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Sweet Sorrow

Narrated by: Rory Kinnear
Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One life-changing summer, Charlie meets Fran...David Nicholls’s highly anticipated new novel, narrated by Rory Kinnear. 

In 1997, Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don't remember in the school photograph. His exams have not gone well. At home he is looking after his father, when surely it should be the other way round, and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread. 

Then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope. 

But if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must take on a challenge that could lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling. 

The price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare. Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a tragicomedy about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.

©2019 David Nicholls (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent narration made it even better!

I loved the story, but it was the skillful narration that made this book extra special. Without the nuance that the narrator brought for each character, some of it would have been lost on me (English is not my first language). Six stars.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-15-19

Absolutely hilarious

I downloaded this to listen to on a tediously long journey and was laughing SO much I really didn't mind being stuck on the M25. Rory Kinnear is a fantastic actor and brings a comic nuance to all the characters. It's simply brilliant. My 12 year old listened too and found it funny, although we were laughing for different reasons. For me, author has absolutely nailed my childhood. I cannot recommend this as a listening experience highly enough.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 07-20-19

Engrossing and real

I couldn't stop listening to this and devoured it in a few days. It is funny, sweet, sad and feels like a real story without contrivances of plot getting in the way. I really liked it.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-24-19

Simply superb.

I went last week to a launch of this book hosted by Bookish in Crickhowell. David Nicholls told his audience how he constructed this story and a little of his references. As it was a largely female audience (I was one of only three men), and as I hadn't read the book's cover notes, I asked David what turned out to be a naive question; Can you tell me what is in your book for the male reader? He was polite and gave an interesting and informative answer; now I have read the book I know what is in it for men and I cringe at the stupidity of my question. There is so much in it for men, so much for everyone.
The book is one of the most tender portrayals of a young man, growing up and experiencing difficulties whilst also encountering first love. I defy any reader to be unaffected by this story. Brilliant!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Violette Stoltz
  • 07-21-19

Just wonderful

Once again, the highly talented David Nicholls hits it out of the park. Warm, sincere & funny; narrated beautifully by Rory Kinnear. I will listen to this again & again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Avril Millar
  • 07-21-19

Breathtakingly good

Just astonishingly good. The narrator is a genius, creating such charming and believable voices for a cast of wonderful characters. Charlie’s consistently hesitant voice totally captures every nuance. Quite the most wonderful, touching, funny, poignant writing. Truly in awe that anyone can write like this.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • lovepoetry12
  • 07-14-19

nostalgic and so well written

So beautifully put together, I found it very difficult to stop listening. Very funny and moving too. I feel like I could start from the beginning and enjoy it again. The narration is also fantastic and I'm really pleased I listened on audible for this reason.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Jebbabeano
  • 07-23-19

something truly special

Once upon a time I believe I used to have something of a skill for a well turned phrase and the well considered delivery of an emotion or thought both verbal and written.. but as with pretty well everyone else it’s something I’ve lost a little if not almost all of as I’ve grown up. It’s really very sad.
What we have here however is an author of such rare ability that not only can he recall in fine detail the beauty of young love but can somehow despite his middle age deliver it in such a way that you’d swear he was diarising it right now.
For me this book was everything I know and everything I didn’t know about what I knew all at once. It took me back to the same time in my own life so realistically I could genuinely feel those emotions resurface (which is a little awkward for me as a middle aged man myself)

It was simple, honest and truly beautiful in every sense and I’m bereft now that it’s finished.

The narration was perfect too

Outstanding work sirs. Thank you

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-27-19

Nostalgic and poignant

I love this new novel from David Nicholls. Beautiful storytelling, as always, and so wonderfully evocative of teenage summer holidays.

Very relatable characters and some very funny and heartwarming moments too.

Just lovely!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • amanda J Rowe
  • 07-27-19

It may just not be my cup of tea

I persevered with this story, but I found the reader's voice boringly dull and it just was'nt at all what I had imagined, as can be with many prologues. Someone had reviewed saying they could'nt stop laughing.... It did'nt appeal to my sense of humour at all.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Clough
  • 07-19-19

Teen spirit

My first experience of David Nicholls - apart from the screen adaptations - and I really enjoyed it. He has a real knack for authentically conveying teenage angst, the trials of first love, and the experience of being in a theatre company. It often had me smiling or laughing in recognition. I also admired the way the book 'grows up' with its protagonist and ends with just the right feeling of affection and nostalgia. It's a life-affirming book but in the best sense, and rigorously unsentimental. And Rory Kinnear is exactly the right reader for this - a master of off-handedness and diffidence. It does help to have a really accomplished actor and this was the best reading I've heard since Michael Sheen tackled the new Philip Pullman

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • jackie b
  • 09-03-19

Brilliant

New and inventive take on a childhood love story. Rory Kinnear is at his best. Highly recommended

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  • Carole O'Sullivan
  • 09-01-19

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I loved it. Made me laugh and even cry.
Rory Kinnear brought it to magical life.