thinking about the story more and more, I didn't want it to end. What a fantastic story and so well performed. I will look for more books performed by the same Actor - a joy to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rafi
  • 04-09-2020

Great story but much better in original language

Story about gay life in 80’s Poland might be so much more than pictured in “Swimming in the dark”. There is so much to tell in this topic and the author touches just a tip of the problem. I truly wished there was more of this gay romance and drama in the book. However, I know that English translation doesn't give as much characters emotions and sense of Polish reality, as an original version. I like Robert Nairne’s voice and I'm amazed how he tackles Polish names, although it was a bit distracting when he pronounced them wrong. But I want to express my deepest gratitude to anyone who worked on this audiobook because you won’t find this format in Poland.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CJ
  • 06-10-2020

Moving.

A touching story, beautifully crafted and sympathetically narrated. For my generation, who grew up gay with neither role models nor acceptance from society, Swimming in the Dark is a particularly poignant story, but it will speak to everyone who could not get the one they loved.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-09-2020

Glad I found this book.

I only listened to this book because of the title, as I am a swimmer! Such a thoughtful story, and it has inspired to read up about the history of modern Poland. A story of love, diverging ideals and finally acceptance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • rebell50
  • 17-09-2020

Wonderful & life affirming. Poignant & sad ending

Wonderful & life affirming read. Poignant & sad ending. A must read from a beautiful writer.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JanJan
  • 14-09-2020

Spoilt by strange narration

I realise I'm out of kilter with most reviewers, but while the story was beautiful and thought-provoking, the narration really grated. Obviously, we did not want a whole book full of fake Polish accents, but Robert Nairne's decision to - sometimes - give Janusz a strange, indeterminable accent based somewhere between Plymouth and Norwich was somewhat baffling. The fact that he didn't always do it - or sometimes seemed to realise in mid-speech that it was Janusz who was talking and merged into the voice half way through was irksome. This coupled with his strange custom of pausing after reported speech, before saying '[someone] said' was very annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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  • the typist
  • 11-09-2020

Beautiful, lyrical, bittersweet

A rare find. Simple, elegant story with honest characters and an interesting take on a much ignored slice of Polish history.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Culwen
  • 03-09-2020

A beautiful and original story

I enjoyed the cultural enlightenment provided by this story. It's not your typical trashy love story but a story with substance and believable characters and plot.

1 person found this helpful

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