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Publisher's Summary

Frances is a 21-year-old college student in Dublin; she performs at spoken word events with her best friend and ex-lover, Bobbi. When they are profiled by journalist Melissa, they enter an orbit of beautiful houses and raucous dinner parties. Initially unimpressed, Frances begins an affair with Nick, Melissa's husband, which gives way to an unexpected intimacy. Desperate to reconcile her desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances's intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

©2017 Sally Rooney (P)2017 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Forensically smart and pin-sharp witty, this is a book to cherish and a writer to fall in love with." (Thomas Morris, author of We Don't Know What We're Doing)

What listeners say about Conversations with Friends

Average Customer Ratings
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Well written but disappointing book

I had high hopes for this book. The best I can say is that it is a well written story about nothing. Characters were narcissistic and not particularly interesting.

3 people found this helpful

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Unputdownable!

Intelligent.
Sparkling, every line.
Beautiful!
Not one word too many, just the right doses for each thought and dialogue.
Great job Mrs. Roony!
Don't you ever stop telling stories!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Like a Japanese restaurant without sushi.

A story keeping you alert to the end. Unusual good dialogue. So many writers fails there! I loved that it stuck to one singular theme, without to much surroundings, descriptions or flashing topics semi-relevant to the core of the story.

3 people found this helpful

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ok. but what's the big deal?

it is an ok story, but nothing special. The writer has generated some hype but the book is overvalued.

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feminist, sharp

i feel every man should read this novel. Rooney opens up an inner world alien to many men.

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  • Benry
  • 10-25-18

Great performance of a not so great novel

I know, I know. Sally Rooney, the voice of her generation. Bright new star etc. Maybe - almost certainly - it's not you, it's me, as the self-absorbed protagonist of this novel would say. I am not her generation and Rooney has nothing to say to me.
The fundamental problem with this book, set in a post-crash Dublin, is that there is no one in it that you care about. Frances, Nick, Melissa and Bobbi are all, in their own way, unpleasant.. Will Nick and Frances get back together? What happens to Nick's relationship? Where is Melissa? What about Bobbi and Melissa? In the immortal words of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, "I. Don't. Care." I was just waiting for it to finish.
I feel bad for being so harsh on Rooney. She certainly writes with a stripped-back flair. Not one for flowery adjectives, her prose is sharp, elegant and witty, but ultimately, like her characters, cold and unloveable.
On the plus side, Aoife McMahon reads the story beautifully and has a voice you can bathe in.

91 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-18

Brilliant narration

Aoife McMahon narrated this story brilliantly - she mastered all of the different voices in a way that made the conversations feel seamless and natural. I loved the story itself - it’s very different to “Normal People”, which I also loved, and felt completely original in its own right. It’s not action-packed, but devastating in the way it depicts the realities of growing older, love and your relationship to your parents. You

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-05-18

Relatable taboos

Keeps you glued to the story, Sally Rooney describes taboo topics in such a relatable manner, I wasn't even aware certain feelings could get described with words so accurately. I didn't like it that the narrator put on a different voice to mimic a man's voice, it was distracting. The Irish accent however is a bliss to listen to.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Sof
  • 12-04-18

Entertaining and thought provoking

It's another story about a writer and their emotional life. Yet for all that, this book is more real than predictable and resolves in more unconventional and thoughtful ways. Politics and ethics and self realisation weave in seamlessly. A very enjoyable and likeable listen.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jan
  • 12-06-18

Self indulgent twaddle

I listened to this because it’s a book club read. It was well read but the content was navel gazing, self indulgent and pretentious.

50 people found this helpful

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  • KittK
  • 10-31-18

Unlikeable tedious characters

The book has given me something to rant about for 5 minutes but that’s about it. In my view the writing wasn’t clever as some reviews maintain, it was childish and banal. The total lack of emotional maturity in any of the characters was quite disturbing and I wondered if that was intentional or a trait actually shared by the author in creating these idiots.

