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Publisher's Summary

Graham Norton's masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn't always been this overweight; mother of¬ two Brid Riordan hasn't always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn't always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke - a former¬ love of both Brid and Evelyn - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

©2016 Graham Norton (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Absolutely charming

What made the experience of listening to Holding the most enjoyable?

Having Graham Norton read his own work made this special. He has a wonderful voice for narration.

What does Graham Norton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His Irish accent - it made the characters really come alive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Very enjoyable murder mystery. Characters you can judge and cheer for at the same time. I am definitely buying his next book!

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Loved It!

I listened to Graham Norton tell his story Holding while lying in a hospital bed for two days. Graham helped me escape the tests, the IVs, the shouting roommate, and all of the other miserable things one experiences while in the sickbed. I think Graham helped me laugh myself better. Thank you, Mr. Norton.

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Loved it !

An excellent read, great characters and story and fabulous delivery. I hope Graham Norton writes more.

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Excellent! Really a surprise.

Any additional comments?

Well, I have always watched Graham's shows thinking that that was all there was to the man. Well well...this was a welcome surprise. His writing and narration are both brilliant. Love the quaint story of village life and the drama that accumulates. As someone who came from a small town in South Africa, the stories are always more intricate than one could imagine. In big cities, it's almost as if the focus and resolution of life's drama is lost in the melee.

Thanks for the entertaining listen. Hope you have more in you.

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Really enjoyed. Great characters and story.

loved it, great for the car and commuting. Burst out laughing a few times, though the story isn't a comedy.

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Absolutely loved it!

If you love Graham Norton you'll love this book. His narration and the story lend themselves to a very entertaining experience. I didn't want it to end. I hope that he is writing more stories. I am a huge fan!

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Great narration

I picked this purely due to my love of Graham Norton and his narration surpassed expectations. I enjoyed the slow uncovering of family secrets and the building of the towns characters.

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Sweet Little Mystery

3.5 Stars. This is a simple little mystery, nothing too powerful and nothing too grand. It presents lovely village life and introduces some interesting characters. There's nothing too deep about the mystery (nothing that can't be figured out way ahead of time) but it's not a horrible way to spend a few days. I liked the setting quite a lot and the main character, the local policeman who investigates some bones found by a construction crew. Mostly, it shows that, no matter where you live, people have secrets and problems.

It's mostly lovely to learn that my favorite chat show host, Graham Norton, has other talents!

Norton is also the narrator and he does a nice job of it. I still prefer him in the host's chair but this could be a second career for him!

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Great talent.

Mr. Norton is incredibly talented. We know he's funny, and a fun host, but his ability to inhabit each character is fantastic. Great read, interesting story, and the sadness that can be in a human being is well written!

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  • Panda
  • 11-13-16

A classic tale of love and loss

I liked the story which unfolded gradually but carefully so you couldn't quite guess what was coming up. I liked the delicate and emphatic depictions of female emotions from young to old. I liked the down to earth setting and raw reality without pathos. I didn't like Graham Norton reading it himself as it always sounded like he was being funny, flippant and sarcastic like he is on his radio and tv shows. It would have given it far more gravitas to be read by someone expert in audible books. I would still recommend the book to anyone of any age as it covers a wide experience of life. That's why I've given it an overall score of 4 stars.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Deirdre
  • 12-07-16

Beautifully written - and narrated

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have recommended to many already. And in both physical and audible versions everyone seems as enchanted as I was. Lovely, wonderful, warm and engaging novel - left open for a sequel that I cannot wait to read.

What other book might you compare Holding to, and why?

Richard Galbraith - Cuckoo's Calling. Reminded me of physically challenged characters trying to find their way to a normal life.

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

He is a wonderful narrator. Hearing him read and bring to life his own charactors was enchanting.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • R. Card
  • 11-15-16

Very enjoyable!

Any additional comments?

What a surprisingly enjoyable book - it's always interesting to see if well known performers can do more than one thing, but like reading the wonderful Dawn French books, Graham Norton definitely can!

I wasn't sure if him reading his own book would work when he's normally so funny, but this was very enjoyable. I did guess the twist before the end, but it didn't spoil the enjoyment. There was such a wonderful description of the people and scenery, I felt as though I was there. Also such a lovely subtle range of voices. I will definitely look out for his next book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 12-15-16

Brilliantly written and narrated.....

