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Publisher's Summary

Having signed up for the US Army in the 1850s, aged barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and ultimately the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in, they find these days to be vivid.

Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past.

©2016 Sebastian Barry (P)2016 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"[Barry's] words have a stony allure of the Irish poets and the lyrical pull of an epic storyteller." ( The Boston Globe)
"Sebastian Barry's handling of voice and cadence is masterly. His fictional universe is filled with life, quiet truth, and exquisite intimacy." (Colm Tóibín, author of the Costa Novel Award-winning Brooklyn)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Great book and so well narrated by Aidan Kelly 👏!

Great book and so well narrated by Aidan Kelly ⭐👏 ⭐👏⭐ 👏 !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece of writing

Epic story skilfully read by authentic Irish narrator telling the tale of a tough survivor of the Great Hunger in Ireland, the so called Indian Wars and the American civil war. Highly recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely brilliant!

Riveting language makes this compelling story so interesting. I could not stop listening. It is read beautifully and the descriptive language is sublime

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  • AnnaJean Hughes
  • 03-01-17

Beautiful

Sebastian Barry has long been a literary hero of mine, ever since the Secret Scripture. In Days Without End he has taken the sack of native America (much of it at the behest of Irish soldiers, who were themselves oppressed by Cromwell; the irony is not left unsaid) and laid upon it the most incredible love stories. Those that transcend blood and 'nature' and are accepted without prejudice by most who witness it. It is lyrical and brutal and majestic in scale and I loved it.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacqueline
  • 02-08-17

A beautiful story

What made the experience of listening to Days Without End the most enjoyable?

The poetry of the authors writing

What does Aidan Kelly bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The readers wonderful accent makes the story so much more authentic

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

it is incredibly uplifting in spite of some of the horrors told

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 02-08-17

I didn't want it to end...

A beautifully written story with a protagonist I grew to love. The narrator was spot on and, to my ears, honoured the authenticity of the language, dialect and sentiment. Quite unique.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-20-16

What a wonderful book.

Sebastián Barry at his best - an interesting story filled with the most vivid descriptions bringing the scenes to life, well read and the story is a mixture of harsh realities of war and the love between the main characters.
I really enjoyed this book and could listen to it again.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia
  • 12-17-16

Lyrical prose perfectly narrated

This is such an unusual story and a joy to listen to. It's set in the second half of 19th century America and features the Indian Wars and the Civil War but, most importantly, the deep friendship between two Irish immigrant soldiers.

Their adventures and tribulations are a feat of imagination and this novel sees Sebastian Barry back on top form.
A must read for everyone who enjoyed The Secret Scripture.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S E King
  • 05-20-17

brilliant.

Fantastic story telling and superb narration. It is a bit gory in places but worth slogging through those bits to get to the enlightening perspective on life the author gives us. The voice of the narrator holds you tight and you cant help falling in love with him.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ruben
  • 01-28-17

well written, excellently told

the narrator took this book to a higher level for me. the story is good and becomes more and more interesting, but without this narrator it would have perhaps been a bit too straightforward and simple

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • stylo
  • 02-14-17

Simply Superb

Would you consider the audio edition of Days Without End to be better than the print version?

I have only experienced the audio version, but enjoyed it so much I am considering buying a printed copy. Aiden Kelly narrates the book superbly.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

So many. I enjoyed this great novel from beginning to end with its beautiful prose and stunning similes.

Any additional comments?

'Days Without End' is the first Sebastian Barry book I have read/listened to, and I was so impressed with it I immediately bought his book, 'The Secret Scripture'.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Drosselmeyer
  • 05-13-17

Interesting story but found the reader a bit boring

I don't feel the reader really 'voiced' the characters and found him a bit monotonous and dreary.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy B
  • 03-29-17

Beautiful language read with character and sensitivity

Sebastien Barry has a way with Irish-English which is rare: he captures its rhythms and intonations in such a way that the predominantly English vocabulary is given a new life by the beautiful, vivid Irish structure and phrasing.
Such writing could slip into pastiche but the underlying intelligence and colour is brought to life by a faithful and sensitive rendering by Aidan Kelly. His reading was sensitive to both the language and also the underlying emotional forces and energies. A delight to listen to, hour after hour, especially in the 'nights of my days'.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • LYNNEF
  • 09-29-17

Riveting

Could not turn this off. The harsh lives imposed on the characters is offset by the tender love between the boyhood friends, John and Thomas. Indian/soldier conflicts, civil war, famine and hardship are overcome time and again by love and true friendship. A great book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lana
  • 07-27-17

galloping story beautiful prose

What made the experience of listening to Days Without End the most enjoyable?

The narrator captured the character of the hero with authentic style. I was drawn into both the historical background to the story, and the beautifully written descriptions of the social and natural world surrounding our hero and his lover. What a storty! It has unpredictable twists and turns and suspense and horror. What a great movie it would make!

What did you like best about this story?

It was lyrical and astounding. At times I had to pause and rewind to hear that description all over again. Gorgeous and humorous and horrific.

Which character – as performed by Aidan Kelly – was your favourite?

All the characters were owned by Aidan Kelly...he gave us a fine performance

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

with all the time in the world I would have sat and listened to this story all day.

Any additional comments?

I have recommended this to many, and they have all loved it. If you want the drama and horror and filth of Deadwood, with the poetic power of Blake, and the social commentary and comedy of Fry then this is for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ballina Beach
  • 05-21-17

Wish this book wouldn't end!!

The story is extraordinary & quite haunting. Set in the Civil War but very relevant to today's world. The characters of Thomas McNulty, john Cole & Winona stay in your head. This is a great story & the performance by Aidan Kelly is brilliant! He is a very gifted reader. I'm definitely going to listen to his other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Philippa C Farmer
  • 06-04-18

Awesome descriptive writing. Brilliant reader.

I honestly can’t remember a book with better descriptive writing. Completely transporting and a pleasure to hear. The reader is perfect. Great story too. Highly recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 03-10-18

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

I wish I had the gift of writing and the art of narration to express how deeply human, how utterly beautiful the characters, how real they are and just how close they come to the experience of love, loss, friendship, war, society and more, this book comes.

I wish it had not ended

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • gina saunders
  • 01-09-18

How to make the bleak beautiful.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Especially the language and beauty of the words. I've not been all that interested in the civil war, and thought I'd read enough grief on the massacres of Indians. But Barry wrote such a compelling tale of honesty, and commraderie and love. I had no choice but to hear it all. The last paragraph had me holding tightly to my device and begging for a good end. To not know which way it would go right up to the last page was just one last enjoyment of this truly magnificent tale.