Exciting Times

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474613460

Price: £8.99

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The book of the summer … Kept me rapt until the final pageTHE 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’ livesIRISH 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 AubynOBSERVER

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.


Among the most hotly tipped debut authors for 2020
The Bookseller
The Irish debut novel everyone is talking about
The Gloss
This is icily brilliant stuff. A poised and surgical examination of class, sex, language and self-making, with some flat-out enviable jokes
Paraic O'Donnell, author of THE HOUSE ON VESPER SANDS
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 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
Hands down one of the most anticipated debuts of the year ... A piercingly provocative look at modern love and power games.
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
A fresh and funny debut about love and self-knowledge ... affecting and powerful
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
Clare Fisher, author of HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
Witty, compelling and with a razor-sharp social commentary. I guzzled it.
Pandora Sykes
A bracing book that cuts through the burdens and excesses of the typical love story to deliver the reader to that rare, real thing: raw thought. Naoise Dolan has an uncanny talent for interiority, and her cool prose accommodates equally well a quickening heart and a mind on fire
Joshua Ferris
So wry, witty and insightful
Elizabeth Macneal, author of THE DOLL FACTORY
Dry, sharp, meticulously observed ... A frankly sensational book that's flawlessly executed
Pandora Sykes on The High Low
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'
A sharp, witty debut.
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
An effervescent snapshot of millennial, attachment-avoidant dating
Daily Mail
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
Luke Kennard, author of THE TRANSITION
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
Dolan's debut lives up to the hype, a hypnotic tale
Sarah Hughes, The i newspaper
Constant, breezy fun
Ice cool, self aware and very funny. Shades of Lorrie Moore and THE BELL JAR.
Graham Norton
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
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.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of THE MERCIES
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
What sets Dolan apart is her humour. EXCITING TIMES is riddled with snappy one liners and witty interplay. A fantastic first novel
2020 is set to be a huge year for Naoise Dolan
Irish Examiner
I had real fun with EXCITING TIMES. It is a very funny, spiky, Marxist, feminist comedy and it's really mean.
Zadie Smith
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
Snappy, sharp and smart [with] painfully funny insight that has drawn justifiable comparisons to Sally Rooney
Sunday Express
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'
A Book of the Year in The Sunday Times and a Best Book of the Summer in The i newspaper.
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
Finance, sex, cynicism and unspoken feelings are swirled together in a can labelled 'Hong Kong' in this modern love triangle
Irish Independent
Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut
Hilary Mantel, author of WOLF HALL
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
Incredibly readable
Belfast Telegraph
Brilliantly funny, surgically sharp, furiously political. Expect to hear lots about EXCITING TIMES next year
Michael Hughes, author of COUNTRY
Lucky us ... EXCITING TIMES will brighten lockdown ... Very funny ... Extremely sharp ... Insightful and raw
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'
We loved Dolan's evisceration of Insta culture - SAVAGE.
Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan
Echoes of Sally Rooney's CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS resound in this exacting debut novel
Oprah magazine
A dazzling debut... Dolan's writing is precise, acerbic and enviably good, and her characters are perfectly drawn
Evening Standard
A modern love story ... astute, sardonic and highly emotionally aware ... Heralding for sure a new star in Irish writing
Irish Times
I savoured every shrewd line
A funny, smart, contemporary love story. Perfect for fans of Sally Rooney and Emma Jane Unsworth
Sunday Times Style
With Naoise Dolan on the literary scene, there are EXCITING TIMES ahead
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 that will live with you long after you've finished it
Molly Aitken author of THE ISLAND CHILD
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
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
I tore through EXCITING TIMES, a sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it
David Nicholls
Forensically brilliant - an elegant and painfully funny portrait of greed and hunger, love and indifference
Michelle Gallen, author of BIG GIRL, SMALL TOWN
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
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
Read if you like ANIMALS by Emma Jane Unsworth, TRICK MIRROR by Jia Tolentino, THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath
Sunday Times Style
Withering, stylish prose that is at times deceptively simple but always flush with caustic wit, I savoured every shrewd line.
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
Naoise Dolan's debut is whipsmart, sharp and full of delightfully perceptive observations
Daily Express
The most talked about novel of the summer
The Sunday Times Style
We're really, um, excited about this sharp, smart debut
Red magazine
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