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Publisher's Summary

“This debut novel about an Irish expat millennial teaching English and finding romance in Hong Kong is half Sally Rooney love triangle, half glitzy Crazy Rich Asians high living - and guaranteed to please.” (Vogue)

An anticipated book from:

  • Vogue
  • Elle
  • O, the Oprah Magazine
  • Esquire
  • Harper's Bazaar
  • Popsugar
  • Lithub

An intimate, bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyer.

Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children.

Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than "I like you a great deal".

Enter Edith. A Hong Kong-born lawyer, striking and ambitious, Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway. Ava wants to be her - and wants her. And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong.... Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?

Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life - and announces herself as a singular new voice. 

©2020 Naoise Dolan (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Exciting Times

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It was ok...

Having lived in hk most of my life as an expat this had a nostalgic appeal for me, and I can see why it has been compared to Normal People (Irish, slow moving, nothing much actually happens...) but I felt a bit let down by this book - it was perhaps a bit too slow. Also found the narrator a bit limited - she managed the two main female characters' accents well, but the rest were a bit hit and miss. Also her pronunciation of Cantonese words and HK places was off. Overall is was ok, not terrible, not brilliant.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

I loved the potrayed dimensions of the various characters and the complex relationships. I couldn't help getting drawned to the witty, humorous and obsessive thoughts and views of Ava (the protagonist).

On the other hand, I'm not sure if a male audience would enjoy it though.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not so exiting

Stereotypical "millennial" cast of shallow characters, bordering on sociopathic behavior. Sorry... it just wasn't for me. Just interesting enough to finish it if I sped up the narrative. Ms McMahon did a good job of narrating by using a "I really don't care that much" attitude.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • M
  • 08-04-20

Boring

Not a very interesting story. The way the narrator did the various characters was annoying and cringey.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Waste of Time

Wow, literally the most pointless book I have ever read. Nothing happens, it’s just flat the whole way through!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A lot of potential but unlikable main character

I think that the story and main character were boring and uneventful. I liked the writing style, and the concept of having the opposition of the left wing vs the right in dialogues. And the whole college brain vs the contradiction of the main character s behaviour. But being inside the head of the main character was a torture. Her being self aware of how boring she was doesn't spare the reader/listener from actually feeling bored of her and a little bit depressed. Maybe it was on purpose. Writing is an artform and art is not always made to make you fwel good. But it wasn't an enjoyable ride.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen

The writing was okay. It was witty, but too woke and the story didn’t go anywhere. I only listened until the end because of how awesome the narration was.

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

Dullest audible there ever was

Don't waste your time on this. The writing is mediocre. The narrator doesn't even bother to try and drolls on and on monotonously. Wasted too much time trying to get through this.

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

Colonially oppressed Olympics?

Acerbic anti-heroine who mirrors youthful insecurities in an intellectual but amusing way. The narrator is great with the variety of accents required.

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

A different take on modern life.

Audio book went quickly. Fascinating characters in an exotic locale. Enjoyed the reader's performance as well!