The two student characters were just the type of pretentious, juvenile people I couldn’t stand at university. Spouting feminism and extreme left politics while failing to do anything true to those beliefs and then avoiding all responsibility for anything shit that happens. Quite believable for a couple of 20 somethings I suppose. But there was no character development on these themes as the book went on. Neither seemed to learn anything from their experiences.

The older couple were equally as ridiculous, the ‘gorgeous’ husband basically having his cake and eating it by having two women on the go at the same time. Then getting away with it by supposedly not really realising what he was doing and acting all sensitive and helpless/hapless. I wondered if the couple were exploiting the students to start with which would have been quite believable and given the book a bit more dramatic edge. But as the book went on it seemed that they were too pathetic to even be capable of this.

So all in all I wasn’t actually sure of the point of any of the characters or the story, not that there really is one!

24 people found this helpful

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  • Claudia
  • 04-26-20

Awful!

Pretentious, dull and self indulgent from the writer, why on earth is she so popular? Don’t waste a credit on this drivel!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amy Parke
  • 08-01-20

I'd rather have a conversation with myself

Struggled to finish this book. Very dull narration and even duller characters! Still not sure why I did persevere with it?!

3 people found this helpful

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  • leighh
  • 07-12-20

Painful and soooo dull

The only good thing about this is the narrator
The story is so meandering and boring. I didn’t care about any of the characters
Could not wait for it to be over

Dire

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-20

Boring, bland storyline with unlikeable characters

To be honest there was nothing about this story that kept me engaged. The storyline was non existent, characters were dull, unlikeable and pretentious. This type of story is not my cup of tea at all, no storyline or plot or conclusion, just a long pointless ramble along these two women’s lives.

3 people found this helpful

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  • shelley
  • 01-21-19

Yes... and no

I’d just finished listening to Normal People... it’s v good... so was keen to read/hear more of her. This had such similar tropes, and concerns... fine- author prerogative of course. But somehow in the listening, I could discern elements and description that came up again and again... so much do, I could finish lines. Sigh.
Still... I did get attached to a couple of the characters... damning with faint praise, I know.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-19

Narrator was brilliant, story was average

I finished it for two reasons: the narrator was excellent, and I was hoping something interesting might happen at some point. Sally Rooney is a good writer, she’s beautifully descriptive and perhaps people will find this book enjoyable (other reviews seem to suggest as much). Personally I just found it tedious and couldn’t care about any of the characters or their self absorbed ordinary lives.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chloe
  • 06-02-20

So many emotions

This book was a lot, very immersive and emotional. I loved the character development and writing. Finished in two weeks 👍

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • CMG
  • 05-19-20

I stayed till the end, but.....

I couldn’t get into this story. I found it to be a waste of 4 characters and some very important topics. It was all just so flat. It has a sense of being written to justify a life once lived, but all that came out of it was how hollow the main character really was. A train wreck. I wasn’t even looking for a happy ending, I knew it wouldn’t have one either, I was just hoping for some sort of charisma and all I got at each turn was a mental head slap. I just didn’t think it would be so empty. I don’t know why this story needed to be told. I guess this one just isn’t my cup of tea and maybe I’ve completely misunderstood the moral of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-20

sumptuous delight

Everything, narrative, voice, story -all beautifully executed. I loved this one. Now I'm looking forward to listening to it again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alexandra Morgan
  • 02-24-19

Listen to it.

Okay so that was amazing and I’m floored. The performance of Aoife and the story; I was completely transported.

1 person found this helpful

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  • nicole
  • 10-09-18

Loved it

A simple story of observations, revealing and charming. I loved the narrators reading, a pleasure to listen too. Excellent!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-20

easy listening

Easy listening, but not the kind of book you can't put down. Good story narration.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-25-20

A great read

Conversations raises some deep questions about the world of relationships and the consequences of people stepping outside the bounds of so called normal behaviour. It does so in an enthralling manner that keeps ones interest right through the relatively simple storyline. A lesson in philosophy and human frailty!

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  • DebManning
  • 03-13-20

Interesting

Slow to get going but an intriguing listen
Me thinks this book is almost auto biographical . Almost to close to the bone to be fiction. Many women will recognise themselves in these paragraphs.