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The Heart's Invisible Furies

Written by: John Boyne
Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
Length: 21 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Perfect

I normally do not write reviews but I absolutely loved this book! It had me captivated from the first sentence. The story and narration are perfect and it will make your heart ache in the best ways possible.

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Loved It!<br />

One of my all-time favourite books!
I didn't want it to end!
Absolutely Wonderful Read!

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Compelling family story.

Set mainly in Ireland, this novel covers many social attitudes in regard to homosexuality, the Catholic church and its flaws, shortcomings, and contradictions. We follow the life of Cyril Avery, born in 1945 to an unwed mother, the adopted son of Maude and Charles Avery (who make sure that he is aware of his adoptive status throughout their lives). At a young age, Cyril becomes aware that he is gay. This is especially scandalous in a country where it was illegal to be a homosexual until 1993. Cyril spent years hiding his homosexuality, even going so far as to marry the sister Alice, of his best friend, Julian, with whom he was in love. It was on his wedding day to Alice, that he admitted that he was gay to Julian and professes his love for him. Julian rejects him as he is heterosexual, and is affronted and angered by Cyril's confession. Cyril leaves his bride Alice at the wedding reception, abandoning Ireland for Amsterdam. There are many branches that lead from this beginning, taking Cyril on his life journey. This story weaves a compelling drama that you won't want to stop listening to. There is also plenty of humour interjected along with the sadness, and injustices experienced by the very real characters in this book. The only downfall is with the audio. The narrator, when taking on the voice of Cyril, tends to soften his voice, making it hard for me hear when listening while driving. As this is when I get the most opportunity to listen to Audible, I found it somewhat frustrating. Other than that, I highly recommend this novel.

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Amazing!

By far one of my favourite books! I fell in love with all the characters, and I couldn't stop listening. While listening to this book I laughed and cried, and was personally very moved. I loved the narrator, however the volume control needed a little work. I found myself turning the volume up to hear what he was saying and then a minute later turning the volume way down because the narrator suddenly started yelling.

Over all, this was a very moving and intelligent book. I would highly recommend that everyone read (listen) to it.

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great narrator, lovely story

I read another review which said there are no villains and heros, just men and women doing their best... I agree, and this story does a great job putting that sentiment into words. Multi-dimensional characters, a long suffering hilarious bumbler of a gay boy growing up in Ireland in the 50’s. Also, the story of his mother, who was a ‘fallen woman’ and had to give him up for adoption. Did I mention what a fantastic narrator this had? Highly recommended.

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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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Truly an EPIC.

You'll by shocked, entertained, amused, and touched. Excellent reading as well - a nuanced performance with accurate character voices. I can't say enough good things about this novel.

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Riveting

I didn't want this book to end. One of the best stories I've ever read!

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My favourite book of 2018

This book nestled in my soul and made my heart altogether sing, ache and guffaw. It deftly weaves a narrative tapestry that brings to mind the scrappiness of McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, the whimsy of Groom’s Forrest Gump and the wistful melancholy of Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name. I will need some time to recover from and reflect on this wonderful novel; this is my favourite book of 2018.

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A mesmerizing masterpiece, a modern classic

John Boyne's epic novel introduces you to a cast of characters who draw you in and make you care about them. Incredible depth for a story that covers so much time and so many relevant social issues. John Boyne is a master of dialogue. The narrator has captured the spirit of the characters so that you do not want to stop listening. One of the best.

Thank you #Audible1 for making it available

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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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  • 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.