Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People

Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years.Sally Rooney's second novel is a deeply political novel, just as it's also a novel about love. It's about how difficult it is to speak to wh...

Details Normal People

TitleNormal People
Release DateAug 28th, 2018
PublisherFaber & Faber
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Cultural, Ireland

Reviews Normal People

  • Emily May
    No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not. This is going to be a polarizing book. I mean, I think I liked it. And I say "liked it" in the sense that it made me very miserable. It is a quiet character study, almost a YA novel but not quite, and it is a profoundly lonely and depressing lov...
  • Marchpane
    Sally Rooney is the real dealNormal People has been lavished with praise from critics, longlisted for the Man Booker prize and is apparently being adapted for television by the BBC. And it only came out last week! All that attention will no doubt attract quite a few readers who would not ordinarily touch this subject matter with a barge pole. Because this book:A) Is about young peopleB) Is a love story (but not a 'romance')C) Contains a fair bit ...
  • Portal in the Pages
    Goddamit Sally Rooney and now I'm crying.
  • Dem
    Man booker prize long list nominee and Costa book awards nominee This is a book that has many admirers and sadly it didn't work for me and while I would love to agree with all the judges on this one I only struggled to the end because it was a bookclub read. It is difficult to go against the grain on a book that is nominated for so many awards. So as always you need to judge for yourself because books fit people differently Quite simply this bo...
  • Trudie
    I am not sure how to write this review because I seem to be so far beyond the pale on my antipathy to this book. In simplest terms I didn't connect with this work at all and I would be best to chalk this up to a "reader/writer" mismatch and move on but I will try and articulate some of my reading experience.Some of my perplexity with Normal People is that I just couldn't relate to the twenty something, highly educated, politically aware and cynic...
  • Larry H
    3.5 stars.Sally Rooney's upcoming novel Normal People almost felt like a puzzle, in that you didn't really know what you were truly getting until all of the pieces came together. Beautifully written although a little slow in its pacing, it's a novel full of deep emotions, which made it difficult to read at times.Connell and Marianne know each other from high school, although they pretend not to, plus his mother works as a cleaner for her family...
  • Peter Boyle
    I wanted to like this book more than I did. How thrilling that the author hailed as "Salinger for the Snapchat generation" is Irish, and from my own province of Connacht at that. There are moments in this novel that would certainly back up such a bold claim. But I believe that she is a writer still honing her craft. Not quite the finished article just yet, but with all the potential to become a literary heavyweight.In the beginning we meet Connel...
  • Britta Böhler
    I have to admit I wasn't taken with Rooney's debut Conversations with Friends but I tried to read her second book with an open mind. The writing was good and some of the themes were interesting but I was rather bored by the selfabsorbed, cliché-characters: women who just want to 'get the man' and who always question their self-worth after a break-up, and men who are behaving as if they come straight out of a 'boys-will-be-boys'-movie. So 1950ies...
  • Sam Quixote
    Oooof. Alright - a disclaimer before I start. Normal People by Sally Rooney is superb. I’m gonna gush about this one (warning to those in the splash zone!) and I honestly feel that the less you know about it, the better the experience will be for you. So, to those of you who’re thinking of reading it, don’t bother with any reviews about the book - just read it. It’s a contemporary story about a boy and a girl who fall in love. That’s al...
  • Gumble's Yard
    Now - longlisted for the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize to add to the Women's Prize and the Dylan Thomas prize.Longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker – and the only book published after the longlist was announced, and so the last I came to read (a month and 2 days after the announcement). While not shortlisted for that prize - the book is now (and not surprisingly) starting to sweep other awards: Irish Book of The Year - Best Novel. National Book Award...
  • Bernard O'Keeffe
    On the second page of Sally Rooney’s universally acclaimed, Booker- longlisted novel is the following paragraph:‘He puts his hands in his pockets and suppresses an irritable sigh, but suppresses it with an audible intake of breath, so that it still sounds like a sigh.’What?I get the hand in the pockets bit, but how the hell does the rest of it work? A sigh is an exhalation and I have no idea how any attempt to suppress a sigh by inhaling co...
  • Rachel
    Engrossing, complex, and emotionally honest, Normal People is an understated powerhouse of a novel. As this book ends up being so much more than the sum of its parts it's particularly difficult to summarize, but basically, it's a sort-of-love-story about Connell and Marianne, two young people growing up in small town Ireland together, who both move to Dublin for university in 2011.There isn't much going on in this book aside from Connell and Mari...
  • Hugh
    Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018This will probably be the last book I read from this year's longlist (unless Snap or Sabrina are shortlisted). I have been hearing great things about Sally Rooney since her name got a number of glowing recommendations in last year's end-of-year reviews, but I only got round to reading her first novel Conversations with Friends last week. I was impressed by that, so my expectations for this one were very hig...
  • Lucy Langford
