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Publisher's Summary

From the beloved New York Times best-selling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in postwar Ireland

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery - or, at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? 

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamorous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and - over his many years - will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more. 

In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit. 

©2017 John Boyne (P)2017 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

"By turns whimsical and heartbreaking, Boyne's sprawling novel treads Dickensian territory across seven decades of Irish history, ending with a redemption for both a country and a native son." (People)

"Bleak, bittersweet, and Irish to the bone...explore[s] the relationship between Catholicism and patriarchy in midcentury Ireland and beyond." (O, The Oprah Magazine)

What listeners say about The Heart's Invisible Furies

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Maybe my favorite Audible book ever...

Highly recommend this one .. I run outside with Audible so I looked crazy at times,sometimes laughter, sometimes tears, but loved every minute of this book. And the narrator was Amazing!! I liked how it didn’t delve too deeply into the sad moments and finished with a beautiful message..

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What a great book!

This is an excellent book from start to finish. The story offers insight into archaic, old school mentalities and the great strides made over the last few decades in regards to acceptance and tolerance. It is entertaining and enlightening; I didn’t want it to end.

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Worth it

I found this book a little hard to get into at first, but I’m glad I stuck with it. Really pulls at the heart to feel what he went through and his journey throw out life. I loved the 7 year intervals, an interesting concept.

The narrator was good but I found he was not consistent in his sound, so quiet to so loud. Forget about listening to this with headphones with other noises around, you’ll miss half of the dialog or burst or ear drum from turning it up and him having a loud spell.

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Not what I expected

After listening to the sample I bought it thinking it was a storey of a young woman. It started out that way and then took an unexpected turn. The more I listened the more it pulled me in until I wasn't able stop listening until it was over. Well done.

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Great story, excellent narration

Loved the story but the narrator makes it. I have seen a few negative reviews about the narration so I felt compelled to set the record straight. Anyone who complains has surely never heard an Irish-person speak. He nails every single accent and captures each character perfectly. Just great!

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  • D M
  • 2019-03-13

I did not enjoy the narrator

I really enjoyed the story and would purchase more from this author.
I did not enjoy the narrator. His attempts at dramatic license caused him to scream in my ears one minute and then subsequently whisper so quietly I could not adequately hear him. Very frustrating between frequently adjusting the volume and rewinding. It was not a comfortable listen much of the time.

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my favourite listen so far

loved it. The narration was excellent and the story line very touching and hit close to home for me. Very believable

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Amazing

A heartbreaking, hilarious, thought provoking and beautiful story of one mans life. I do not say this lightly, but it is my favourite listen. I wish I could experience it again for the first time!

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Human heart

The novel uses the intermittent historical snapshot approach that we are familiar with from movies like Forrest Gump and other novels like William Boyd's Any Human Heart where the protagonist lives through defining historical episodes across different countries (here Ireland, Holland, USA) and in doing so makes a voyage of self discovery and comes to understand more about themselves and their role in the world. In this story we see the declining role of the Catholic church in Ireland, the IRA, the 20th century transformation in women's and gay rights, the AIDS pandemic, and the 2015 Irish referendum on gay marriage. Several real life politicians and writers such as Brendan Behan and Charles Haughey have cameo roles in the various episodes as Cyril continues his journey to enlightenment. The early hilarious slapstick comedy of Cyril's childhood and bizarre upbringing gradually gives way to a more serious and darker novel where the author's pent up feelings against the Church and its hypocrisy become apparent. We are also reminded of the terrible prejudice that was meted out to the victims of HIV in the 1980s and 90s. The ultimate redemption at the novel's climax is very moving and I like the way the reader is left to speculate and fill in some of the blanks. The characters are generally well drawn and the narrator (very good) is able to produce endless different Irish accents to bring them all to life. A great listen overall.

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a must read

loved it! made me angry, made me laugh, made me cry
highly recommend, a real eye opener about what Ireland may have been like... not only them of course, all over

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  • Natalie Rad
  • 2019-06-05

Great book

the audio book was a bit messed up with volume, but the reader was good

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  • Kathy-Jane
  • 2019-01-13

BRILLIANT! Ten stars.

Beyond brilliant! Definitely one the best books I have ever read. The story, although tragic, is mesmerizing and the characters are so real and entertaining. I found myself having slipped into their world and I sat on the sidelines sharing their joy and sadness. The narration flowed so seamlessly and me with it. I don't have the words to express how much I love this book.

I have a new favorite author. Thank you so much for this amazing story.

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  • Vincent
  • 2018-01-27

Stop what you’re doing and download this book

Beautiful poignant story with characters that come alive and are part of your world while you enjoy the magnificent narration and beyond. Wonderful historical visit to a time and place in Ireland warts and all.

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  • knvmxi
  • 2018-09-25

Wonderful

This author has a wonderful ability to write plots that interweave seamlessly and every one is a little bit of a mystery because he starts you off with a story and then he drops breadcrumbs throughout so that you make connections along the way. You always arrive full circle to the first story you read and all relationships, subplots and events fit perfectly together. Nothing happens without fitting perfectly into the whole. The characters are rich in human complexity, he has the facility for making you like and dislikes the same character as he/she develops. At the core of the book is a deep compassion for those people who are relegated to the fringes of society and he brings forth the depths of human bigotry, hatred, prejudice and ignorance with a mix of humor and clarity that makes the reader “feel” it. The dialogues in this book are simply hilarious, and the novel is just so beautifully written. You feel catharsis at the end.

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  • R. Twaites
  • 2018-07-02

A Wonderful Story

Really enjoyed The Heart's Invisible Furies. I was drawn in from the very beginning and appreciated the humanity of the story throughout. Stephen Hogan's narration is unforgettable. One of my favorite audio books of all time.