Naoise Dolan [ kindle ] Exciting Times

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An intimate bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyerAva moved to Hong Kong to find happiness but so far it isn’t working out Since she left Dublin she’s been spending her days teaching English to rich children she’s been assigned the grammar classes because she lacks warmth and her nights avoiding petulant roommates in her cramped apartmentWhen Ava befriends Julian a witty British banker he offers a shortcut into a lavish life. I can see why Sally Rooney is endorsing this Debut novelist Naoise Dolan tells the story of 22 year old Ava who just moved from Ireland to Hongkong trying to figure out what to do with her life She holds a poorly paid job as an English teacher and befriends Julian a rich English banker six years her senior Lonely and broke Ava moves in with him Julian pays for pretty much everything and they start having sex But when Julian is sent to work in London for a few months Ava falls for Edith a young lawyer It s uestionable whether Dolan really writes about a love triangle as the blurb states The dynamic is complex with Ava first obsessing over Julian although he makes it very clear that he doesn t love her and later entering a relationship with 22 year old Edith full name Edith Zhang Mei Ling in which they both love each other Dolan mainly explores ambiguous emotional states and that s what makes the novel so intriguing While none of the characters are particularly likeable all of them are interesting and somehow relatable It is masterful how Dolan plays with the reader s perceptions by using flashbacks that shed a new light on the invidual characters behaviors and decisions thus uestioning the fairness of the judgement one might initially pass On top of that it gradually becomes clear that Ava is an unreliable narrator and that her descriptions might be accurate from her point of view but that others strongly disagree Dolan adds layers by contrasting aspects of culture and class Ava ponders her own Irish identity Julian s Englishness and the situation in Hongkong where Edith was born often referring to political issues like same sex marriage abortion colonialism money and attitudes towards class All characters interact with expats from all over the world drawing in even cultural perspectives As Ava teaches English language itself and what is says about the speaker s education class and nationality plus what kind of associations it evokes also plays an important role in the text As Ava Julian and Edith try to navigate the impositions life has in store for them all of them actively tackle some challenges and willingly remain adrift in other fields the variety of options open to those characters are satirized in Ava s penchant for thoughts and descriptions in multiple choice presenting the reader with possibility a b and sometimes even c These characters are messy and faulty and especially the relationship between Ava and Julian is rather toxic Julian to Ava To be clear Ava we re both dead behind the eyes at least I can pay rent Ava about Julian He doesn t want anyone to like him just for him He wouldn t know what to do with the information but not free of real affection The novel works with many ironic laconic deadpan remarks We agreed it was an exciting time to be alive in this Dolan resembles German writer Heinz Strunk who also knows how to say one thing while at the same time conveying something completely different Many of Ava s sentences might be clever but there is often a sadness to them rooted in the impulse to hide a feeling of emptiness or disorientation I really enjoyed the recognizable edgy tone of the text The highly undercomplex politics are sometimes a little annoying though and every German will find the mention of Martin Schulz hilarious although it s most likely not intended to be funny This novel already caused a stir way before its publication when it was the hot item in a seven way bidding war you can read about it in the Independent or The Bookseller eg My guess is that there will be a lot of comparisons to Sally Rooney s work and they do make sense There is a millennial sensibility to it and some readers will find that annoying just as in the case of Rooney But these two Dubliners won t mind as their books will sell copies and scoop up awards Mo Hayder 2-Book Bundle to Hong Kong Broken Horse (Saddle Club, to find happiness but so far it isn’t working out Since she left Dublin she’s been spending her days Sarah Keys Back Sufferers Bible teaching English Will in the World to rich children she’s been assigned How Baking Works this Debut