Exciting Times (Paperback)
  • Exciting Times (Paperback)

Exciting Times (Paperback)

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Paperback 288 Pages / Published: 04/03/2021
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Waterstones Says

Psychologically astute and dryly funny, Exciting Times delivers an enthralling dissection of love, commitment, power and privilege in the international circles of contemporary Hong Kong.

Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for March 2021

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021

Longlisted for the Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize 2021

Shortlisted for the Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award 2020

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.

Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
ISBN: 9781474613460
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 196 x 128 x 22 mm


'I had real fun with EXCITING TIMES. It is a very funny, spiky, Marxist, feminist comedy and it's really mean.' - Zadie Smith

'Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut.' - Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall

'Witty, compelling and with a razor-sharp social commentary. I guzzled it.' - Pandora Sykes

'A modern love story ... astute, sardonic and highly emotionally aware ... Heralding for sure a new star in Irish writing.' - Irish Times

'EXCITING TIMES more than lives up to the hype ... Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers' lives.' - Irish Times

'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

'Lucky us ... EXCITING TIMES will brighten lockdown ... Very funny ... Extremely sharp ... Insightful and raw.' - The Observer

'A funny, smart, contemporary love story. Perfect for fans of Sally Rooney and Emma Jane Unsworth.' - Sunday Times Style 

'The funniest writer you will read this year... 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 sharp, funny account of a contemporary relationship, told tenderly and with biting, bright insight. Hands down one of the most anticipated debuts of the year ... A piercingly provocative look at modern love and power games.' - BookRiot

'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. 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. This is icily brilliant stuff. A poised and surgical examination of class, sex, language and self-making, with some flat-out enviable jokes. Read if you like Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth, Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.' - Sunday Times Style

'Brilliantly funny, surgically sharp, furiously political. Expect to hear lots about EXCITING TIMES next year. Forensically brilliant - an elegant and painfully funny portrait of greed and hunger, love and indifference. So wry, witty and insightful Dolan's debut lives up to the hype, a hypnotic tale.' - Sarah Hughes, The i newspaper

'We're really, um, excited about this sharp, smart debut.' - Red magazine

'A modern love story that will live with you long after you've finished it.' - Molly Aitken author of The Island Child

'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

'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'

'Finance, sex, cynicism and unspoken feelings are swirled together in a can labelled 'Hong Kong' in this modern love triangle.' - Irish Independent

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

'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.' - The Guardian

'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

'2020 is set to be a huge year for Naoise Dolan.' - Irish Examiner

'Echoes of Sally Rooney's Conversations With Friends resound in this exacting debut novel.' - Oprah magazine

'Ice cool, self aware and very funny. Shades of Lorrie Moore and The Bell Jar.' - Graham Norton

'Dry, sharp, meticulously observed ... A frankly sensational book that's flawlessly executed.' - Pandora Sykes on The High Low

'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'

'An effervescent snapshot of millennial, attachment-avoidant dating.' - Daily Mail

'Constant, breezy fun.' - The Telegraph

'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'

'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

'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

'I wouldn't be surprised if it emerges as the book of the summer... A rich, sharply witty story made out of the frictions and complexities of young love ... Kept me rapt until the final page.' - The Times

'I've been pushing Exciting Times on everyone I know: it is the perfect blend of caustically clever and emotionally engaging. Some of Dolan's pithy observations of her characters are the best I've read since Edward St Aubyn.' - The Observer

I tore through Exciting Times, a sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it.' - David Nicholls

THIS BOOK!!!! It's as BRILLIANT as everyone says!!!! I DEVOURED it and it delighted me with its ideas and made me LAUGH so much and gave me hope. Naoise Dolan is thrillingly honest about class iniquity, sexism, poverty, the after-effects of colonialism - it's so REFRESHING. I kept seizing on paragraphs and shouting, THIS!! THIS IS THE THING I WAS THINKING BUT COULDN'T ARTICULATE!!!.' - Marian Keyes

A wonderfully sharp, comic writer, adept at making wisecracks in the caustic, knock-em-off, knock-em-down tradition of Dorothy Parker, Joan Rivers and Nora Ephron ... [Ava] is Bridget Jones's sour sister, or Bridget Jones marinaded in vinegar... I found myself purring with pleasure. I loved Exciting Times's snap and its bite ... This is comic writing at the highest level, created with such apparent ease that it seems to dance across the page ... At its best, Exciting Times reminds me of Martin Amis's first novel, The Rachel Papers. In its icy take on consumerism it's also reminiscent of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho. Like both those novels it seems to be brilliantly in tune with its times.' - Daily Mail

A wily, caustic story about young love ... Sentence-by-sentence, Exciting Times is both a joy and a triumph... I delighted in the brilliance of Dolan's deadpan style.' - The i newspaper

The most talked about novel of the summer.' - The Sunday Times Style

A dazzling debut... Dolan's writing is precise, acerbic and enviably good, and her characters are perfectly drawn.' - Evening Standard

Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking... Ava is a most interesting literary heroine ... I rarely find myself rooting for a character as much as I did for her ... A whip-smart, funny and poignant story of modern love, accessible to all. It should be on everyone's 2020 must read list.' -  Irish Sunday Independent

A fresh and funny debut about love and self-knowledge ... affecting and powerful.' - The Guardian

What sets Dolan apart is her humour. EXCITING TIMES is riddled with snappy one liners and witty interplay. A fantastic first novel.' - Metro

Dolan is a writer entirely in command of her craft ... The writing fairly sizzles on the page... EXCITING TIMES is an acerbic tale of sex and love, set in the social media age.' - The Herald Scotland

Incredibly readable.' - Belfast Telegraph

With Naoise Dolan on the literary scene, there are EXCITING TIMES ahead.' - i-D

The Irish debut novel everyone is talking about.' - The Gloss

A sharp, witty and ultimately moving debut ... Dolan brings a fresh insight into modern love that will inevitably make this a hit among those who love Normal People.' - The Independent

A wry, stylish debut ... In this witty satire of the haves and have nots, Dolan explores tender, insightful truths about the vagaries of modern love.' - Esquire

Snappy, sharp and smart [with] painfully funny insight that has drawn justifiable comparisons to Sally Rooney.' - Sunday Express

Naoise Dolan's debut is whipsmart, sharp and full of delightfully perceptive observations.' - Daily Express

A sharp, witty debut..' - Stylist

We loved Dolan's evisceration of Insta culture - SAVAGE.' - Cosmopolitan

Withering, stylish prose that is at times deceptively simple but always flush with caustic wit, I savoured every shrewd line.' - Dazed

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“Exciting debut...”

This is a modern , intelligent novel about a love triangle. Ava is young Irish living in Hong Kong teaching English and having an affair with a rich banker Julian, then she meets Edith.

It seems quite a mundane story... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 80

“Friends could mean anything...”

This story is of Ava, recently moving to Hong Kong. She finds herself caught between the financial security of banker Julian and the earnest lawyer Edith. This book brings a fresh and interesting insight into modern... More

Hardback edition
2 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 70

“Marks the arrival of a major new talent”

Naoise Dolan will surely be compared to Sally Rooney, but really she's in a league of her own.

Fiercely intelligent, bitingly witty, and razor sharp, Exciting Times follows Ava, a young women from Ireland... More

Hardback edition
3 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 51

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