Exciting Times


3.59 (4,305 ratings by Goodreads)
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'The book of the summer ... Kept me rapt until the final page' THE TIMES

'A sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it' David Nicholls, author of ONE DAY

'More than lives up to the hype ... Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers' lives' IRISH TIMES

'Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut' Hilary Mantel, author of WOLF HALL

'I've been pushing Exciting Times on everyone I know. Some of Dolan's pithy observations of her characters are the best I've read since Edward St Aubyn' OBSERVER

'A frankly sensational book' Pandora Sykes on THE HIGH LOW

'In the tradition of Dorothy Parker, Joan Rivers and Nora Ephron ... I found myself purring with pleasure. ...This is comic writing at the highest level' Craig Brown, DAILY MAIL

When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents' money, it's called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she's not sure what to call it, but it involves:

- a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children;
- Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room;
- Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks;
- money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections.

Exciting times ensue.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 138 x 218 x 30mm | 407g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1474613446
  • 9781474613446
  • 170

Review quote

Withering, stylish prose that is at times deceptively simple but always flush with caustic wit, I savoured every shrewd line. * Dazed * We loved Dolan's evisceration of Insta culture - SAVAGE. -- Cosmopolitan * Cosmopolitan * A sharp, witty debut. * Stylist * From the opening page, Ava's voice is electrifying and frequently very funny; Naoise Dolan's debut novel really is as good as everyone says it is. * Irish Times * Exciting Times is a joy from start to finish, and the perfect balm for these times-fresh, funny, sharp. Everyone should read it right now. A literary and hilarious tour de force. * Katherine Heiny, author of Standard Deviation * A love story about three expats in Hong Kong - teacher Ava, banker Julian, and the alluring Edith - and explores the nuances and uncertainties of modern love * Cosmopolitan, 'Best Books of 2020' * Constant, breezy fun * Telegraph * An effervescent snapshot of millennial, attachment-avoidant dating * Daily Mail * Half Sally Rooney love triangle, half glitzy Crazy Rich Asians high living - and guaranteed to please * Vogue, 'Books We Cant Wait to Read in 2020' * Dry, sharp, meticulously observed ... A frankly sensational book that's flawlessly executed * Pandora Sykes on The High Low * Echoes of Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends resound in this exacting debut novel * Oprah magazine * 2020 is set to be a huge year for Naoise Dolan * Irish Examiner * Meet the new Sally Rooney... That might sound like hyperbole but this tale brings fresh and on-point insights into modern love that'll make it a hit with lovers of Normal People * Stylist * Exciting Times, is more caustic and cynical than Rooney's writing, if just as clever ... All the fretting over love and class could be compared to Austen or Wharton, but her light treatment of bisexuality and polyamory is utterly 2020 * Guardian * Among the most hotly tipped debut authors for 2020 * The Bookseller * Finance, sex, cynicism and unspoken feelings are swirled together in a can labelled 'Hong Kong' in this modern love triangle * Irish Independent * 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' * Following the love triangle between three expats living in Hong Kong, Exciting Times dissects the financial and personal transactions that make up life * Platinum magazine * A modern love story that will live with you long after you've finished it -- Molly Aitken author of THE ISLAND CHILD We're really, um, excited about this sharp, smart debut * Red magazine * Dolan's debut lives up to the hype, a hypnotic tale -- Sarah Hughes * The i newspaper * So wry, witty and insightful Forensically brilliant - an elegant and painfully funny portrait of greed and hunger, love and indifference Brilliantly funny, surgically sharp, furiously political. Expect to hear lots about Exciting Times next year Read if you like Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth, Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath * Sunday Times Style * This is icily brilliant stuff. A poised and surgical examination of class, sex, language and self-making, with some flat-out enviable jokes Devastatingly perceptive and articulate. 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 A funny, smart and sensitive exploration of love, privilege and bisexuality that had me gripped from the first page. Dolan's sentences are like a splash of cold water to the face Hands down one of the most anticipated debuts of the year ... A piercingly provocative look at modern love and power games. * BookRiot * A sharp, funny account of a contemporary relationship, told tenderly and with biting, bright insight. Every page crackles ... Very funny ... Ultimately a very moving story, one that occupies a small sliver of time and space, but manages a lasting emotional tinnitus ... Naoise Dolan is not the new anyone. She's entirely herself, and that's plenty * Sunday Life, Irish Independent * A funny, smart, contemporary love story. Perfect for fans of Sally Rooney and Emma Jane Unsworth * Sunday Times Style * Lucky us ... Exciting Times will brighten lockdown ... Very funny ... Extremely sharp ... Insightful and raw * Observer * Dazzling ... So brilliantly executed ... Coming-of-age love is told in technicolour ... Banging lines follow banging lines. Your underlining pen destroys the pages ... With Exciting Times comes a rare and indeed exciting talent, a cacophony of our times, a treat for the socially distanced * Irish Independent * Exciting Times more than lives up to the hype ... Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers' lives. * Irish Times * A modern love story ... astute, sardonic and highly emotionally aware ... Heralding for sure a new star in Irish writing * Irish Times * Witty, compelling and with a razor-sharp social commentary. I guzzled it. -- Pandora Sykes Fiercely intelligent, brutally funny and written with such heart, Exciting Times announces an impressive new voice in literature. -- Nathan Filer, author of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut * Hilary Mantel, author of WOLF HALL *
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About Naoise Dolan

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin. She studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University, and now lives in London. Exciting Times is her debut novel, an excerpt from which was published in The Stinging Fly.
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Rating details

4,305 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 18% (774)
4 38% (1,635)
3 32% (1,386)
2 10% (414)
1 2% (96)
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