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Publisher's Summary

Compelling new novel of stigma and secrecy from Sunday Times best seller.

It is 1987, and a small Irish community is preparing for the wedding of two of its young inhabitants. They're barely adults, not so long out of school and still part of the same set of friends they've grown up with. As the friends head home from the beach that last night before the wedding, there is a car accident. Three survive the crash, but three are killed. And the reverberations are felt throughout the small town.

Connor, the young driver of the car, lives. But staying among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as living with the shame and so he leaves the only place he knows for another life.

Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, by the noughties he has made a home - of sorts - for himself in New York.  

The city provides shelter and possibility for the displaced, somewhere Connor can forget his past and forge a new life.

But the secrets, the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind will not be silenced. And before long, Connor will have to meet his past.

©2020 Graham Norton (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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What listeners say about Home Stretch

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Wonderful book

I really enjoyed Graham Norton’s novels before this one, but this exceeded even those. It’s a beautiful portrayal of families, Ireland, loneliness and belonging, none of which is overdone or melodramatic. Norton is an excellent narrator, and the characters were flawed but relatable, navigating a realistic story throughout generations of change. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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I’m 57 and a Aussie and loved the story

I’m 57 and a Aussie and loved the story
Good story to get lost in and relaxed

1 person found this helpful

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Great escape and fab to hear Graham’s narration!

Really enjoyed this bit of escapism to Ireland and nyc. A good story, well told.

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Family drama/coming of age story, uneven in parts

It was kind of fun to hear Graham Norton read his own novel. The story was quite entertaining from a character point of view, but the plot twists were so glaringly obvious and some of the descriptive passages really could have used a bit more tough love from an editor. still, it helped pass the time on long car rides.

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A most enjoyable read, although it made me angry..

I felt so sad for all the lost years that the family suffered, just because one person felt it was their right to hide the truth, at whatever cost. I couldng stop reading the book, so engrossed was I, and of course the cherry on top was Graham Norton's narration. He was excellent in all the parts.
I highly recommend this book.

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Predictably lovely

Wonderfully read by Graham Norton, it’s like listening to an old friend recount a tale. Slightly predictable in parts, but thoroughly enjoyable

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Amazing listen and wonderful story

Loved this so much I listened to it in one sitting! Graham Norton narrates it perfectly, I absolutely loved the story I was hooked throughout and there were surprises along the way. Highly recommend !!!

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Stunning!

Oh how I cried! A tragic yet moving story that keeps you wanting. Bravo Graham, Bravo!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-14-20

Exceptional

Graham Norton is an enviably talented author and a hugely skilled narrator. Each book is better than the last.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs kelly
  • 10-02-20

Very enjoyable read it in a day

Very enjoyable read. Moves through the years nicely and Graham reads it beautifully. I was holding for some justice at the end but it was more true to life that life goes on even when one's are lost tragically.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-09-20

Negative portrayal of women

I’m no feminist but there isn’t a decent portrayal of any woman n this book. Most of the women are depicted as a bit silly snd certainly not very smart , intelligent or admirable. Perhaps it’s to do with Graham Norton s narration but ’m Irish and of that era and I don’t recognize these characters as being typical . Generally love Graham Norton on TV though.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Lulu
  • 10-14-20

The Best

I absolutely love Graham’s books.
He is such a natural author and his narration is excellent
Sorry to have finished this.
Would highly recommend

14 people found this helpful

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  • Colin McIntosh
  • 10-02-20

Best yet

Although some of the story is predictable it’s the best of the 3 yet and really holds your interest and attention. Looking forward to book number 4!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Pam Wright/ Alfie Blue Puss In Books
  • 10-03-20

Yet another smash

Third of the Graham Norton books I’ve read think this might be my favourite...a little predictable but still smashing

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-20

Great Storytelling

thoroughly enjoyable,
Graham was great to listen to.
a good twist. I loved it. Enjoy!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Marion Layton
  • 10-04-20

Graham Norton -fab!

Loved every chapter and Graham narrating made the whole story come to life - finished over two days could not put down - highly recommend

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-27-20

Brilliant

I loved the book even though it is not my usual listening material
Made so much more pleasurable as it was read by Graham Norton himself - his Irish accents for the various characters was excellent & made me chuckle at times - when if his next book due ?

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 01-09-21

Home run


What a talent Mr Norton is, he has written a great book, with twists and turns not screeching l’y oh my gosh moments but rather like driving a nice old sports car on a meandering country road.
Mr Norton always sets his books in Ireland.Probably due to the fact they there is always so much traditional ways of life that just don’t exist else where? Then added the stoic Catholicism that was in ground to its people and you have the set, scenes and characters to write a great book.
As for narration Graham Norton goes down with David Williams and Stephen as having one of those voices that allows you to not only conjure up an image in your minds eye but makes a complete film in your memory banks.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-18-20

Love you Graham

You are brilliant Graham . Love your show and love your books. What a great ending🤩😍🤩

2 people found this helpful

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  • Louise
  • 10-12-20

Outstanding.

Graham Norton is beloved as a TV presenter but, having now read all his books, I think it is fair to say he should be first and foremost commended as an author. This book is an intricate mix of drama, tragedy, comedy and also offers an insightful commentary on the politics and attitudes about sexuality over generations. The book itself is intelligently constructed with the tale being told from multiple perspectives over different time periods, working back in a way which could be confusing but isn’t.

A master storyteller, Norton narrates this book himself and what a treat it is to listen to. Every nuance is perfectly captured, every emotion is presented in a sincere and credible way.

I grew up in the 1980s and remember well the attitudes and behaviours towards gay people. I remember the terrible discrimination against people with AIDS. I think we still have a long way to go but this book celebrates the progress we have made while also reflecting on the price many people paid to get us here.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gillian H
  • 10-11-20

Great story and characters

Enjoyable tale, funny, sad and warm. Loved the great, real feeling characters. Could picture them all.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shalleycat
  • 01-17-22

Norton Knocks it out of the Park

A lovely, sensitivity told tale around a car crash which devastates a small community.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa Jones
  • 08-23-21

Brilliant

Such prowess with words and nuance. Loved every minute. Graham is perfect army narrating as well.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-13-21

Home stretch

Possibly semi- autobiographical, this book is witty, entertaining and unpretentious, much like its author. The story of ‘Connor’, a troubled young man and his journey through the changing societal norms of the 80’s and into present day. How far we’ve come in the acceptance of our fellow humans in all their forms.

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  • Katie too
  • 05-27-21

Absolutely loved it

I really enjoyed the story, and hearing it read by Graham himself , I can’t imagine it being done better. Can’t wait for the next book!

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  • Danielle Johnson
  • 05-25-21

Home Stretch

Was gripped by the story the entire time. Appreciated Grahams Irish accent and it made the story very authentic. Enjoyed it!

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  • dorothy
  • 04-19-21

I nearly didn’t read this book.

I nearly didn’t read this book. I don’t like gay books with graphic sexual scenes, and I don’t like books read by their own authors. But I am a sucker for an Irish accent, and the only graphic sex scene was an essential part of the book. So glad I persevered with it.

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  • Lisa Price
  • 02-13-21

Honestly Irish

So many emotions came with this book especially as an Irish person living abroad. Frustration and annoyance at how Ireland was and can still be so parochial and closed minded but stirred up a longing to go home and an understanding that Ireland will always be home. Wonderful story telling by Graham Norton and a story I thoroughly enjoyed.