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  • Normal People

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Sally Rooney
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (761 ratings)

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Normal People

Written by: Sally Rooney
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
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Publisher's Summary

Now an Emmy-nominated a Hulu original series • New York Times best seller

"A stunning novel about the transformative power of relationships" (People) from the author of Conversations with Friends, "a master of the literary page-turner" (J. Courtney Sullivan).

One of the 10 best novels of the decade - Entertainment Weekly

Ten best books of the year - People, Slate, the New York Public Library, Harvard Crimson

Best books of the year - The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, O: The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, The Washington Post, Vogue, Esquire, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, Vox, The Paris Review, Good Housekeeping, Town & Country  

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life changing begins.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship, and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.

Praise for Normal People

"[A] novel that demands to be read compulsively, in one sitting." (The Washington Post)

"Arguably the buzziest novel of the season, Sally Rooney’s elegant sophomore effort...is a worthy successor to Conversations with Friends. Here, again, she unflinchingly explores class dynamics and young love with wit and nuance." (The Wall Street Journal)

"[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism.... [She writes] some of the best dialogue I’ve read." (The New Yorker)

©2019 Sally Rooney (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"[Narrator] Aoife McMahon, a skillful actor with a gorgeous Irish accent, makes each personality idiosyncratic and believable, and perfectly captures their confusion at being young and emotionally innocent, and trying to be decent but with no idea how to manage it. Rooney's subtle writing and engrossing plot work with McMahon's nimble and witty performance to balance your sympathies on a knife edge between these unforgettable characters." (AudioFile Magazine)

“I’m transfixed by the way Rooney works, and I’m hardly the only one...like any confident couturier, she’s slicing the free flow of words into the perfect shape.... She writes about tricky commonplace things (text messages, sex) with a familiarity no one else has.” (The Paris Review

"This superb book more than lives up to the high expectations set for it by Rooney's lauded first novel.... Showcasing Rooney's focus and ability in building character relationships that are as subtle and infinite as real-life ones, and her perceptive portrayal of class, Normal People gets at the hard work of becoming a person and the near impossibility of knowing if a first love is a true one." (Booklist)  

"I went into a tunnel with this book and didn’t want to come out. Absolutely engrossing and surprisingly heart-breaking with more depth, subtlety, and insight than any one novel deserves. Young love is a subject of much scorn, but Rooney understands the cataclysmic effects our youth has on the people we become. She has restored not only love’s dignity, but also its significance." (Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter)  

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What listeners say about Normal People

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

Read this instead of listen

Maybe it’s just me but I was just really turned off by the narrator in the audiobook. It kind of ruined the book for me to be completely honest - I couldn’t even finish it. The narration on the audiobook was just a little strange when the female narrator would try to mimic a deep masculine voice. It took the escapism of Sally’s writing away from me.

Overall, the story is generally good. However, I’m disappointed I wasted my audible credit on this book.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring, frustrating, bad narration

I don’t get it. This book is so boring. I understand it covers the complexities of mental health and social dynamics but there isn’t much of a plot - just people coming in and out of each other’s lives.

The narration of the male characters is not good either.

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2 people found this helpful

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

probably 3.5

I have no idea how I feel about this book. First off, I thought the narrator was great no issues there. I think it was just a lot of me wanting to rip my hair out at the weird way the communicate with one another - or lack thereof. Overall, I think it was great, touched on a lot of heavy subjects - abuse, mental illness, sexual harassment/assault, suicide. Overall I think 3.5 for the story!

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1 person found this helpful

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

Great !

Im happy i didnt listen to the reviews as i personally loved everything about this story . I found it clever and touching and quite realistic. Thought the narrator did a great job as well

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1 person found this helpful

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

Could not stop listening

this book puts feelings and emotions in words that would otherwise be hard to explain or say aloud. you truly feel what the characters are feeling and it's so relatable at times. loved this and can't wait to see it on screen ! obsessed

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1 person found this helpful

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

Amazing

I felt captivated the entire time, and genuinely cared about the characters. (I need to add more words to be able to submit lmao)

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

Kinda boring

The performance was good, the story was boring. I spent the whole book waiting for something to happen …anything to happen, good, bad, exciting, scary and it never does the end was painful, not a cliffhanger, just not an ending. I was confused most of the story.

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

Blah!

Incredibly boring and pointless… the end is really not worth listening to the whole thing for. Don’t waste a credit on this book

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

Like a long bus ride

Like a long bus ride with pretty scenery. You feel you should stay awake and enjoy it; but, it ends up being repetitive, meandering, and it just induces a good nap.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Pretentious and boring

Highly overrated. Pretentious and boring book. For such a “genius” Connell is a very poor communicator.

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