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Conversations with Friends

A Novel
Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (291 ratings)
Regular price: $28.00
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Publisher's Summary

A sharply intelligent novel about friendship, lust, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century

Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa's world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick's flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances' friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi.

Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances' intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.

Written with gemlike precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth and the messy edges of female friendship.

©2017 Sally Rooney (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Readers who enjoyed Belinda McKeon's Tender and Caitriona Lally's Eggshells will enjoy this exceptional debut." ( Library Journal )
"[Sally] Rooney captures the mood and voice of contemporary women and their interpersonal connections and concerns without being remotely predictable.... A clever and current book about a complicated woman and her romantic relationships." ( Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting point of view; glad I listened!

From my 60-year old vantage point, I found this book a stimulating exploration of a world outside my own. Heard an interview with the author on The New Yorker podcast, and the book was as interesting as she is.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Stuck inside a 21-year-old's head--not much fun

Any additional comments?

I really struggled with my basic dislike of the main character, almost gave up on the book halfway through, but forced myself to listen to the end. There were some good moments in the book, the author has a great eye for details, uses language well, but oh my goodness, her level of micro-detailed self-involvement and fascination with her own interior process grows old very quickly, and becomes, for this reader anyway, claustrophobic to the point of near asphyxiation. I was so glad when the book ended.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Unlikeable protagonist, weak plot

I wanted to like this book. The writing is articulate and fluid on the small scale. But I just could not care less about the main character, nor did the author give me any motivation to continue listening once she'd introduced the setting and the milieu. I totally lost interest--and began listening to "Milkman" by Anna Hunt, also about a young Irishwoman (different era, VERY different) which is the polar opposite. Milkman, go listen to it now!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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he said, the she said on repeat

The he said, she said repetition drove me nuts. Making the book seem like it was written by a 5 th grader.

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An new classic memoir

This is a wonderful memoir, a fine addition to an important genre, by a member of the rising/risen generation. I loved it!

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like Mahler or Faure, all mood and not much plot.

Like the composers who wash us over with mood, Rooney packs intention, dialogue, nonverbal tells and contrary emotions into her sentences. Poetic in economy of disparate feelings, she contains more of what is being felt, reacted to, and verbally unsaid. "How does she do that?" I found myself thinking often. If Austen and Mozart gave us the human comedy, Rooney gives it to us times 10.

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Kept my interest

Conversations with Friends kept my interest and the characters were well defined but it ended abruptly.

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Beautifully Written and Insightful

This book is written in crisp, precise sentences that beautifully evoke some aspect of being young and unfocused and, no matter how intelligent and insightful about other people, still clueless about oneself. The main characters are pretty compelling, even if their behavior is at time infuriating and/or ill advised. The male love interest is a rarity among male love interests in fiction--an almost completely passive, submissive heterosexual man. Not sure if that's good or not (not so much for the heroine) but interesting and usual. It's beautifully read here. At times, it feels as repetitious as real life, but it's still gripping.

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Liked it so much (much more than expected)

I found this author via an Instagram page run by Florence called between two books. I couldn’t get her latest book on audible (yet) but I thought, well, hmm, this might be interesting. As I listened, I realized how invested I was in the characters. How familiar the situations felt + how real + tangible her emotive writing was.
I honestly sighed in sadness when the book ended. May have to listen again!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Only read it for book club

I only finished this because we read it in my book club. I felt the story and main character to be exhausting and annoying. Way too many unnecessary words and descriptions. The amount of things that moved the story forward could have been conveyed in about 1/4 of the time. Ugh.

The performance was fun to hear an Irish accent, but the way it was performed was robotic and dispassionate.