• The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (218 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? 

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and, over his three score years and 10, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more. 

In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit. 

©2017 John Boyne (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Heart's Invisible Furies

Average Customer Ratings
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Gripping story, but too much aganizing

I should agree with so many reviews before mine, that the book captures an epic story with shrewd humor and acute understanding of the difficulty of being gay in Ireland and in general in die 1950s and onwards. I must also state that the narrator’s performance was superb.
However, despite the entertaining writing style and gripping story, I found the agonizing of an oversexed teenager, and countless tales of sexual encounters tedious and drawn out. If the tale of mother and son’s separation did not grip me I would not have soldiered on through the book to find out how it finally gets resolved. Many anecdotes have seemed superfluous to me; perhaps included to create context, ad nauseam so.
In conclusion, I will not recommend this book across board.

3 people found this helpful

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An intriguing story of human resilience

The author, John Boyne, wrote this intriguing story with a good deal of Irish humour, and a touch of class which I believe is achievable only when someone writes from their personal experience! I wont give a synopsis of the story itself - there are plenty to choose from. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book despite being a little sceptical about the subject matter to start. The author has developed deep characters which resonate well with the story, and he provides some dark satire on some of Ireland and humanities worst characteristics across a spectrum of history, and also provides an inspirational story of resilience and ultimately long awaited happiness. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and will certainly listen/read more from this author. The performance was outstanding and the characters were well defined with brilliant accents and good timing on the humour too! #IrishHumour #Multigenerational #Witty #Funny #SelfDiscovery #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

2 people found this helpful

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My favourite 2017 so far

Wonderful story spanning over a life time - a sorry time for Ireland, a story told with love and wit and read in a way that matches the content.

2 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended

An achingly beautiful book. What a story and what sadness and joy. It was read with such compassion and care. John Boyne is a master and never disappoints his reader.

2 people found this helpful

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long saga with unbelievable characters

struggled to finish, there was huge life events to move the story along , death betrayal murder, the characters were also unrelatable, it was All too unbelievable, didn't like it

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A journey

Loved this book. A picture of Ireland and the angst of being gay in a dishonest time.

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loudness

played very softly. couldn't get volume high enough. but performance was great and the story perfect

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Fantastic!!

Beautiful, provocative and poignant story. Narration is wonderful and genuine. A multi-layered and complex story told in such an honest and compelling way.

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Toni of South Africa

A beautifully written book , well paced and well spaced. John Boyne writes honestly as he examines the bigotry and dumb lack of knowledge (then and even today ) about the tough place homosexuals/ gay people find themselves navigating .
He holds our attention by using a raft of emotions from humor , disbelief ,loathing ,to sweet kindness and eventual support and tears . He doesn’t disappoint in this book

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Magnificent Storytelling

beautifully executed tragic happy tale of a family drama intertwined with Irish morals , values and social issues of the 20th century.
some of the accents were not great in the narration, but overall a wonderfully structured novel

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  • Kerri
  • 02-19-17

Phenomenal

I don't usually read (or listen to) anything that is described as a sweeping saga but after hearing an interview with John Boyne on the radio and hearing the first paragraph read out, I felt compelled to buy it.
I've devoured this book in less than 3 days. I loved every minute of it and now feel bereft that it is over.
The backdrop feels genuine, the characters are perfectly realised and the story is heartbreaking.
There were so many places where lives could have been so different but for the hands of fate, the church, society, bigotry, fear and plain luck.
I wept listening to the epilogue. Genuine tears rolling down my nose with sadness and joy.
I cannot recommend this highly enough. Please read/listen and be moved.

147 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah cat lady
  • 03-10-17

Exceptional

If there is such a thing as a perfect novel, then this is surely it. The story is beautiful, moving, perfectly written with not one word out of place. It's laugh out loud funny (shocking the other people in the coffee shop ) and a tear jerker as well. Highly, highly recommended, and I'm envious of anyone who hasn't yet read it, just so it's new for them.

