Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook free.
1 credit/month after trial—to buy any title you like, yours to keep.
Listen all you want to a selection of thousands of Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $31.89

Buy Now for $31.89

Pay using coupon balance (if available) then card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Editorial Reviews

Struggling with depression, Nora finds herself in the Midnight Library—a space between life and death—where she gets the chance to reimagine her life if only she had made different decisions along the way.

Matt Haig has established himself as a talented writer of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults alike. His 2015 memoir, Reasons to Stay Alive, documented his battles with depression, and that experience living with mental health issues is reflected in The Midnight Library. Haig handles such challenging, sensitive topics with care, compassion and grace.

Award-winning English actress Carey Mulligan delivers a stunning performance as the narrator, and her deep, rich, smooth-as-honey tone keeps you entirely captivated. Mulligan manages to capture Nora’s despair and hope in equal measure, lifting Haig's already gorgeous prose to new heights. The combination of Haig's story and Mulligan's performance makes for a compelling, authentic audiobook that one listener described as 'a timely reminder of the importance of appreciating exactly where we are, right now, today'.

Publisher's Summary

The New York Times and Sunday Times best-selling worldwide phenomenon.

Independent (London) Ten Best Books of the Year and Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction  

What if you could try out all the lives you could have lived and pick one? Would you choose differently? 

'Between life and death there is a library,' she said. 'And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices. Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?'

Thirty-four-year-old Nora's life could be better. She's lonely, single and has just lost her job. Her cat dying feels like the last straw. What else is there to live for? Then she finds a library between life and death where she gets to try all the other lives she could have lived. 

The Midnight Library is a gloriously relatable novel about life, death and the in-between. It is about finding hope, playing chess, dumping regrets and picking the right people around you.

Please note: contains references to suicide and listener discretion is advised

©2020 Matt Haig (P)2020 Canongate Books Ltd

What listeners say about The Midnight Library

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,906
  • 4 Stars
    2,011
  • 3 Stars
    613
  • 2 Stars
    194
  • 1 Stars
    97
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,139
  • 4 Stars
    1,382
  • 3 Stars
    300
  • 2 Stars
    68
  • 1 Stars
    38
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,129
  • 4 Stars
    1,867
  • 3 Stars
    601
  • 2 Stars
    185
  • 1 Stars
    119

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Tacky

I don’t usually say much on this site, but I have to be honest - I spent as much time cringe-laughing as I did listening to this book.
The premise of the story is sound enough. Unfortunately, the plot is so underdeveloped that it reads as though a junior high school student wrote it (one who wasn’t likely to pursue writing at that) and the end result was something of a hybrid between a hallmark sympathy / graduation card and a tediously-long dinner time sermon from your recently-woke second cousin about how he found inspiration and now needs to mansplain it to you.

Half chapters of repetitive platitudes are flogged like a dead horse and things that are perfectly clear to most readers are elaborated on (again, mansplained) to the extent that you wonder if this isn’t in fact a transcript intended simply so that the author can hear himself writing. We get it. You’ve found a simple kind of spirituality and now want to explain it to us as if we’ve never had an existential or philosophical thought in our lives. Such spiritual insights are delivered in a strange mashup, where inspiration and creative prose somehow gets stuck in a rusty old engine and we listen to the equivalent of a reading of a car manual until the existential moment is over.

The narrator does her best, but it is very difficult to make something of this. I am pretty sure I was giggling too much to pay attention to the extremely long-winded and completely overdone conclusion of the story, but if you’re looking for an ending that your English teacher would have lynched you for, look no further.

I love this podcast called ‘My Dad Wrote a P*rno’. This reads like that but there is, apparently no intention to be funny.

Good luck!

120 people found this helpful

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

Bored

What could have been a good story became dull and tedious by the amount of prattling on and lack of depth. I guessed the end well before reaching it and I didn’t enjoy the journey getting there.

