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Extended Audio Sample Carry Me Down, by M. J. Hyland Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,212 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: M. J. Hyland Narrator: Gerard Doyle Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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John Egan is a misfit, a twelve-year-old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant. He has been able to detect lies for as long as he can remember and diligently keeps track of them, large and small, in a log of lies. With an obsession for the Guinness Book of World Records, a keenly inquisitive mind, and a kind of faith, John is like a tuning fork, sensitive to the vibrations within himself and his family’s shifting dynamics.

From his changing voice, body, and psyche to his parents’ disheartening marital difficulties, this is a trying year in a fragile young boy’s life, and when his sanity reaches near collapse, a frightening family catastrophe threatens to ruin what little they have.

Carry Me Down is a restrained, emotionally taut, and sometimes outrageously funny portrait whose drama drives toward, but narrowly averts, an unthinkable disaster.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Carry Me Down is a heart-rending domestic full of compassion for the most ordinary of our human frailties.”


  • “A fast-paced psychological drama...Hyland’s novel is a fresh yet troubling reminder of the pain of lost innocence and the price of pursuing the truth.”


  • “In taut, simple prose, Hyland meticulously captures the specific pains of growing up poor and lonely in Ireland.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A spare, piercing testimony to the bewilderment and resiliency of youth…[John is] among the year’s memorable characters.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The child’s naive first-person, present-tense narrative brings achingly close his helplessness in a powerful adult world. He may be a giant, but he has no control...Focused on small things, the quiet plain scenes of daily life lead to the surprising and unforgettable climax.”


  • “Hyland demonstrates a mature sense of characterization and suspense in a thoroughly engaging narrative.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the 2007 Hawthornden Prize
  • Winner of the 2007 Encore Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2007 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
  • A 2006 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tidar Rachmadi | 2/20/2014

    " Bought the book at a garage sale for only 12.5k rupiahs and didnt expect too much on it. It took 6 months for me to finish it due to the boringness at the opening chapters. But it ended become onof my treasure book because the story itself is very rich and very relaxing when you read it. The characters are quite eccentric and thats literaly gooooood!!! I plan to reread it during my old ages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amy | 2/12/2014

    " This one was more like a 3.5. This is the third of the Man Booker winners I've been reading and so far my favorite. Like the others, it is character-driven and light on plot, but the central character of the adolescent boy in this one is pretty absorbing. And though there aren't many major events propelling the story forward (really only one that I can think of--the exodus from Granny's house) I really wanted to know what the deal was with this strange family (but not that strange, just dysfunctional like so many others) and what would happen to them. It ends on an up note, but you get the feeling it's going to go right back down again. I wonder if that is why it is called CARRY ME DOWN? Or maybe "carry me down" has something to do with that poor doll stuck in the tree? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sydney | 2/3/2014

    " I can't begin to put into words how gripping this book was. The view of the world through John's eyes made the scenes more terrifying in an way that was hard to comprehend. Scenes like the killing of the kittens stays with me to this day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Holly | 1/17/2014

    " Despite falling prey to the contemporary trend of ultimately unsatisfying (ie "realistic") endings, this is an unusually readable book for a Booker prize finalist. The plot is ostensibly about an eleven-year-old boy with a gift for lie detection. However, it is actually a puzzle for the reader--piece together what is really going on in his train wreck of a family using only the narrator's limited knowledge. "

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