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

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Author:

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Matthew Blaney

14 Hours 42 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

February 2019

Audio Book Summary

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year

BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR - TIME MAGAZINE

ONE OF THE BEST 10 BOOKS OF THE YEAR - WASHINGTON POST

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST

WINNER OF THE ORWELL PRIZE

LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 

'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, Ten Best Books of the Year

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her 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.

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Reviews

  • 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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  • Babak A.

    An excellent insight in the troubles of Northern Ireland. This book was very detailed, shed light on the key players, decisions and actions taken by the IRA. Definitely an excellent read and quality journalistic work produced a well written book.

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