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Normal People Hardcover – 16 April 2019

4.0 out of 5 stars 2,397 ratings

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Review

"[Rooney] has invented a sensibility entirely of her own: sunny and sharp, free of artifice but overflowing with wisdom and intensity. . . . The novel touches on class, politics, and power dynamics and brims with the sparky, witty conversation that Rooney's fans will recognize."--Vogue

"A future classic."--The Guardian

"Rooney is a tough girl; her papercut-sharp sensibility is much more akin to writers like Rachel Kushner, Mary Gaitskill, and the pre-Manhattan Beach Jennifer Egan. . . . Normal People is a nuanced and flinty love story about two young people who 'get' each other, despite class differences and the interference of their own vigorous personal demons. But honestly, Sally Rooney could write a novel about bath mats and I'd still read it. She's that good and that singular a writer."--Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

"[Rooney] has written two fresh and accessible novels. . . . There is so much to say about Rooney's fiction--in my experience, when people who've read her meet they tend to peel off into corners to talk."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"[Rooney's] two carefully observed and gentle comedies of manners . . . are tender portraits of Irish college students. . . . Remarkably precise--she captures meticulously the way a generation raised on social data thinks and talks."--New York Review of Books

"Normal People tackles millennial concerns with nineteenth-century wit . . . the millennial generation would no doubt be happy to accept her as its spokesperson were she so inclined."--Elle

"I'm transfixed by the way Rooney works, and I'm hardly the only one . . . like any confident couturier, she's slicing the free flow of words into the perfect shape. . . . She writes about tricky commonplace things (text messages, sex) with a familiarity no one else has."--The Paris Review

"Funny and intellectually agile . . . [combines] deft social observation--especially of shifts of power between individuals and groups--with acute feeling . . . [Rooney is] a master of the kind of millennial deadpan that appears to skewer a whole life and personality in a sentence or two."--Harper's Magazine

"Beautifully observed . . . crackles with vivid insight into what it means to be young and in love today."--Esquire

"I went into a tunnel with this book and didn't want to come out. Absolutely engrossing and surprisingly heart-breaking with more depth, subtlety, and insight than any one novel deserves. Young love is a subject of much scorn, but Rooney understands the cataclysmic effects our youth has on the people we become. She has restored not only love's dignity, but also its significance."--Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter

"Masterfully done. The quality of Rooney's writing, particularly in the psychologically wrought sex scenes, cannot be understated as she brilliantly provides a window into her protagonists' true selves."--BookPage (starred review)

About the Author

Sally Rooney was born in the west of Ireland in 1991. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta and The London Review of Books. Winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, she is the author of Conversations with Friends. In 2019, she was named to the inaugural Time 100 Next list.

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Reviewed in Australia on 8 April 2019
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Reviewed in Australia on 21 April 2019
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Top international reviews

Lola
1.0 out of 5 stars The most annoying book I've read this year.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 November 2018
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Kate M
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 October 2018
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Anna
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my thing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 December 2018
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Uke256
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible emotional impact
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 9 January 2019
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sue gee
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't warrent all the hype
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 October 2018
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tedius teenage angst
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 November 2018
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C.Campbell
1.0 out of 5 stars A real let-down
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 October 2018
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P. G. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely painful but simply wonderful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 January 2019
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Keith D. Stoddart
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is the literary equivalent of jumping up and down on Lego in your bare feet for 5 hours.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 July 2019
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Daveyvegas
3.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to enjoy this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 October 2018
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S DRYSDALE
1.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 December 2018
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M. Ellis
3.0 out of 5 stars Uneven
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 September 2018
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J. Baldwin
1.0 out of 5 stars Unappealing characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 January 2019
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J. Skeet
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and annoying.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2019
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Boone
1.0 out of 5 stars Thirteen bucks that could have been flung out the window
Reviewed in the United States on 22 April 2019
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