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Exciting Times

A Novel
Written by: Naoise Dolan
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 6 hrs and 55 mins
Categories: LGBT, Literature & Fiction
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“This debut novel about an Irish expat millennial teaching English and finding romance in Hong Kong is half Sally Rooney love triangle, half glitzy Crazy Rich Asians high living - and guaranteed to please.” (Vogue)

An anticipated book from:

  • Vogue
  • Elle
  • O, the Oprah Magazine
  • Esquire
  • Harper's Bazaar
  • Popsugar
  • Lithub

An intimate, bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyer.

Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children.

Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than "I like you a great deal".

Enter Edith. A Hong Kong-born lawyer, striking and ambitious, Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway. Ava wants to be her - and wants her. And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong.... Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?

Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life - and announces herself as a singular new voice. 

©2020 Naoise Dolan (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Exciting Times

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • boysenme
  • 2020-06-27

Not so exiting

Stereotypical "millennial" cast of shallow characters, bordering on sociopathic behavior. Sorry... it just wasn't for me. Just interesting enough to finish it if I sped up the narrative. Ms McMahon did a good job of narrating by using a "I really don't care that much" attitude.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • zobo
  • 2020-06-25

It was ok...

Having lived in hk most of my life as an expat this had a nostalgic appeal for me, and I can see why it has been compared to Normal People (Irish, slow moving, nothing much actually happens...) but I felt a bit let down by this book - it was perhaps a bit too slow. Also found the narrator a bit limited - she managed the two main female characters' accents well, but the rest were a bit hit and miss. Also her pronunciation of Cantonese words and HK places was off. Overall is was ok, not terrible, not brilliant.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jules N
  • 2020-08-06

Enjoyable

I loved the potrayed dimensions of the various characters and the complex relationships. I couldn't help getting drawned to the witty, humorous and obsessive thoughts and views of Ava (the protagonist).

On the other hand, I'm not sure if a male audience would enjoy it though.

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  • M
  • 2020-08-04

Boring

Not a very interesting story. The way the narrator did the various characters was annoying and cringey.

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  • stevekaw
  • 2020-06-19

A different take on modern life.

Audio book went quickly. Fascinating characters in an exotic locale. Enjoyed the reader's performance as well!

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  • Keith Hopper
  • 2020-06-16

a bit of a yawn

I chose this title to get a glimpse of things through fresh eyes. Mission accomplished. Beyond that, the self-absorbed, neurotic, dependent main character just put me off, Over the course of about a year...nothing much at all happens. Nothing exciting, really.