Thing About December
Donal Ryan

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Narrated By: Donal Ryan

Duration: 6 hours and 22 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

‘He heard Daddy one time saying he was a grand quiet boy to Mother when he thought Johnsey couldn’t hear them talking. Mother must have been giving out about him being a gom and Daddy was defending him. He heard the fondness in Daddy’s voice. But you’d have fondness for an auld eejit of a crossbred pup that should have been drowned at birth.’

While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns.
Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is.
Donal Ryan’s award-winning debut, The Spinning Heart, garnered unprecedented acclaim, and The Thing About December confirms his status as one of the best writers of his generation.

© Donal Ryan 2013 (P) Penguin Audio 2020


Modern & contemporary fiction

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A force of nature ... a life-enhancing talent

Sebastian Barry

Painfully moving ... Ryan’s work has set a benchmark to which other writers will aspire.

The Irish Times

Compelling and heartbreaking . . beautiful, yet simple and utterly convincing

The Sunday Times

Cements Ryan as the sharpest chronicler of modern Irish life


His paragraphs are unnoticeably beautiful, his heart always on show, and he writes with a social accuracy that is devastating