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Publisher's Summary

In this sweeping and powerful epic the journey begins in the "terrible beauty" of Northern Ireland during a time when conflict reigns and no one is spared from tragedy and sorrow, the time known as The Troubles.

It is the spring of 1968 in Belfast and James Kirkpatrick has just lost his father under suspicious circumstances, Casey Riordan is released from prison after five years and Pamela O'Flaherty has crossed an ocean and a lifetime of memories to find the man she fell in love with as a little girl. All three lives are on a collision course with each other against the backdrop of the burgeoning civil rights movement and a nation on the brink of revolution.

They come from disparate backgrounds - Jamie a wealthy aristocrat whose life is like an imperfect but multi-faceted jewel-brilliant, flawed and with a glitter that is designed to distract the observer. Casey, a card-carrying member of the Irish Republican Army, who must face the fact that five years away has left him a stranger, a misfit in his own neighborhood where not everyone is sympathetic to a convicted rebel. Pamela, who has come to Ireland in search of a memory and a man who may not have existed in the first place.

Through it all runs the ribbon of a love story: love of country, the beginning love of two people unable to resist the pull of each other regardless of the cost to themselves and those around them, and the selfless love of one man who no longer believes himself capable of such emotion.

It is an electrifying tale of a people divided by religion and politics, a tale of love and danger, of triumph and tragedy. Ultimately it is the story of that "terrible beauty" herself - Ireland - and how nation is bound to one's identity, woven into the weft of all we become.

©2001, 2012 Cindy Brandner (P)2017 Cindy Brandner

What listeners say about Exit Unicorns

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Loved it

This is the first book that has had me gripped since reading the Outlander series.

6 people found this helpful

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At long last!

Love the series and was anxiously awaiting the audible version so that I could have this intriguing and beautifully descriptive novel read to me by someone with a lovely Irish accent! Home run - the narrator is just perfect and I’m thrilled so far. May update after I’ve listened to the entire thing, but I’m sure it will only be to heap further praise upon both the author and her excellent choice of narrator!

5 people found this helpful

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Brilliant choice of a narrator

What made the experience of listening to Exit Unicorns the most enjoyable?

Gary Furlong, as the narrator made the listening experience incredible. I loved his voice and he was absolutely brilliant in his reading of the book. He literally made the characters jump out at you with the voices he put to them. The narrator can either make or ruin the books you listen to. I've had several good story's ruined, just by the narrator that was chosen for that particular book. Not so in this case!

What did you like best about this story?

I love that this story was based on true historical events in Ireland, in the not so distant past. Though the characters are supposed to be fictional, they could have actually been real. I enjoy the way Cindy Brandner writes her stories, you feel everything from heartache to passion and everything in between. For me, reading / listening to the book, took me directly to Ireland and placed me in the midst of the story.

Which character – as performed by Gary Furlong – was your favorite?

My favorite character performed by Gary, had to be hands down....Casey! Though I love Jamie, Pamela & Pat, just as equally. The voice he gave Casey, was exactly how I would have expected it to be from when I first read the book several years ago.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

To pick only one or two moments in the book that moved or captivated me is almost impossible. From start to finish, it gripped my heart strings and never let go.

Any additional comments?

Being a huge Outlander fan, I had a hard time finding books that really touched me deep within after reading the series. I accidentally stumbled across The Exit Unicorn Series, and was hooked from the very first book. Cindy is an exceptional and heartfelt writer, she is in the same league as Diana Gabaldon, as far as I'm concerned.
Using Gary Furlong, as the narrator was simply genius! I loved reading the book series, but listening to him read, was such a marvelous experience, it made me love the book that much more. I cannot wait for Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears to come out.

3 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected

Trolling the Audible site and searching “romantic comedy”, I came upon this curious title. The result pulled this up and since it was “free” included without spending a credit, I clicked. Well to my surprise, it was the opposite of a comedy. This story was dark and brooding like its characters.

Finding that I am like that at times, I stuck with it. Though a fictional story, I was thrust into the world of Ireland. Catholics v Protestants ...strife, prejudice, injustice and violence of its history, not unlike what we are going through now in the U.S. with BLM.
But the voice of the narrator’s lovely lilt egged me on to keep listening. I was hooked but the underlying violence turned me off at times. However there were many glimpses of tenderness and often quoted Irish poets of long ago.
I did keep on nonetheless but it was not the “cozy, happy story” I was searching for, this story was quite on the heavy side. Oh, well. It was a good listen at any rate.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration needs ... something

I have read this book before, and I love it. Cindy Brandner really brings these characters to life, and I have enjoyed reading them.

This narrator, however, leaves much to be desired. His narration is flat, almost lifeless. He reads with a strange cadence that has very little to do with punctuation, and I find myself having to go back and read portions of what he has just said so that I can make sense of it. He seems to put emphasis on the wrong words, which changes the whole meaning of the sentence. And because I often have to read along in order to make sense of the storyline, I discovered that he often changes words, or leaves words out, of even adds words which are not actually there. In one place, he changed the word from “barricade” to “brigade” and it changed the whole meaning of the sentence! Even my husband commented on his flat accent and lack of interesting inflection, when he was just passing through the room where I sat listening. He does manage to get an accent in every once in a while, but in my opinion, it is a pretty poor imitation. I’d love to hear a better attempt then this!

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Fractured story with no character depth

I managed to finish it, but I regret the waste of my time. The characters had no depth, and the plot jumped around so much I couldn't keep track. The narrator's tone and cadence were monotonous and repetitive. He lulled me to sleep quickly, which contributed to my confusion about where the story was going.

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Poetic and beautiful…

No words. Just incredible. I loved everything. Every single word. I have been obsessed since page 1.

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I loved this book! Fantastic narration!

I listened to this because one reviewer said nothing had hooked her like this since Outlander. I was not disappointed. But a word of caution to some; it's very poetic, some might even say flowery. So if you can't listen to That Furlong's smooth Irish lilt wax poetic much of the story, this may not be for you.

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Audible! Release the entire series please!

A friend told me about this series, and boy am I glad she did.
I was hooked from the first chapter.
With the exception of the novella, I have listened to all the books in this siri’s available through Audible.
Audible, please give us the rest of the series, soon!
After hearing him with an American accent, I am even more impressed by Gary furlongs narration than previously.
He has gone from a narrator that I really like, to one of my faves. Can’t wait to hear more!

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Pure poetry

Being of Irish heritage, I was eager to learn more about “the Troubles” and the reasons and people behind the events. Boy did I learn a lot. The characters are so well written, fully fleshed out with flaws as well as admirable motivation, that one comes to know them as whole humans. Can’t wait to read further volumes.

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  • Susie
  • 11-30-17

The best book series ever!

Everything was fantastic. I love this series. The narrator brings the story to life. A must read/ listern to those who love historical fiction. Gripping all the way throughout.

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