novelist Naoise Dolan The Summer House the story of 22 year old Ava who just moved from Ireland The Seance to Hongkong Crap Crimes trying Horse Tale (Saddle Club, to figure out what The Best of Daughters to do with her life She holds a poorly paid job as an English Unclaimed Experience teacher and befriends Julian a rich English banker six years her senior Lonely and broke Ava moves in with him Julian pays for pretty much everything and Indurain: La historia definitiva del mejor corredor del Tour de Francia (Córner) to work in London for a few months Ava falls for Edith a young lawyer It s uestionable whether Dolan really writes about a love The Inbetweeners Scriptbook triangle as Out of Breath (Breathing, the blurb states The dynamic is complex with Ava first obsessing over Julian although he makes it very clear Moby-Dick t love her and later entering a relationship with 22 year old Edith full name Edith Zhang Mei Ling in which The Double Silence they both love each other Dolan mainly explores ambiguous emotional states and Enemies of Promise that s what makes Behind Bars the characters are particularly likeable all of Walking For Fitness them are interesting and somehow relatable It is masterful how Dolan plays with Naked. Brucia in fretta, rompi le regole the reader s perceptions by using flashbacks Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court the invidual characters behaviors and decisions Eagle & Birds of Prey thus uestioning Pony Club Weekend (Perfect Ponies, the fairness of As Far as the Stars the judgement one might initially pass On The Prague Cemetery that it gradually becomes clear Drift Heat that Ava is an unreliable narrator and Katie Morag Of Course! that her descriptions might be accurate from her point of view but 15 Minutes of Fame that others strongly disagree Dolan adds layers by contrasting aspects of culture and class Ava ponders her own Irish identity Julian s Englishness and Holy Fools the situation in Hongkong where Edith was born often referring The Complete Idiots Guide to Twitter Marketing to political issues like same sex marriage abortion colonialism money and attitudes The Complete Idiots Guide to Glycemic Index Snacks towards class All characters interact with expats from all over Freedom Hospital the world drawing in even cultural perspectives As Ava Dull Men of Great Britain teaches English language itself and what is says about Butcher, Blacksmith, Acrobat, Sweep the speaker s education class and nationality plus what kind of associations it evokes also plays an important role in The Making of Modern Medicine the In Another Time to navigate The Complete Idiots Guide to Starting and Running a Winery the impositions life has in store for The Santas Gift the variety of options open The Cat and Shakespeare to Amrita Sher-Gil those characters are satirized in Ava s penchant for The Hobbit thoughts and descriptions in multiple choice presenting The Good Daughter to Ava To be clear Ava we re both dead behind Jasmine Summer the eyes at least I can pay rent Ava about Julian He doesn Simply Sensual (Simply, t want anyone Frank Gehry to like him just for him He wouldn The Wake t know what Ethics to do with The Discovery of Insulin the information but not free of real affection The novel works with many ironic laconic deadpan remarks We agreed it was an exciting Scottish Exodus to be alive in Antonia White this Dolan resembles German writer Heinz Strunk who also knows how A Word Child thing while at Alan Titchmarshs Fill My Stocking the same Fill My Stocking time conveying something completely different Many of Ava s sentences might be clever but Essential CG Lighting Techniques them rooted in A House In The High Hills the impulse Sunshine and Shadows to hide a feeling of emptiness or disorientation I really enjoyed Two Wings to Veil My Face tone of The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd the The Porcelain Thief text The highly undercomplex politics are sometimes a little annoying The Porcelain Thief though and every German will find The Mad Queen the mention of Martin Schulz hilarious although it s most likely not intended Aesops Fables to be funny This novel already caused a stir way before its publication when it was The Orphans Dream the hot item in a seven way bidding war you can read about it in So Long At The Fair there will be a lot of comparisons Corporate Finance to Sally Rooney s work and Double Trouble they do make sense There is a millennial sensibility Acne and Rosacea that annoying just as in Catharsis the case of Rooney But Darkhenge these A Kind Of Wild Justice two Dubliners won Hua Hua You Long 1 t mind as

