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Conversations with Friends

A Novel
Written by: Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A sharply intelligent novel about friendship, lust, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century

Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa's world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick's flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances' friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi.

Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances' intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

Written with gemlike precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth and the messy edges of female friendship.

©2017 Sally Rooney (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Readers who enjoyed Belinda McKeon's Tender and Caitriona Lally's Eggshells will enjoy this exceptional debut." ( Library Journal )
"[Sally] Rooney captures the mood and voice of contemporary women and their interpersonal connections and concerns without being remotely predictable.... A clever and current book about a complicated woman and her romantic relationships." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Conversations with Friends

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great writing, enjoyed reading it

Loved the writing from Rooney, she is gifted, makes the read so easy, it is very descriptive however the topic made me very uncomfortable, the story felt quite dark to me but even though I don't see eye to eye on a lot of topics or how the characters live their lives, the writing was exceptional. This is a provoking story and read.

1 person found this helpful

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I don't enjoy characters who major in English

I heard about this author on the podcast The Cut. Sally Rooney was being celebrated as a young literary genius.
I agree she is talented in writing. There is so much sexual tension in everything in the book, as she had intended.
I was disappointed in the story, unfortunately. In the podcast, I was lead to expect more 'conversations with friends' about psychology, politics, sociology, etc. The book mostly focuses on the main character's struggle with her body and endometriosis (which pales in comparison to other themes), her sexual relationships, and her snobbish sense of entitlement. The book was hard to finish because I was mislead and disappointed.
She's a 'poet', but there is no poetry.
We never hear about her father - whose story, at some points, was more interesting - after the suicidal phone call and her mother confirming he's alive.
Rooney does have a knack of writing and describing the character's feelings. I was just expecting more controversial themes.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jen
  • 2020-05-31

repetitive story line

Found the book dry in certain areas and repetitive. Parts of the book would start to get good then it seemed to change topics.

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  • Mo
  • 2020-03-18

Great book, highly recommended

Good narrator
You feel like you’re living in Ireland, catchy story.
A good listen for anyone, was debating it at first

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Loved it

Absolutely gorgeous book - I loved the subtle nuances and the narrative. Thought the last line was the best and made me feel really happy. Loved the narration- it couldn’t have been more perfect !

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-08-23

Interesting point of view; glad I listened!

From my 60-year old vantage point, I found this book a stimulating exploration of a world outside my own. Heard an interview with the author on The New Yorker podcast, and the book was as interesting as she is.

24 people found this helpful

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  • ibillinsly@gmail
  • 2019-05-11

4.30 stars

I downloaded this one because I recently listened to and enjoyed Normal People, Sally Rooney’s most recent novel. Rooney has a distinct writing style, which is descriptive and insightful. If you like one of her books you’re surely to like her other. But, You have to like character driven narratives. That doesn’t mean the plot isn’t interesting. It is. The narrator is also really good. I’m impressed by this lady’s writing.

Overall rating: 4.30 stars

12 people found this helpful

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  • Kaspar D. Mossman
  • 2019-01-30

Unlikeable protagonist, weak plot

I wanted to like this book. The writing is articulate and fluid on the small scale. But I just could not care less about the main character, nor did the author give me any motivation to continue listening once she'd introduced the setting and the milieu. I totally lost interest--and began listening to "Milkman" by Anna Hunt, also about a young Irishwoman (different era, VERY different) which is the polar opposite. Milkman, go listen to it now!

7 people found this helpful

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  • RE Murphy, Jr
  • 2019-01-09

like Mahler or Faure, all mood and not much plot.

Like the composers who wash us over with mood, Rooney packs intention, dialogue, nonverbal tells and contrary emotions into her sentences. Poetic in economy of disparate feelings, she contains more of what is being felt, reacted to, and verbally unsaid. "How does she do that?" I found myself thinking often. If Austen and Mozart gave us the human comedy, Rooney gives it to us times 10.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Daisy
  • 2019-07-30

HORRIBLE

Oh so boring and pretentious. First book ever I could not finish! Don’t waste your time....

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ailish
  • 2019-03-28

God damn

This was very easily my favorite book of the past 12 months. She just nails the details of specific feelings. Highly relatable as a 20 something.

4 people found this helpful

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  • kait
  • 2019-03-25

cringe worthy in the best way possible

Do you like the office? Do you like romantic comedies? Than this novel is for you! Full of hilarious quips and compelling thoughts, you will be blown away by the story telling of Sally Rooney.

4 people found this helpful

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  • barbara
  • 2018-02-13

Stuck inside a 21-year-old's head--not much fun

Any additional comments?

I really struggled with my basic dislike of the main character, almost gave up on the book halfway through, but forced myself to listen to the end. There were some good moments in the book, the author has a great eye for details, uses language well, but oh my goodness, her level of micro-detailed self-involvement and fascination with her own interior process grows old very quickly, and becomes, for this reader anyway, claustrophobic to the point of near asphyxiation. I was so glad when the book ended.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-18

Unlikable main character, nothing really happened

I found the main character too annoying to care what happened to her & couldn’t understand her appeal to Nick, or Bobbi, or any of the other characters. The narrator was great but I didn’t feel like anything really happened in this story. Anticlimactic and not really worth the purchase.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dogmom33
  • 2020-05-24

What??

I’m sorry I wasted 8 hrs on this book. I guess the writing is ok / marginal, but the characters and plot line are so disheartening. The only thing redeeming about this book is that the author is able to capture the importance of authentic communication to have a successful relationship. That’s it. I sincerely hope that these characters do not represent what is to come.

1 person found this helpful