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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

What a thing of wonder a mobile phone is. Six ounces of metal, glass and plastic, fashioned into a sleek, shiny, precious object. At once, a gateway to other worlds - and a treacherous weapon in the hands of the unwary, the unwitting, the inept.

The Cleverley family live a gilded life, little realising how precarious their privilege is, just one tweet away from disaster. George, the patriarch, is a stalwart of television interviewing, a 'national treasure' (his words); his wife, Beverley, a celebrated novelist (although not as celebrated as she would like); and their children, Nelson, Elizabeth, Achilles, various degrees of catastrophe waiting to happen.

Together they will go on a journey of discovery through the Hogarthian jungle of the modern living where past presumptions count for nothing and carefully curated reputations can be destroyed in an instant. Along the way, they will learn how volatile, how outraged, how unforgiving the world can be when you step from the proscribed path.

Powered by John Boyne's characteristic humour and razor-sharp observation, The Echo Chamber is a satiric helter skelter, a dizzying downward spiral of action and consequence, poised somewhere between farce, absurdity and oblivion. To err is maybe to be human but to really foul things up you only need a phone.

©2021 John Boyne (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Echo Chamber

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A Morality Tale with Panache

John Boyne often deals with very gritty issues with very moving stories full of humanity and understanding. In The Echo Chamber he tackles celebrity, social media and the cancel culture with great comedic effect.
This is the first time I have encountered Boyne’s humour and it is very, very funny. The story revolves around tv presenter George Cleverly, his wife and three children; all of whom struggle with problems that have their roots in modern culture.
I particularly enjoyed the episode with pronouns which I also struggle to keep up with in fact, I only recently discovered I was a cis woman because my daughter in law told me.
This is an excellent comedy of manners that all of us will recognise and the scrapes the family get themselves into are so hilarious, I had to keep reminding myself that there is an edge to all this that we can all learn from. Underneath there is quite a thought provoking message.
After Covid,isolation and so much bad news, this was a real tonic especially as it was read by Richard E. Grant who really brought the characters to life and emphasised the humour with a light touch. Even my husband who “does not do fiction” was drawn in. It feels like a very long time since I have laughed so much. I sincerely hope it will bring a smile to your face too.


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Massively out of date, despite being set in 2021!

Genuinely struggling to believe that the same writer who penned the magnificent ‘The Absolutist’ came up with this soggy, indulgent twaddle. Its take (if indeed, one can call it a take) on woke culture is dull in the extreme, the characters read like something out of an early Stephen Fry novel (read puddle deep) and - worst of all - it’s so boring! Nice narration by Grant though, obviously.

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Lighthearted and funny

I really enjoyed this book! it was sarcastic, humorous and poked fun at all of us, especially at our obsession with Social media. Very enjoyable book and very well read by Richard E Grant.

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Disappointed

I find it hard to believe that the same person wrote The Hearts Invisible Furies.This was a completely different,and extremely disappointing read.

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Disappointing

I was so excited to read this - john boyne read by richard e grant? how could that not be fabulous?

I've read three or four of his books before and been thrilled by the quality of the writing, the depth of characters, the story arc... this book however is slight (yet very long) and filled with anger and unlikeable characters doing deeply unlikely things.

it's billed as farce, but wasn't entertaining and feels like both a different writer from his previous books, and also from the reviews in the broadsheets. Even excellent narration can't save it from being tedious. I struggled through to half way and then skimmed to the end.

Will be returning, very disappinted.

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Astounding

This author can do no wrong for me, and every book he writes is so different! This one took me by surprise, but it's so so clever. Found myself laughing out loud at times, and seeing things from so many perspectives.
Brilliant narration too, as you'd expect.

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What a disappointment

I am huge fan but what happened here. Utter rubbish. Got to the end simply because couldn’t return the book!

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disappointed

not for me, really disappointed gave up at end of chapter 1. asking for refund

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Oscar winning narration!

I absolutely loved this listen - Mr Grant's superb narration was Oscar worthy, expertly bringing all the characters to life with gusto! This is a very relevant story, laugh out loud funny, with a family of characters that shouldn't be likeable but you find yourself rooting for them anyway

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The echo chamber

Thoroughly enjoyed the excellent reading of this brilliant satirical novel. The characters were well portrayed highlighting their idiosyncrasies

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  • Wendi
  • 04-09-21

Delicious, Witty, Hysterical!!

The Echo Chamber is positively brilliant!

This is a tongue-in-cheek, laugh-out-loud listen, narrated to perfection. Focused on a family of five, John Boyne's satire on 'wokeness' and the social media addiction that paralyzes London (everywhere really), is genius! Mom, Dad, two sons and a daughter are all affected by various forms of the need to not be themselves, and appear favourable to the world. Their biggest fear- being 'cancelled.'

If you listen to just one book this year, this should be it. I can't even put into words how much I enjoyed The Echo Chamber, and I definitely have a new favourite author.

Bravo!!

-Wendi

6 people found this helpful

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  • sharon
  • 25-08-21

Great - couldn't stop laughing! Boyne sums up how nuts our society has become

On point and hilarious. Narration was perfect and had a wide range of cast to portray .
Loved the story about this crazy family, blessed with fortune but no common sense shame.

3 people found this helpful

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  • pangest
  • 17-09-21

Relevant and a Great Read

I found myself laughing and enjoying this read so much. Richard Grant is so wonderful to listen to and I haven't had this much fun reading in such a while. Thank you, J Boyne!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Olivia
  • 19-05-22

A good laugh

This audiobook was a fun listen, and Richard E. Grant’s narration was excellent! His characterizations show off the humor in this book perfectly.
If the strength of this audiobook is the humor, the weakness would be the lack of like-able characters, but this is intentional. The tortoise was probably my favorite character lol.

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  • Katherine S
  • 25-03-22

Missed the Mark

Wry and funny social commentary but the story became tedious for me. The Cleverly family members are a shallow bunch and I found it hard to maintain interest in the plot and their fates. John Boyne is a terrific writer but this one fell short for me. Richard Grant did a wonderful job as narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-01-22

Nope. Sorry.

The interesting threads and ideas are overwhelmed by the slapstick - an experience intensified by the exaggerated accents used for many of the characters. Disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • verity
  • 20-10-21

good fun, poignant social commentary, great narrat

Fun and entertaining. Really enjoyed listening to it. Sharp social commentary told through a very fluffy storyline... filled with people I don't know from my own world, at all! I definitely enjoyed it more after listening to an interview with John Boyne about his experience being lambasted in the social media following his book 'My Brother's Name is Jessica'. The context gave this story, The Echo Chamber, a much deeper resonance for me. Richard E Grant is an EXCELLENT narrator, now firmly in my top 3 (maybe top 2).

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  • Liz
  • 06-10-21

Wonderful!

Brilliant satire, and laugh-out-loud funny! Richard E Grant is a wonderful narrator and brings all the characters to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jennifer
  • 18-04-22

Laugh out loud funny

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was very funny and entertaining. I love the author’s other books. This one wasn’t terribly serious but had a strong message about social media.

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  • Bianca Kringas
  • 04-04-22

Clever

Really enjoyable throughout. A wonderful and humorous look on today’s priorities. Brilliant characters and well narrated.