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Publisher's Summary

An unforgettable coming-of-age novel that becomes a profound mediation on life, death, and lifelong friendship.

Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life.

In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films, and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush toward the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicenter of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.

Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news - news that forces the lifelong friends to confront their own mortality head-on. What follows is an incredibly moving examination of the responsibilities and obligations we have to those we love. Mayflies is at once a finely tuned drama about the delicacy and impermanence of human connection and an urgent inquiry into some of the most important questions of all: Who are we? What do we owe to our friends? And what does it mean to love another person amid tragedy?

©2021 Andrew O'Hagan (P)2021 Penguin Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

"A beautiful ode to lost youth and male friendship written by one of our sharpest observers of modern masculinity." (Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain)

"Mayflies is one of those novels to press into the hands of friends. Beautifully written - wise, funny, poetic, alert to time, place and the ordinary human.... I adored this book." (Carol Ann Duffy)

"...tender, heartfelt." (The New York Times, New & Noteworthy) 

What listeners say about Mayflies

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Narrator Accent

I tried starting over several times. I just couldn’t understand the narrator / author. He has an interesting accent and I am sure it is authentic but it was truly like I was listening to a book read in a foreign language. This is the risk you take when using Audiobooks. Be sure to check first

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I will return to this.

I was really taken by this beautiful novel. I see myself returning to this book in the future for another listen.

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Could not finish

How do I return? I tried multiple times to continue but I had a hard time with accent and the story line was juvenile.

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