Book Rating (108)
Narrator Rating (24)

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

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Matthew Blaney

14 Hours 42 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

February 2019

Audio Book Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Empire of Pain—a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

A New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year • Long Listed for the National Book Award • Winner of the Orwell Prize • TIME Magazine’s Best Nonfiction Book of the Year • Best Book of the Decade by EW and LitHub

'Masked intruders dragged Jean McConville, a 38-year-old widow and mother of 10, from her Belfast home in 1972. In this meticulously reported book—as finely paced as a novel—Keefe uses McConville's murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga.' —New York Times Book Review

Jean McConville's abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.

Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders.

From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past--Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.

Look for Patrick Radden Keefe's latest bestseller, Empire of Pain

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  • James L.

    Great book. Great narration. Highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of the topic.

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  • John M.

    Outstanding narrative of a truly dark time in modern Irish history. Thank you

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  • Chris R.

    Loved the topic and the perspective.

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  • Norman Baer

    Very well written. The narration was perfect for the subject matter.

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  • Barbara M.

    Fascinating at first but very Long and got tedious

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  • Awelch0825

    I have listened to the first 20 min and find that I am only confused. I am not enjoying the book at all. The characters and story has not developed or even started Feels like I am in a Ireland history class.

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  • David C.

    Excellent story and well read. Story line was woven together extremely well

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  • Nancy M.

    Excellent look into events taking place during the Troubles. The narrator is very good and adds to the telling of this sad history. For a fictional view of this time period, listen to Adrian McKinty’s Cold, Cold Ground also read by an excellent narrator.

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  • Brian M.

    Excellent read, and well narrated

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  • Brian W.

    Excellent , interesting and well read

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