    3.5***You learn nothing profound about yourself simply by being bullied; but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.This was a hard book to review as it is so outside my usual type of book. This book follows Marianne: intellectual, cold and a wallflower; and Connell: likable, lives in poverty and anxious how people see him. Both have secret family lives outside what their classmates can see; one in a household of love a...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    The night before the Man Booker Shortlist was announced, I was approved for the eARC of this title, so I stayed up late finishing it. Sadly it was not included in the shortlist, but if you like novels about relationships, this is excellent. It traces Marianne and Connell's friendship from childhood, and also tackles class difference and family violence. (I often find my favorite books from award lists are long but not shortlisted anyway.)Thanks t...
  • Cheri
    3.5 StarsIf I were to simply tell you what this story is about on the surface, it would end up sounding too commonplace to be of much interest. A story of a popular high school boy, Connell, whose mother cleans house for the mother of an awkward high school age girl, Marianne. A girl who is somewhat of social outcast at their high school. Aside from seeing him routinely outside of school when he picks his mother up at her house, the only other th...
  • Anna Luce
    ★★✰✰✰ 2 grungy starsIf you believe that characters who dislike themselves, shrug a lot and say "I don't know" 24/7 , are very deep and realistic, well this is the perfect read for you. Or if you enjoy reading about "in" authors...look no further. After all, Rooney is "defining a generation". Yikes! If you are thinking about reading this novel, I suggest you listen to the following song instead, since it will take you less time and you w...
  • Johann (jobis89)
    “Most people go through their whole lives, without ever really feeling that close with anyone.”Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland, but the similarities end there as they are from two very different worlds.I’ve seriously been putting off writing this review because I just don’t know what to say! I feel like I can’t put into words why I loved this book - I just did. As someone who went through very simila...
  • ❄️Nani❄️
    I feel so fucking claustrophobic and depressed right now. WHY WON’T PEOPLE JUST TALK? COMMUNICATE?
  • Lee
    Now somehow NOT shortlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize...Sally Rooney sold her first two books to Faber at the age of 25, and Normal People suggests the decision was a no-brainer. I can think only of Rachel Cusk (who Rooney resembles in imparting so much with such elegant concision) and Karl Ove Knausgaard as possessing Rooney’s ability to write such deceptively slight-seeming (but in fact – hyperbole alert – often Chekhovian) yet mesmerisin...
  • Paul Fulcher
    I don’t know what’s wrong with me, says Marianne. I don’t know why I can’t be like normal people.Normal People is a 21st century remake of Mork and Mindy, but with the genders of the main characters reversed, played out over four different series.Marianne plays the Mork character. She is an alien from the planet Entitled Marxist Millennial, bemused by the strange habits of the earth creatures she encounters at school.Marianne had the sens...
  • Barry Pierce
    In her first novel, ‘Conversations with Friends’, Sally Rooney introduced us all to her schtick – young Irish novels for young Irish people. Her debut followed a sort of ménage à quatre in which no character, and I literally mean no character, came out as loveable or bearable. It was like witnessing a car crash in slow motion. ‘Conversation with Friends’ also lacked a cohesive mood and prose style. The Guardian rightfully bashed Roone...
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Find all of my reviews at: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know why I can’t be like normal people.” Back in the times of B.C. (that’s “before children” for all of you not familiar) on the occasional Saturday I would venture out to a little place . . . . . Where super artsy fartsy films (generally with subtitles) were shown. Sticky floors, stale popcorn, crackling/backfeed-filled sp...
  • Rebecca
    (2.5) Conversations with Friends was one of last year’s sleeper hits and a surprise favorite of mine. I was part of the official shadow panel for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and was pleased to see Sally Rooney win the prize. So I jumped at the chance to read her follow-up novel, especially after it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It’s been earning high praise from critics and ordinary readers alike as being even b...
  • Sarah Jean
    I inhaled this book. It’s as cunning and perceptive as Conversations with Friends, yet more deeply interior and tender. I’m cemented as a Sally Rooney fan for life. I love the cast of normal people her exceptional mind creates.
  • Neil
    It was only recently that I got round to reading Rooney's first book (Conversations With Friends) and that was really only because I was waiting for this one to be published so that I could finish my reading of the 2018 Man Booker long list. I didn’t enjoy CWF, but then I started to see positive reviews of Normal People from other GR reviewers whose opinions I value and trust. So, I approached this one in a hopeful mood: I expected it to be bet...
  • Claire
    To be honest I don’t really know how to review this. I think this is probably the best book I will read this year. Rooney is the kind of writer who is not only exceptionally skilled at writing, but she’s also the kind of writer who really gets people. This novel, perfectly captures what it is to be young, anxious, confused, and imperfect. It’s much more than an exploration of relationships and their dynamics, it’s discussion of youthful d...
  • Ova - Excuse My Reading
    DNF at page 120..This started really promising, but turned into a big yawn.. So much talk it could have been easily titled "Conversation with Friends 2"Marianne and Connell were a bit interesting in their hometown, but in Dublin it's turned into a journal, a game of sleeping with different people and being so unsure about the situation between them? I really don't enjoy details like "destiny's child was playing.." or "she was wearing a black vest...
  • Alice Lippart
    Intense and fascinating, but also a bit frustrating.