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Publisher's Summary

From Sebastian Barry, a two-time finalist for the Man Booker Prize, comes a powerful and unforgettable novel chronicling a young Irish immigrant's army years in the Indian wars and the American Civil War.

Thomas McNulty, having fled the Great Famine in Ireland and now barely 17 years old, signs up for the US Army in the 1850s and with his brother in arms, John Cole, goes to fight in the Indian Wars - against the Sioux and the Yurok - and, ultimately, in the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, they find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.

Moving from the plains of Wyoming to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. An intensely poignant story of two men and the makeshift family they create with a young Sioux girl, Winona, Days Without End is a fresh and haunting portrait of the most fateful years in American history and is a novel never to be forgotten.

©2017 Sebastian Barry (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"If an audiobook that is gorgeously written, tells a heart-thumping story, and is performed with flawless taste and authority is a cause for celebration, chill the champagne.... If the setting sounds familiar, the story is not, and you will not soon forget it, thanks to dazzling language and to a supple and powerful performance by [narrator Aidan] Kelly, whose Thomas is somehow both pragmatic and full of wonder." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Stunning, disturbing, amazing

If you could sum up Days Without End in three words, what would they be?

Unique, explicit, poetic

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator, without a doubt. A poor boy who had character, insight and resolve.

Which scene was your favorite?

The beginning.. when the boys became girl dancers: humorous, sweet, yet innocent.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I had difficult with the scene in the fort when the Oglala chief came to the soldiers to
retrieve his daughter after the village had been slaughtered by the soldiers. I had to stop listening for a while.. very realistic and tragic.

Any additional comments?

The violence was constant, well portrayed but it put me off.
This is an amazing book, but the historically accurate accounts of the wars really
tore my heart. I'm taking a break from it for a while.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bliss

The writing and narration make for pure bliss. The joyful, faithful, never doubting love of two men, the girl who makes them a family- the beauty and simplicity of acceptance of hardship, it gives me hope at this tough place in time. We shall get through it all if we remember that others have gone before us and others will come after.
Let us find joy in our lives, no matter what.
This book has touched my core.

65 of 74 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • KEITH
  • Canyon Country, CA, United States
  • 08-26-17

This is about love of two men

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I read a bunch of reviews before buying this book and no one talked about the elephant in the room, this is about two men who fall in love in the old west. They meet as teens, fall in love and stay together for years. It is also about the American Armies fight and massacre of Native Americans.

For some reason, other people did not mention these two foundational points of this book. If you don't care for this subject matter, don't buy this book.

On the other hand, the book is well written and performed. It is a gap piece of historical fiction touching on some interesting times in the western mining days, Indian Wars and Civil War.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Oz
  • TEXAS, US
  • 04-24-17

Masculine Story with Feminine Take

Narration was perfect for this book.
Although the story takes place in America's early history it has a twist that is relevant today.
I think this book would appeal to a wide audience.
I enjoyed every "page".

38 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story of a hard life

This novel is so rich in early American history and an Irish immigrant's tale. Thomas is a kind man who fights bravely and loves deeply.
Mr. Kelly's Irish accent is perfect for this audiobook. I'm looking forward to listening to more of Sebastian Barry's books!

32 of 37 people found this review helpful

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

A Treasure

A masterful narration of a historically accurate and beautiful story. Thrilling and touching, surprising right up to the end.

32 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best - story and performance.

Spectacular and brutal Civil War-era drama with vivid voice and characters, in a tightly woven plot. This one will stay with me.

30 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LK
  • 03-09-17

Can't say enough good things

Please listen to or read this book. It was so well done and moving. Aidan Kelly is brilliant as Thomas and you'll fall in love with all the characters and their incredible story. Love, tragedy, war, injustice, triumph, humor... this book has it all. Brilliant and top notch.

31 of 39 people found this review helpful

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

Lyrical, poignant, brutally violent historical.

This is one of my top favorite listens in a very very long time. I can't write reviews well enough to convey what a treasure this book is.
~~~mild spoiler~~~~ I feel sad for those listeners who turned this book away simply because it was the story of two men who loved each other and whose love perservered through good times and brutally horrific acts of war.
This is a beautifully written, at times even poetic historical story about Thomas McNulty and John Cole. They meet as young boys, and stay together, make a life together while living through the wild west wars, Indian wars, the Civil war. Enduring famine, brutal winters, killing hot summers, lack of food, lack of water. You name it, these 2 men experienced it.
The description of some of the acts of war were disturbing, but written in a way that felt essentially realistic for the times. It was historically acurate in chilling cruel detail.
And yet somehow Thomas and John are able to live through all the terrible times and remain men who have enough heart and soul to rescue an orphaned indian girl, raise her as their own, and make a home together.
I can see why this novel won awards. I enjoyed it very much, was never bored, and was sad when the story came to an end.
Aiden Kelly has the perfect voice as the narrator. His narration was just wonderful. The story is told entirely from Thomas's point of view. The Irish accent a pleasing bonus.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Unexpectedly Awesome

I am fairly new to Audible books and this is just the kind of book I would never think to pick up. What a great surprise to have enjoyed this version SO much!

The story, language, and wonderful narration fully transported me to an incredible period in American history. Many times I found myself stunned by the beauty of the wording and descriptions.

My daily commute was much improved listening to the book. I reflected quite alot on the human condition: suffering, hardships, injustice, determination, luck, joy in little things and love. Wholeheartedly recommend.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful