Carry Me Down

  • by M.J. Hyland
  • Narrated by Gerard Doyle
  • 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

John Egan is a misfit, a 12-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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What the Critics Say

"A spare, piercing testimony to the bewilderment and resiliency of youth....[John is] among the year's memorable characters." (Publishers Weekly)
"Hyland demonstrates a mature sense of characterization and suspense in a thoroughly engaging narrative." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Insight into a very young mind

This novel is an amazing glimpse of the mind and thoughts of a very young character. The protagonist, an 11 year old boy with a body approaching puberty, a deep voice, and a surprising ability to detect lying statements, is a real misfit. At times his thoughts and behavior seem more like that of a 5 year old; at other times; at other times one can glimpse maturity approaching. He is almost always jealous of his "space", is dreadfully worried about being mistreated or taken for granted, and is somewhat paranoid. I would have given it a higher rating, but the book does not show any real growth of the boy, and it ends with a contrived happy ending. There are also some loose threads - his relationship with the one teacher he liked, but the becomes suspicious of, for instance.
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- Andre

Bit of a mysterious ending innit?

I'm confused about the last line of the book (SPOILER WARNING):
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"The door is open." What does that mean? why did the author end it so mysteriously? Also, what does the title mean?

Otherwise, the book is great. I liked John Egan, and could identify with his angst and real troubles from my own boyhood. His focus on lies was fascinating, and I found his "Gol of Seil" very funny.

It is a good book, but it has no conclusion. Very unsatisfying in that last sentence, which makes me wonder why I spent so much time listening.

It just doesn't *end*.
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- Scott

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-20-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.