52 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favourite book of 2020

Having experienced depression this book has served both as a masterpiece of fiction but also self help. It is exquisitely written too. No other book of 2020 has come close to it for me. I listened over two days whereas usually an audiobook might take weeks. I just couldn’t stop listening.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Slow burn, boring boring stuff

wish I never started this...
listened to it in 1.4x speed so that it would feel like a "normal speed" audiobook, still couldn't go through the whole thing, gave up 3/4 through.

Story about a girl with a boring life, going into alternate boring lives through a magic library. Don't waste your time

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

An idea we've all thought about, beautifully manifested through a simple story, with an endearing protagonist and science and philosophy woven gently through. Carey Mulligan's narration is brilliant.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I can’t stop thinking about this story

Such an unusual story.
I loved how different it was and it made me think about the other lives I could of had. I highly recommend

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Didn’t want it to end!

I loved this, Matt Haig at his absolute best. Makes you think (as usual) and full of his trademark honesty and ultimate hope. Fantastic narration too.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Novel concept

Loved the Midnight Library.....
A timely reminder of the importance of appreciating exactly where we are, right now, today.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Tedious, didactic, cliched

No nuance or elegance to this story, message and 'meaning' are slathered on thick at the expense of character and plot. If you fancy being hit over the head with a message then sure. The bad poetry and philosophy riddled throughout. I rolled my eyes so often and so hard I thought I might detach my retinas. Even the delightful Carey Mulligan couldn't redeem this for me. Listened at high speed and still couldn't wait for it to finish.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • KJ
  • 17-12-2020

Fell flat

Not sure what the fuss is about. Average, slightly long-winded story. I was eager for it to end.

16 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-08-2021

WHERE IS THE TRIGGER WARNING⚠️

I stopped at Chaptet 2. There should have been a warning. I HATE this! Don't recommend if you even remotely care about animals.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J E Law
  • J E Law
  • 25-02-2021

Laugh, cry, read this book!

Really enjoyed this book and the concept of exploring the regrets people have in their life. One of those books that stays in your head long after the final chapter. It’s dark, but funny, sad, but joyful. I couldn’t stop listening it’s compelling. Made me laugh and cry all at once.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for fiona
  • fiona
  • 01-01-2021

Beautiful read

I am sorry I waited so long to read it, loved it !! Would highly recommend

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for northernlass
  • northernlass
  • 30-01-2021

Couldn't stop listening

I loved the idea of the midnight library. It captured me and i was hooked.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Elle
  • Elle
  • 19-01-2021

Beautiful read

It was easy to anticipate much of the storyline, but in this case that didn't take anything away from the experience.

Carey Mulligan was flawless except for her Newfoundland pronunciation.

Matt Haig is fast becoming one of my favourite authors in both adult and children's fiction. His style is imaginative yet grounded in a wonderful fashion.

I would recommend this book to anyone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Grace
  • Grace
  • 17-01-2021

Loved it

Interesting, imaginative, meaningful and gently intriguing.
Carey Mulligan's narration is exquisite, brilliant,
Audible needs more talented narrators like Carey Mulligan, it makes all the difference.
Highly recommended .

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-12-2020

easy listening

maybe it was the expectation created around the book, but I didn't think it was brillient. It was entertaining, so happy to give it a 4. The narration was extremely good

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barry McWilliams
  • Barry McWilliams
  • 12-12-2020

Loved the story, lukewarm about the ending.

The book felt exciting & compelling, but the ending felt a bit pat. It was the „nice, expected“ ending. I guess I wanted something more surprising.

I enjoyed the time I spent listening to it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 14-10-2020

An interesting and meaningful book

Thoroughly enjoyed every second, couldn’t put the book down- highly recommended, Althpughly NOT for children,

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-2020

One of the best books I've ever read.

This book is absolutely wonderful. It shook me awake. It made me cry. It reminded me why I'm happy to be alive. (And Carey Mulligan's narration is PERFECT.)

