Listen free for 30 days

Listen with offer

  • Say Nothing

  • A True Story Of Murder and Memory In Northern Ireland
  • By: Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Narrated by: Matt Blaney
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,580 ratings)
Offer ends May 1st, 2024 11:59PM GMT. Terms and conditions apply.
£7.99/month after 3 months. Renews automatically.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection - including bestsellers and new releases.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, celeb exclusives, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Say Nothing cover art

Say Nothing

By: Patrick Radden Keefe
Narrated by: Matt Blaney
Get this deal Try for £0.00

Pay £99p/month. After 3 months pay £7.99/month. Renews automatically. See terms for eligibility.

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £13.00

Buy Now for £13.00

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Listeners also enjoyed...

Blanketmen cover art
Double Agent cover art
On Bloody Sunday cover art
Stakeknife's Dirty War cover art
The Padre cover art
Rough Beast cover art
Fishers of Men cover art
Thatcher's Spy cover art
Killing a King cover art
The Road to Balcombe Street: The IRA Reign of Terror in London, Second Edition cover art
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families cover art
Ghost Child cover art
Winter Journey cover art
The People's Republic of Amnesia cover art
Burial Rites cover art
Hellhound on His Trail cover art

Summary

Winner of the Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2019, shortlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction 2019, a Time’s number one Best Nonfiction Book of 2019 and New York Times best-seller.

One night in December 1972, Jean McConville, a mother of 10, was abducted from her home in Belfast and never seen alive again. Her disappearance would haunt her orphaned children, the perpetrators of this terrible crime and a whole society in Northern Ireland for decades.

In this powerful, scrupulously reported book, Patrick Radden Keefe offers not just a forensic account of a brutal crime but a vivid portrait of the world in which it happened. The tragedy of an entire country is captured in the spellbinding narrative of a handful of characters, presented in lyrical and unforgettable detail.

A poem by Seamus Heaney inspires the title: 'Whatever You Say, Say Nothing'. By defying the culture of silence, Keefe illuminates how a close-knit Irish society fractured; how people chose sides in a conflict and turned to violence; and how, when the shooting stopped, some ex-combatants came to look back in horror at the atrocities they had committed, while others continue to advocate violence even today.

Say Nothing deftly weaves the stories of Jean McConville and her family with those of Dolours Price, the first woman to join the IRA as a front line soldier, who bombed the Old Bailey when she was barely out of her teens; Gerry Adams, who helped bring an end to the fighting but denied his own IRA past; Brendan Hughes, a fearsome IRA commander who turned on Adams after the peace process and broke the IRA's code of silence; and other indelible figures. By capturing the intrigue, the drama, and the profound human cost of the Troubles, the book presents a searing chronicle of the lengths that people are willing to go to in pursuit of a political ideal and the ways in which societies mend - or don't - in the aftermath of a long and bloody conflict.

©2018 Patrick Radden Keefe (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Smart, searching, and utterly absorbing, Say Nothing sweeps us into the heart of one of the modern world's bitterest conflicts and, with unusual compassion, walks us back out again along the road to reconciliation. This is more than a powerful, superbly reported work of journalism. It is contemporary history at its finest." (Maya Jasanoff)

"Keefe uses the old Irish phrase, 'Whatever you say, say nothing,' to suggest and to say just about everything. His great accomplishment is to capture the tragedy of the Troubles on a human scale. By tracing the intersecting lives of a handful of unforgettable characters, he has created a deeply honest and intimate portrait of a society still haunted by its own violent past. A bracing, empathetic, heartrending work of storytelling." (Colum McCann)

"A shattering, intimate study of how young men and women consumed by radical political violence are transformed by the history they make, and struggle to come to terms with the blood they have shed, Say Nothing is a powerful reckoning. Keefe has written an essential book." (Philip Gourevitch)

More from the same

What listeners say about Say Nothing

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,284
  • 4 Stars
    226
  • 3 Stars
    49
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    13
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    894
  • 4 Stars
    253
  • 3 Stars
    116
  • 2 Stars
    58
  • 1 Stars
    47
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,169
  • 4 Stars
    156
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    12

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Badly read but great story - get the book!

I don’t understand why they got this actor to read this when he struggles to pronounce a lot of the words and also with reading in a consistent way. He takes a lot of big pauses between words that should not have gaps (eg between first and last names) which can make following the story quite hard at times. Gets pretty bad and distracting towards the middle and end of the book. Story is great though so would recommend just getting the book.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and thorough history of iRA life

found this book very interesting and compelling to listen to. some gaps I'm narration were distracting and could surely be edited out? nonetheless well worth it if you're interested in this area of history

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

very well done

didn't know much detail about the troubles and this is a great look back at that time, lots of detail and great storytelling.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pat Finucane pronounced wrong?

Amazing book but some fairly big pronuciation errors in the performance. The writing is excellent -you can tell the author spent a lot of time as some local expressions appear. Such vivid portraits.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic and insightful

Really fantastic book with a lot of the history and politics behind the republican side of the troubles. The recording has odd gaps in it which make the flow awkward at times.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well researched and credible.

some really bad mispronunciations which were annoying and hard to believe coming from someone surnamed Blamey. Aside from that a really good book which ties a complex weave of information together. The final chapters revelatory.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrative history meets murder mystery - loved it!

The previous reviewers have captured it already. Fantastic book and not at all spoiled by the narrator's dodgy pronunciations and misplaced pauses. I was engaged right from the first page and got sucked in deeper and deeper as the book moved to its surprising and oddly satisfying conclusion - it even had (for me) a twist in the tail.
I was born in Belfast in the late fifties and lived my teens and early adulthood with the troubles as a constant in my life. For me, the author captures, with real authenticity, how honourable patriotism can gradually become subverted into systematic oppression, violence, murder and the committal of war crimes. By ignoring historical chronology and political even-handedness and focusing empathetically on the stories of a handful of conflicted and complex characters, Keefe brings a very nuanced and engaging perspective to the conflict. The book poses difficult questions about human nature and morality and demonstrates how, eventually, the lives of those who perpetrate crimes against humanity are just as surely destroyed as those of their victims.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

It was just wonderful. Something which seemed so black and white is clearly not and I feel more informed for listening.
I’m going to buy the paper copy now and read it again

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Feels like a first draft of the audio...

Riveting writing let down by countless distracting gaffs within the narration. While the reader's voice itself is quite listenable, names and basic words such as placate, draughtsman, notoriety and adroit (to name just a few) are wildly mispronounced. I'm irish, too, so I can assure you that it's not just how we speak. Strange pauses are littered throughout (likely unedited page turns or autocue shifts) and emphasis is often misplaced and mistimed to confusing effect. Can't understand how this draft of the audio made it all the way through. It's a shame, too, because it's a gripping account of a terrible war. If it's reissued with new audio I would actually buy twice to be able to revisit.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A difficult but valuable listen

The writing is excellent and well worth the time but I found the performance difficult as Blaney often pauses in strange places. His accent is perfect for the text but these pauses were frustrating.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!