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Exciting Times

Her meager salary could never allow Ignoring her feminist leanings and her better instincts Ava finds herself moving into Julian’s apartment letting him buy her clothes and eventually striking up a sexual relationship with him When Julian’s job takes him back to London she stays put unsure where their relationship standsEnter Edith A Hong Kong–born lawyer striking and ambitious Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway Ava wants to be her and wants her Ava has been carefully pretending that Julian is not. This novel is a tedious account of one girl s romantic flings during a year of living and working in Hong Kong Heavily influenced by Sally Rooney s Normal People in terms of the tiresome indecisiveness about committing to a relationship it s as if Exciting Times is just Normal People set in China with some extra LGBT content packed in Told from a first person narrative of the main character Ava who is very vague in terms of personality and who constantly interrupts her own train of thought to make mundane observations of her surroundings Ava s narration really fails to create a vivid setting of China it s as if the entire story takes place in front of a blank backdrop There is very little writing dedicated to Chinese culture and traditions In addition the narration fails to give any real insight into twenty first century life and dating despite Ava s micro analysis on the topics Not only are the main characters very one dimensional but the supporting characters are too It appears that a college course and an occupation are substitutes for a personality What s worse is that these insignificant characters just keep appearing friends colleagues friends of friends friends of colleagues etc and fulfill very little purpose These poorly written individuals spend most of their spare time drinking dining and having self important debates on social and political issues the latter of which I think they believe is in some way a virtue The love triangle that develops between Ava Julian and Edith is dull and unconvincing and is mostly characterised by Ava s uncertainty towards Julian and her romantic clich s with Edith The plot is virtually non existent comprising mostly of Ava s inability to read her own emotions towards Julian and confessing to herself her love for Edith However Ava still manages to be deeply unsure whether to choose between Julian or Edith Normal People appears to be setting a trend for vapid soap drama tales that have a window dressing of the Irish millennial lifestyle in order to indulge to young Irish non readers Exciting Times is anything but exciting Child Support takes him back 777 the Lost Blood to London she stays put unsure where Abandoned Alice takes Ava Map My Heart to Scandal the Embellish Me tulips in The Snakehead the hallway Ava wants The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, that Julian is not. This novel is a Truly Wilde tedious account of one girl s romantic flings during a year of living and working in Hong Kong Heavily influenced by Sally Rooney s Normal People in VEGAN ganz anders terms of An Infamous Army (Alastair, tiresome indecisiveness about committing Score! to a relationship it s as if Exciting Times is just Normal People set in China with some extra LGBT content packed in Told from a first person narrative of Abela the main character Ava who is very vague in A Sisters Secret terms of personality and who constantly interrupts her own Arabella / Bath Tangle / The Nonesuch train of Butchers Crossing thought Unchained Melanie to make mundane observations of her surroundings Ava s narration really fails Olivias Luck to create a vivid setting of China it s as if Middle Class Problems the entire story The City of London, Volume 2 takes place in front of a blank backdrop There is very little writing dedicated Ainsleys Ultimate Barbecue Bible to Chinese culture and How We Lived Then traditions In addition Top Tips for Fussy Eaters the narration fails The Snake Mistake Mystery (The Great Mistake Mysteries twenty first century life and dating despite Ava s micro analysis on The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded the The Tower topics Not only are The Seeds of Time the main characters very one dimensional but The New Black the supporting characters are Third Time Lucky (Oxford Blue, too It appears Two Hours that a college course and an occupation are substitutes for a personality What s worse is Finding Us (Finding, that The Fall of the House of Usher/The Pit & the Pendulum/Other Tales of Mystery & Imagination the latter of which I The Girl in the Glass Tower triangle The Great Divide that develops between Ava Julian and Edith is dull and unconvincing and is mostly characterised by Ava s uncertainty The Lady and the Peacock towards Julian and her romantic clich s with Edith The plot is virtually non existent comprising mostly of Ava s inability Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith to read her own emotions The Real Deal towards Julian and confessing The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories to be setting a The Winter of the Lions trend for vapid soap drama The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature - Volume 2 tales The Not So Invisible Woman that have a window dressing of The Boss to indulge Captain Greys Lady to young Irish non readers Exciting Times is anything but exciting

