Girls & Boys

4.5 out of 5 stars (3,195 ratings)

Regular price: $6.95

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About This Audible Original

When they met at an airport, it was love at first sight. But in time, everything collapsed. As an unnamed but unforgettable woman muses on her life—from meet cute to marriage and parenthood—her recollections inexorably build to a devastating truth. In this shattering performance, Carey Mulligan, star of the critically lauded drama An Education, captivates audiences with playwright Dennis Kelly’s harrowing ruminations on family, ambition, gender, and violence. An acclaimed Off-Broadway play, the gut-wrenching world of Girls & Boys now thrives as an Audible Theater production.

After the play, this program includes an interview with Tony-winning playwright Dennis Kelly, who shares the inspiration behind his work.

Note: Girls & Boys is intended for a mature audience and contains graphic descriptions of violence.

© 2018 Dennis Kelly (P) 2018 AO Media, LLC

Go Behind the Scenes with Carey Mulligan

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Riding on Dennis Kelly's rollercoaster monologue Girls & Boys, Mulligan gives a phenomenal, unpredictable solo performance—a proper feat of acting—as a woman so self-assured she might just smash the patriarchy apart single-handedly.

- Variety
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Our favorite moments from Girls & Boys

Mum-versation
It was there. We had it.
I think a lot about violence.
Part of the same…male impulse.

  • Girls & Boys
  • Mum-versation
  • Girls & Boys
  • It was there. We had it.
  • Girls & Boys
  • I think a lot about violence.
  • Girls & Boys
  • Part of the same…male impulse.

About the Performer

Carey Mulligan’s passion for acting was ignited when she was merely 6 years old. Upon seeing her brother perform in a school production of The King and I, she was so enamored with the theatrical magic that the director allowed her to join the chorus. From that day on, Mulligan has been an unstoppable force in the world of film and theater. From her first major role in Pride & Prejudice (2005) to her acclaimed, award-winning breakthrough performance in An Education in 2009, Mulligan has proved herself to be one of the most dynamic voices of her generation. In addition to Girls & Boys, she has made a name for herself in the theater circuit with her performance in the much-lauded West End revival of The Seagull at the Royal Court Theatre in 2007.

About the Author

Dennis Kelly is a writer and producer for theater, television, and radio. He wrote and staged his first play, Debris, in his early thirties, and hasn’t stopped since. The productions to his name—more than 23 and counting—include the musical adaptation of Matilda, which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Off stage, Kelly is known from his success on the small screen; he co-wrote the beloved BBC Three sitcom Pulling and penned the well-received action-drama Utopia.

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Stories by Heart By: John Lithgow, Ring Lardner, P. G. Wodehouse, W. W. Jacobs
John Lithgow is a gifted actor worthy of legendary status.
— – George, Audible listener
All the Ways to Say I Love You By: Neil LaBute
Brilliant…Judith's performance is incredible and captivating.
— – Brittany, Audible listener
Feeding the Dragon By: Sharon Washington
Sharon Washington brings her story to life with her superb performance.
— – C. Douglas, Audible listener

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

I have never heard a story performed so well.

To me, this is Carey's best work. Its like this is her story and she is reliving it. All of that to say too that the monologue is incredibly smart and emotional. Very thought provoking about our society and family.

27 of 28 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

It should be called 'Stunning & Real'

I listened to Girls & Boys as an audiobook read by Carey Mulligan. (It's more accurate to say she "acted it out"--it was, performed by Carey Mulligan because I could visualize every word she said.) I first listened to the sample, which was, quite possibly, the funniest snippet of an audiobook I've ever heard--and spot on as far as human nature goes...so I bought it, not really reading what this play was about. To be honest, it was Carey Mulligan that attracted me to the monologue. I saw her featured as the narrator--a recommendation from an Audible editor named Sam. The whole thing is only about 90 minutes--the length of a movie and I had time for that so I downloaded it.

It is not a funny story.

It's a story of survival.

It's a tale of violence and heartbreak.

And it feels real--disturbingly, horrifyingly real.

At one point, the narrator says that what she's about to tell you is not happening to you, and you think, "Oh, that's not--that's not good." Her warning, I found, was necessary. It gave me just enough distance to be able to hang on until that part was over. Just enough. Barely.

I'm not sure that I agree with all the conclusions that the author came to in this play. Some of it rings true, while other things are debatable. What I found absolutely brave was that Dennis Kelly had the nerve to ask those questions. The balls.

Carey Mulligan should win awards for this. Dennis Kelly should win awards for this. I know it's something that will stick with me forever.

52 of 56 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

Carey Mulligan is amazing!!!!

Strong story, important theme to be discussed. Carey Mulligan makes you close your eyes and almost see everything she is describing. She is really amazing! Wish I could have seen this play at theaters. Try to reserve time to hear it without pausing.

9 of 9 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

Wow. Just . . . wow.

Carey Mulligan is incredible. Her talent shines blindingly throughout this performance. I can scarcely imagine what it must be like to watch her perform this play on stage.

Yes, the subject matter is sometimes dark, but that’s not the overall point of the play, and not the focus of this performance. Despite some of the stark and bleak details, this is an audiobook I will listen to again and again...if nothing else, for the pure pleasure of hearing Carey Mulligan demonstrate her wide-ranging talents. (Sally Sparrow - you are BRILLIANT, and I wish the rain would never stop.)

I didn’t expect a less-than-two-hours audiobook to be so thought-provoking and stay with me so long. The playwright has a genius for natural conversational rhythms and the way we talk to ourselves inside our heads.

