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Lie with Me

A Novel
Narrated by: Jacques Roy
Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The award-winning, best-selling French novel by Philippe Besson - “the French Brokeback Mountain” (Elle) - about an affair between two teenage boys in 1984 France, translated with subtle beauty and haunting lyricism by the iconic and internationally acclaimed actress/writer Molly Ringwald.

We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I’m holding on to him, that I’m holding on to him outside.

Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair.

Dazzlingly rendered in English by Ringwald in her first-ever translation, Besson’s powerfully moving coming-of-age story captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love - and the heartbreaking passage of time.

©2019 Philippe Besson (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ðeven
  • 2019-07-23

Many Lessons to Learn from this Tragic Novel

This book is a must read for any gay youth struggling with living a life true to themselves. Or in fact, anyone who feels obligated to live their lives under a mask forever hiding their true selves. You’ll learn tragically what happens when someone isn’t allowed to be themself and is forced into a life that is labeled as right and normal.

This book also illustrates how our society has evolved, and how the global perception of homosexuality has shifted in such a short time. It really makes me appreciate how accepting our society is nowadays, and almost makes my common frustrations with it seem trivial.


Amazing but tragic book, with many lessons to be gleaned from it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Keith G
  • Montrose in Houston TX
  • 2019-05-08

Memoir or fiction, either way it's enthralling.

If the novel, Lie With Me, is not essential reading for gay men, it is as close as one can get.

It is a story beautifully and realistically written by Philippe Besson and warmly translated from French to English by Molly Ringwald. Like Edward Louis's wonderful The End of Eddy, This story seems to walk a blurry line between novel and memoir.

This is literary fiction and not genre M4M gay romance. There are none of the stale old tropes so often used by women who are writing gay male love stories for other women.

This is a recounting of one man's recollection of a teenage romance and how the impact of that romance echoed throughout the ensuing years for both individuals.

Like The End of Eddy, this is a short novel and normally I shy away from those but the craft of the writing is so immersive and enjoyable that this is worthy investment.

I'm not going to say any more about the story itself since this type of work should be left to the author to reveal.

Since there were no reviews on Audible at the time, I went into the story completely cold and I think that made the experience all that much more important and desirable.

This is a short and very enthralling read that many of us gay men will walk away from having recognized so much of what has been written by the author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • 2019-07-10

Great Sadness

It was awfully sad ! I wanted a happily gay ending :/ Daymn! But in all, I highly recommend this beautiful novel and the audio book is well performed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nedieh Red Nav
  • New York
  • 2019-05-10

Recommended by André Aciman

Recommended by André Aciman on Goodreads. I immediately downloaded it and find it has the same passion in the writing as Call me by your Name had.

Much shorter and a very quick read the book is still amazing and full of passion and heartbreak.

A great LGBT* read and again the portrayal of the coming out and family acceptance that speaks right to my heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon
  • 2019-10-04

Vivid imagery and voice; a timeless story set in two eras

As a period piece of two eras, mid-eighties and 2007-2008, the story is engrossing in its descriptions and writer’s voice. It links the GenX baby-bust generation with the Millennial generation with common language, understanding and interest.

Nearly melodic narration was lulling and perfect.

Ms. Rinwald’s translation was perfect in sound and expression: « jamais ai-je senti aussi repu d’une traduction si séduisante »
I hope to enjoy more in the future.

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  • Slick-D
  • 2019-08-15

Deserving of the Plaudits

Passion...heart...well placed. It's been a while since I read (listened to) a book and wanted more in the end. Great job by the author.

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  • CWPLAY
  • 2019-08-05

Unsatisfying Ultimately

I regret that the author didn’t flesh out Lucas’ character more. The book, while eminently readable, seemed too self-centered to me. It could have been much more compelling.

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  • Rancy
  • 2019-07-10

A Gem of a Book

Lie with me is one of the best short novels I've read/listened to. Lesson is an excellent writer, knows how to tell a tale of young love and desire without getting maudlin, sentimental or overemphasize the carnal aspects of a relationship. Lesson is an excellent writer, knows how to piece together a scene, write beautiful descriptions. The narration is excellent as well, and adds to the enjoyment of the book. I had to stop and catch my breath several times.

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  • McMarston
  • 2019-06-21

Youthful love that lingers

Loved this little story for many reasons. The struggle of being gay, but also of just youthful love in general.

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  • Raphael
  • 2019-06-09

Thank you

This is an bittersweet story. The memoir brought many emotions up for me. I thank the Author for sharing his life with us.