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joan
  • Joan
  • 04-09-2020

Fantasy may be hard to take if you’re depressed

Please scroll through all of the many reviews on here as there are mixed feelings about this one.
Carey Mulligan is a superb narrator and really enhanced the book.
It seemed more like a young adult read, simplistic and aimed at a young teenage audience perhaps?
If you are positive and value life then you may enjoy the premise of this story and get hope and strength from its message.
If you are struggling and finding life incredibly challenging you may be brought down by the simplistic fantasy and feel bad about yourself because life is not easy.
Matt Haig has his own mental health struggles and I get why he wrote this book, but it won’t be for everyone.
I know this will be made into a film, it is ripe for a Christmas blockbuster.
Most reviewers absolutely love this story, some find it too sickly sweet or are bored with the daft fantasy. Some people will despair that their lives don’t match up.
I am a mixture of all of the above!! Glad I heard it but wouldn’t want to listen again and not happy about the way it was written but realise that it will make a lot of people happy.

535 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for The Curator
  • The Curator
  • 29-09-2020

An excellent but difficult read if you aren’t perfect.

Disclaimer I only got to Chapter 15 but I couldn’t go on. The book is very well written and a fascinating concept but it just bit too close to the bone for me. The idea that one can change lives and get rid of regrets just had me overthinking my own life and what I would change. This alone made suicide sound quite a good idea (in theory! I’m not about to try it) and in the end it just made me too uncomfortable to continue.

140 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris Cunningham
  • Chris Cunningham
  • 15-08-2020

A touching look at depression and regret.

Matt Haig writes beautifully - I didn’t realise how touched I would be by this book. Throughout I found myself considering my own choices - not my past regrets, but the decisions I can make from this point forwards. Carey’s narration is outstanding - a well suited pick.

127 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle Shepherd
  • Michelle Shepherd
  • 14-08-2020

Delightful and exciting

Purchased this the day it was released and have just finished it. I loved it. Carey Mulligan narrates with great empathy and keeps you enthralled. Who hasnt wondered how their lives would have turned out if they'd made other decisions. This book allows the main character, Nora to see how her life would have turned out if she had said yes, or chose a different path. Worth a listen.

112 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for rosie123
  • rosie123
  • 02-09-2020

Overly sentimental and became tedious.

Basically, the story went on far too long. Each life was unnecessarily detailed and often trite. The basic idea was excellent and with heavy editing would have been far more enjoyable. Sadly, the ending was entirely predictable and disappointing, although with tighter and less cloyingly sentimental writing, would have been better.

87 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Vee
  • Vee
  • 16-08-2020

Beautiful story, well read

Such a great idea, well executed and a really wonderful story that flows well and kept me hooked. Matt Haig writes with humour and sadness in equal measure and his core beliefs shine through in this lovely tale. The importance of kindness, love, caring about the planet and not comparing yourself to others. It is read beautifully by Carey. I needed this story, thank you!

84 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Miss Natasha GM Williams
  • Miss Natasha GM Williams
  • 15-08-2020

Brilliant and interesting.

Interesting look at depression and the regrets we all have. The story takes you on a brilliant journey of Nora’s self discovery through many life times. I found it uplifting and powerful, as someone who struggles with her own mental health the ending was empowering.

62 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 16-03-2021

Boring

If parallel universes do exist I envy the version of me that did not listen to this book. Tedious and unimaginative.

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs R G
  • Mrs R G
  • 18-08-2020

wonderful

I listened on audible and the narrator was excellent! A lovely tale to make you think about your regrets. Very early on I knew where this book would go but that possibly comes from being a huge Matt Haig fan. It didn’t detract from the story at all and I loved the journey of the protagonist. I feel he really poured himself into this book because it’s beautiful and so delicate in its construction.

Choose this, everyone can and should enjoy it. I’ve recommended it already!

46 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kat S
  • Kat S
  • 15-08-2020

Finished Too Quickly

I really enjoyed this book, so much so I couldn't stop listening to it and I finished it too soon. Cary Mulligan's narration was excellent and perfect for Norma's voice and the concept of the book was brilliant.

40 people found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.