Highly recommend. I’d rate it higher than five stars if I could.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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

Gripping story with first-class acting

Should've heed the warning, this was not what I expected. I expected a comedy with serious undertones, instead what I got was a tragedy with sporadically comedic dressing. The latter half of the play steers into eerie territories, not so much a plot twist but a searing knife in the back. That this transition managed to not be whiplash inducing is largely thanks to the phenomenal talents of Carey Mulligan. She was there to guide us every step of the way, imbuing even the lighter moments with untold depth. Her gift for portraying introspective, emotionally complex characters translates well here. Mulligan told a harrowing story of family and violence with surgical precision and incredible emotional restrain. Under her deft hands, the character became a solid creation: self-assured, relatable, clear-eyed, not to mention outrageously funny and gloriously vulgar (until she wasn't).

The core idea of the play may sound radical but it isn't exactly new or novel or I doubt even true, but it is something worth revisiting and restating in such unflinching terms in the wider conversation of masculinity reckoning. The play lacks truly unique insights to become compelling human drama (I don't think that was their priority to be honest). Alas Carey Mulligan makes it all worthwhile. A special experience that I wish I could see in person.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Wonderful, but it gets dark really fast.

I bought this because the sample made me laugh my ass off. I've actually gotten just as pissed off about people letting gaps open up in a line. So I thought this play was going to be a comedy. It is not a comedy. The sample is the funniest part of the play. This is a tragedy, with a fantastically hilarious opening act.

That being said, it is a great listen and the narration really brings it all together. Carey Mulligan is fantastic. If I lived in New York or London I would definitely go see this in person.

20 of 22 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

Absolutely riveting, hidden depths.

This was not what I was expecting in the slightest.... but in the best way. Seamless story arc-inventive-REAL. Absolutely a must listen-to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Pathetically unearned twist

This would have been a decent hour-and-a-bit listen had it remained throughtout the tepid relationship dramedy that it started out as. But the vague and inept gesturing at feminist themes, with a level of insight that does not rise above that of a primetime abc drama, does not come close to justifying the inflated sense of its own importance of this story’s ending.

Mulligan is a fine performer deserving of better material.

4 of 4 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

My first Audible...and just fantastic!

This is my first Audible ever, and I found this story pulling me in right away. Carey Mulligan gives an amazing performance and does a truly fantastic job with this monologue. You can truly sense and feel all of the emotions in her voice throughout the story. I will warn that the story is quite dark, so if you're not a fan of stories that tend to get dark, you may want to pass on this one...but I could not stop listening to it once I started. While this does have a dark story line, I do think it is coming from a place of reality. These kinds of things do tragically happen in real life and this story does a compelling job of allowing you as the listener to experience everything from one persons perspective through the entirety. I highly recommend!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal Acting but......

tragic. It starts out wonderfully funny, charming and clever. The actress’s accent is immensely engaging & her acting is very believable yet the story is dark. If you purchase it I highly recommend listening to the author’s interview at the end AFTERWARDS (spoiler alert).

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. R. A. Booth
  • 06-29-18

My biggest regret...

Is not seeing Girls & Boys when it was on at the Royal Court . My loss.
Please listen to the audioplay. Just sit and listen.
Carey Mulligan, I salute you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo Thomas.
  • 07-11-18

amazing

This play gripped me from the very beginning.
Carey is perfect and so very real. Heartbraking and funny in places but so so heartbraking.
Well done all involved. Brilliant work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ruairi
  • 07-07-18

superbly written, very beautiful

didn't really know what expect but I certainly didn't think I'd be blubbering after just a 2 hour audiobook. it puts forward some difficult questions and topics and doesn't try and spoon feed you answers. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a short thought-provoking listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • carmen
  • 07-13-18

Shortest review ever

YOU. HAVE. TO BUY. THIS. BOOK.


I have a minimum of 15 words to write this review but there is nothing else more to say. Buy this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • QUirkyjay
  • 09-06-18

Short but powerful

I wouldn't normally buy a title this short for a whole credit but having read the reviews, decided it had to be worth it. I wasn't disappointed. Carey Mulligan is astonishingly good and I was gripped from start to finish.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janebombane
  • 08-24-18

Outstanding

Gripping from start to finish - a truly compelling performance from Carey Mulligan.
So glad that I got the opportunity to hear this after missing it at the theatre.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Luce Briggi
  • 08-21-18

Recommended if you enjoy being punched in the gut

★★★★✰ 4 stars

Carey Mulligan's performance is exceptional. The play itself begins with perhaps one of the funniest scenes and ends with a gut-wrenching tragedy. The audiobook is very short and I can't recommend it enough.
Smart, sharp and very sad. Definitely worth a listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Vish Vishvanath
  • 08-19-18

Missed it at the Royal Court

Delighted to get this after not being to get tickets at the Royal Court. Devastating and hilarious.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frances Easton
  • 08-06-18

WOW

Buying this audiobook will be one of the best things you do this year! Trust me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • suzie
  • 06-28-18

Stunning performance

What a stunning performance, what a stunning one-'man' show and what a story by Dennis Kelly. I am astonished how talented Carey Mulligan is. Never lets me down. For a start her accent...its not the usual CM one...at least not one of the characters. She switches effortlessly. Then the story....it is just harrowing, scary and very real and she does incredible justice to it. Her voice is ever changing in this and as the other characters are not REALLY there, she manages to make me believe that they are. Only negative...too short. I wish I saw it on stage. Must have been a mentally, emotionally and physically hard play to carry all on her own, but if anyone I would watch/listen that long for is Carey Mulligan.