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Exciting Times: 'Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut' Hilary Mantel

Naoise Dolan

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

* A Stylist 'Best new book for 2020' *

Naoise Dolan explodes onto the scene with EXCITING TIMES, a slyly humorous and scorchingly smart modern love story about three cynics in Hong Kong

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 lawyer. Refreshingly enthusiastic and unapologetically earnest, Edith takes Ava to the theatre when Julian leaves Hong Kong for work. Quickly, she becomes something Ava looks forward to.

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.

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Praise for Exciting Times: 'Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut' Hilary Mantel

  • Among the most hotly tipped debut authors for 2020 - The Bookseller

  • Read if you like Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth, Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Sunday Times Style

  • This debut from Dolan explores a love affair between an English teacher and a banker in Hong Kong and the lawyer who blows the whole thing sky-high. Definitely one to watch. - Stylist, 'Best new books for 2020'

  • Devastatingly perceptive and articulate in every sentence. Whenever I wasn't reading it I was worrying about the characters as if they were people I knew. It's a joy to encounter a book so compulsively readable and painfully funny while simultaneously deeply insightful on love, on sexuality, on social class, on their links as terribly inextricable in the 21st century as they ever were. Dolan is a major talent and this is a formidable debut

  • I have been obsessed with this debut novel from Naoise Dolan for the last few weeks. A hugely addictive voice and a compelling story. Brilliantly funny, surgically sharp, furiously political. Expect to hear lots about Exciting Times next year

  • This is icily brilliant stuff. A poised and surgical examination of class, sex, language and self-making, with some flat-out enviable jokes

  • Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut

  • Fiercely intelligent, brutally funny and written with such heart, Exciting Times announces an impressive new voice in literature.

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