56 people found this helpful

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  • Andri
  • 04-28-17

Mesmerising

I laughed out loud, cried out loud and experienced all human emotions on the human spectrum during the passage of the lives of the characters in this book. I loved the tease of coincidence. Narration was so good I could see, hear and feel the different characters better than if I'd read it myself. Definitely worth a read.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 05-02-17

Oh wow

I listen to a lot of books.... having hit a brick wall and getting some absolutely abysmal ones I was getting irritated and picked this at random. I am so glad I did. This was amazingly written and amazingly read. Although annoying not to come to conclusion as a story naturally would throughout, the skipping story kept me guessing . Even though you can pretty much work it out if you think about it, it didn't detract from the story and I am sad it's finished.
Cyril was so likeable I just wanted to give him a massive hug. I wanted someone to just love him and look after him 💜 - great story

61 people found this helpful

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  • Elston
  • 05-04-17

Amazing,moving brilliant story!! 5 star

I listen to one / two books a month and have done for years.
This book is one of the best I've ever listened to.
I cried when it ended.
A rich book of layers that is hard to stop listening too!
Going to listen to it again and again.
5 stars!!

26 people found this helpful

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  • European Reader
  • 02-23-17

Incredible

Simply incredible - a beautiful story which I return to time and time again. Five stars

17 people found this helpful

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  • nikki j
  • 05-04-17

Simply one of the best

I can't urge you to listen to this book enough. It's beautifully written and read, funny, sad, intelligent.....I can't praise it enough.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Christina
  • 03-08-17

WONDERFUL STORY, WONDERFUL NARRATOR,

I loved everything about this book; it is a great acheivement. The narrator was extraordinarily good; he had a great range of voices, all of which suited each character. I was drawn to the flawed central character, and each of the others. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded in an unusual chronology and felt bereft when the experience came to an end. One of the best books I have listened to...and I've listened to 300+.

34 people found this helpful

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  • a mitchell
  • 06-23-20

I don't get the hype

I actually got so bored listening to this half way through I simply don't understand the rave reviews.

The story just churns through various different stories about the tellers sex life. The thought of 9 more hours of this does absolutely nothing for me.

On the plus side, the narrator was excellent and I only listened as long as I did because he was so engaging.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Little White Elephant
  • 05-27-17

Just excellent.

Gave this story a go on a whim. So glad I did, such a beautiful, funny, heartbreaking listen. Gutted that it came to an end. The narrator was brilliant too, really brought the characters to life. Will definitely be listening to this again. Would highly recommend.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Kerrie
  • 03-30-18

Narration superb

The talent of Stephen Hogan is unsurpassed. The way he can seamlessly transition from one character to another and speak with such sublime expression meant that I enjoyed this audio book more than any other I have listened to.
The story is both heartbreaking and hilarious. I laughed and cried - there are not many books that I’ve read that have elicited such an emotional response in me. Highly recommended reading.

5 people found this helpful

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  • LONNA
  • 06-24-21

Overall very, very good book.

Every time you thought you knew when and where things were headed, there was always just a little curve ball which kept you there, in the story.

Lovely but troubled story about a not so nice time. Provoked a number of emotions, however lovely bits of well placed humour helped and a number of times I actually laughed out loud.

Looking for another like this!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chris G
  • 05-10-21

It's a big thumbs up from me.

I bloody loved this book - both the story and the reading of it. I will never forget it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-22-21

Loved my first Audible

Loved this book Narrator was brilliant given it's an Irish story. Fitted perfectly. This was my first audio book and I thoroughly enjoyed this funny but oh so sad story

2 people found this helpful

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  • christine
  • 04-05-17

John Boyne's best yet

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I love John Boyne and the audio rendition of this novel had me in fits of laughter and grief stricken by equal measure.

What other book might you compare The Heart's Invisible Furies to, and why?

There are similarities in this book to "the Absolutionist", which I found equally enthralling.

Any additional comments?

The characterisation is superb!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Emma
  • 06-21-22

Absolutely

I've discovered John Boyne via The Echo Chamber and have been working my way through his back catalogue. I approached this one with trepidation due to its length but I loved it from the outset - I could have easily spent another 20 hours with these characters!

Boyne writes with humour and humanity. Although this story is filled with tragedy it is written without darkness and left me filling uplifted and hopeful.

My favourite book of this year so far. 100% would recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nazanin A.
  • 06-18-22

Great story

I don’t usually like fiction but this story and the narration was very entertaining. I didn’t want it to end

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-22

Brilliant read

Loved it! Fantastic story telling, heartbreaking yet witty. Would definitely recommend- best read yet!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gloops
  • 06-01-22

wonderful!

I read a recommendation for this book on Facebook, for which I'm very grateful.
A delightful book...
Unique, engaging and poignant story telling.

1 person found this helpful

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  • N
  • 05-20-22

Loved this!

Loved everything about this book. The story is wonderful and the narration is perfect. Would highly recommend

1 person found this helpful