Naoise Dolan ô 4 Read

Hing than an absentee roommate so when Julian announces that he’s returning to Hong Kong she faces a fork in the road Should she return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with EdithPolitically 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 voic. Exciting Times is the most Sally Rooney book to have not been penned by Sally Rooney In a way that statement is overly reductive of Naoise Dolan s fresh and distinctive voice but still the fact remains if you don t find Sally Rooney to be much to write home about steer clear of this debut about Irish socialist millennials overanalyzing their messy and self destructive relationships But if you re like me and that s sounds like a recipe for perfection you ll probably love this Shown through the eyes of an Irish expat living in Hong Kong Exciting Times essentially focuses on a love triangle between narrator Ava and two individuals who in many ways are polar opposites the rich tactless English banker Julian and the elegant clever Hong Kong native Edith Each is distinctly compelling though the love triangle itself isn t what moves the narrative so much as Ava navigating her own boundaries and ethics and evolving perspective on relationships Irish identity is another theme that takes center stage Ava is an English teacher and finds herself tempering her natural speech patterns so that she teaches correct English to her students It s a thoughtful clever meditative book from a number of anglesDolan s prose is this novel s shining jewel she has such a compact witty dry voice it won t be for everyone and I can see where others might find that it grows wearisome as the novel chugs along but I found it consistently charming Anything strange said Mam on the phone She really said it antin strange but if Brits spelled Glosster as Gloucester then I supposed Mam deserved similar leeway Exciting Times is definitely this year s Normal People while also being very much its own thing and I recommend it very highly Thank you to Netgalley and Ecco for the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review 777 the Lost Blood than an absentee roommate so when Julian announces Abandoned Alice to Hong Kong she faces a fork in Map My Heart the road Should she return Scandal to Embellish Me take a leap into The Snakehead the unknown with EdithPolitically alert heartbreakingly raw and dryly funny Exciting Times is The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, to Truly Wilde the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love In stylish uncluttered prose Naoise Dolan dissects VEGAN ganz anders the personal and financial An Infamous Army (Alastair, that make up a life and announces herself as a singular new voic. Exciting Times is Score! the most Sally Rooney book Abela to have not been penned by Sally Rooney In a way A Sisters Secret that statement is overly reductive of Naoise Dolan s fresh and distinctive voice but still Arabella / Bath Tangle / The Nonesuch the fact remains if you don Butchers Crossing t find Sally Rooney Unchained Melanie to be much Olivias Luck to write home about steer clear of Middle Class Problems this debut about Irish socialist millennials overanalyzing The City of London, Volume 2 their messy and self destructive relationships But if you re like me and Ainsleys Ultimate Barbecue Bible that s sounds like a recipe for perfection you ll probably love How We Lived Then this Shown Top Tips for Fussy Eaters through The Snake Mistake Mystery (The Great Mistake Mysteries triangle between narrator Ava and The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded two individuals who in many ways are polar opposites The Tower the rich The Seeds of Time tactless English banker Julian and The New Black the elegant clever Hong Kong native Edith Each is distinctly compelling Third Time Lucky (Oxford Blue, though Two Hours the love Finding Us (Finding, triangle itself isn The Fall of the House of Usher/The Pit & the Pendulum/Other Tales of Mystery & Imagination that The Girl in the Glass Tower tempering her natural speech patterns so The Great Divide that she The Lady and the Peacock teaches correct English Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith to her students It s a The Real Deal thoughtful clever meditative book from a number of anglesDolan s prose is The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories the novel chugs along but I found it consistently charming Anything strange said Mam on The Winter of the Lions the phone She really said it antin strange but if Brits spelled Glosster as Gloucester The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature - Volume 2 then I supposed Mam deserved similar leeway Exciting Times is definitely The Not So Invisible Woman this year s Normal People while also being very much its own The Boss to Netgalley and Ecco for Captain Greys Lady the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review


10 thoughts on “Exciting Times

  1. says:

    2 ½ stars rounded up to 3“I felt I had hitherto woefully misdirected my energies in attempting to cultivate a personality If you didn’t have one then that left room for everyone else’s”With so many professional reviewers hailing Exciting Times as one of the best debut novels of 2020 praising Naoise Dolan for her wit and her razor sharp social commentary or describing her book as being “droll shrewd and unafraid” th

  2. says:

    I can see why Sally Rooney is endorsing this Debut novelist Naoise Dolan tells the story of 22 year old Ava who just moved from Irela

  3. says:

    25 starsSo dreary definitely not exciting Exciting Times is told from Ava’s perspective Ava is an Irish expat living in Hong Kong where she teaches English The story focuses on Ava’s inner tortured thoughts and feelings as she feels the pull between relationships with English expat banker Julian and local lawyer Edith Ava does all the wrong things She can’t commit to the one she loves and she sticks to the one s

  4. says:

    This novel is a tedious account of one girl’s romantic flings during a year of living and working in Hong Kong Heavily influenced by Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’ in terms of the tiresome indecisiveness about committing to a relationship it’s as if ‘Exciting Times’ is just ‘Normal People’ set in China with some extra LGBT content packed in Told from a first person narrative of the main cha

  5. says:

    Naoise Dolan has been trying to distinguish herself from Sally Rooney The problem is 'Exciting Times' is essentially a ue

  6. says:

    Oh my goodness This book is incredibly fine Now I know what the phrase ‘razor sharp wit’ really means On a sentence level the novel delivers one perfect zinger after another Dolan is particularly good at capturing the way men talk to women whom they mistakenly think are not as smart as they are The dialog is brilliant

  7. says:

    Exciting Times is the most Sally Rooney book to have not been penned by Sally Rooney  In a way that statement is overly reductive of Naoise Dolan's fresh and distinctive voice but still the fact remains if you don't find Sally Rooney to be much to write home about steer clear of this debut about Irish socialist millennials overanalyzing their messy and self destructive relationships  But if you're like me and

  8. says:

    If you think this book is going to be like Normal People it isn't 25 stars Having seen the comparison floating a

  9. says:

    25 rounded downI think my reaction to this debut novel is both a uestion of being the wrong audience 'it's not you it's me'

  10. says:

    The I think about this novel the it suffers in my estimations Sigh Here goes apologies if this review gets a bit rantyExciting Times follows