Brian O'Connell, Read by Brian O'Connell

Book cover image

Narrated By: Brian O'Connell

Duration: 5 hours and 34 minutes

What to expect

The Personals reveals how classified ads are not just a few commercial lines of text in print or online – they can be a treasure trove of fascinating human stories; stories of love, loss, loneliness, redemption and hope.

Some people do Sudoku, others watch Netflix. Brian O’Connell loves the classified ads.

In an era of spin doctors and press releases, celebrities and social influencers, the classified ads can open a door into the lives of ordinary people with extraordinary stories.

What draws Brian to the classified ads are the intriguing human stories he finds there, the unexpected twists and turns, the personalities, the curious objects and the range of human experience waiting to be discovered.

The Personals is a diverse collection of compelling stories about the people and the lives behind the small ads.


True stories: general, Humour collections & anthologies

Listen to a sample

  • ‘In this quirky, insightful adventure, Brian O’Connell finds the humanity behind the typeface.’– Ryan Tubridy
  • ‘A fantastic collection’ – The Today Show with Sean O’Rourke, RTE Radio 1
  • ‘It’s good to know that the classifieds continue to thrive, because, as O’Connell shows, that is where history with a lower-case h will always be found, one small ad at a time.’ – Irish Times
  • ‘Charming and often moving … The Personals is full of great stories – from sad to quirky to funny to, the odd time, baffling – as Brian tracks down the back-story to such unusual items-for-sale as a pair of monkeys, Leaving Cert notes, a cross-dressing dress-up service, German Army helmets from World War I and a bulletproof car, among more mundane objects. In other words, life in all its madness and glory.’ – RTE Guide
  • ‘A charming and moving look at the world of personal ads.’ – Martin Doyle, Irish Times
  • ‘A great read, full of moving, often funny, stories.’ – Irish Examiner
  • ‘Warm, wry and insightful’ Sunday Times Ireland edition
  • ‘Entertaining and poignant reading’– Echo
  • ‘An utterly lovely gift idea.’ – Woman’s Way