Really love Graham Norton so this book was an absolute delight. Funny, witty, sad, disturbing and intriguing were just some of the emotions that kept you wanting to listen.

Would certainly want to read or listen to Grahams other books.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 10-18-16

enjoyable listen

Enjoyed this book nice simple story with characters you can't but like. The narrator done a good job you really can't but see them while listening.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Bright
  • 12-10-16

Very enjoyable, and well narrated

Where does Holding rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

A very clever story line which kept me guessing until near the end. Graham reads the story well.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were well written and very plausible

Have you listened to any of Graham Norton’s other performances? How does this one compare?

N/A

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

No. You can dip in and out of the story quite easily.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Davenport
  • 10-15-16

Excellent

Excellent story full of great characters narrated brilliantly by the author

Well done on your first of many!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Latham
  • 10-14-16

A gentle but moving tale

A book narrated by it author is always more enjoyable I find as every nuance of the written word is carried in the spoken voice.
A remarkable twist on an old crime when bones are discovered and the establishment and conventions of a small, remote village in Ireland are turn upside down. Centre to this are the local policeman and the women of Duneen star.
It feels like you have become part of the community and unable to distinguish between fact and fiction, gossip and tall stories. What is more certain is the quality of Norton's storytelling and approach to fiction that although dark is brighten by the humour that also touches our lives.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Corner
  • 12-11-16

A good read. Very enjoyable.

A good tale which kept me interested and listening! Well read by the author adding to the story. Some lovely bits which had me laughing out loud but also thoughtful and tackled some serious subjects. Really enjoyed it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Carla
  • 11-10-16

A very charming story

What did you like most about Holding?

The feel of the book, the story and the great characters,

Who was your favorite character and why?

PJ Collins, Such a kind-hearted modest man.

Which character – as performed by Graham Norton – was your favourite?

Again PJ Collins.

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

Yes, but not possible. I will want to re-listen to it.

Any additional comments?

I was so pleased that there was no gratuitous swearing or graphic sex scenes. I am not prudish, but the way this was written with subtle references was far nicer.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Caroline
  • 07-16-17

Exellent read. Fun, mysterious and engaging

Would you consider the audio edition of Holding to be better than the print version?

Didn't read the print version

Who was your favorite character and why?

PJ Collins - he was delightful and complicated

Which character – as performed by Graham Norton – was your favourite?

PJ Collins

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

yes definitely

Any additional comments?

I hope Graham writes more novels soon!

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  • Janine T
  • 06-24-17

Couldn't put it down!

What did you like best about this story?

The characters and the storyline. I wanted to keep reading to see what came next - it was riveting!

What about Graham Norton’s performance did you like?

I love Graham no matter what he does, but his narration of this book was excellent.

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

There were parts where I laughed and cried with the characters. I feel it was written with just the right amount of emotion, humour and sensitivity.

Any additional comments?

This was a well written, sensitive, funny and engaging story. I could not put it down, and I did not want it to end. Bring on the next one Graham!

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  • Katie too
  • 04-29-17

Loved it!

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

Made me laugh out loud several times

Any additional comments?

It would have been a good story, but Grahams narration was brilliant

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  • Cath
  • 04-16-17

well told story

this is a well written book. at first I thought it was going to be a simple murder mystery but it is more than that. it is the story of a few fully understood characters living in the village Duneen. it doesn't flinch from their faults but it does give you enough background to empathise with them.
the mystery unfolds in a satisfying, believable manner. there isn't a happy ending for all but the book is all the better for that.
I enjoyed the reading by the author - no annoying mannerisms and I always knew who was talking when there was dialogue.

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  • MISS H L G MCKENNA
  • 03-30-17

excellent!!

excellent read....really enjoyed this! Even better as an audible Graham was great at bringing out the characters! had me hooked.

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  • Natalie
  • 01-04-17

Enjoyed this book so much.

loved this book. The story moved along at a very good pace. Graham Norton's narration was just right. look forward to his next book.

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  • Amazon Customer jo
  • 01-02-17

loved it

thank you Graham for such a gripping, sad, poignant story. It was an added bonus to hear you tell the tale. Please write more fiction!

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  • Christine
  • 11-09-16

Touching very human drama that makes you smile

I expected a comedy but was more delighted with the well developed and lovely characters and the very real feelings described. A superior novel.

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  • helen lamb
  • 11-02-16

Loved this story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am hoping there will be another a mystery would be great again