The Wrong Boy

  • by Willy Russell
  • Narrated by Willy Russell
  • 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The extraordinary first novel from the internationally acclaimed playwright.
Raymond Marks is a normal boy, from a normal family, in a normal northern town. His dad left home after falling in love with a five-string banjo; his fun-hating gran believes she should have married Jean-Paul Sartre: 'I could never read his books, but y'could tell from his picture, there was nothing frivolous about Jean-Paul Sartre.' Felonious Uncle Jason and Appalling Aunty Paula are lusting after the satellite dish; frogs are flattened on Failsworth Boulevard; and Sickening Sonia's being sick in the majestic cathedral of words.
Raymond Marks is a normal boy, from a normal family, in a normal northern town. Until, on the banks of the Rochdale Canal, the flytrapping craze begins, and, for Raymond and his mam, nothing is ever quite so normal again.


What the Critics Say

"Willy Russell doesn't read - he performs. With his Rochdale accent, flattened adolescent intonation, his whispering, jibbering and shouting, he fills the listener's head - and creates Raymond, the real boy. It's a remarkble performance and should be compulsory listening for those hot on tackling crime without trying to understand the causes of crime." (Rachel Redford, The Observer)
"His own dramatic reading is hypnotically compelling. I found scenes from the story still whirling round my head days after I had finished listening to it." (Christina Hardyment, The Independent)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Loved this from start to finish. Brilliantly written story and beautifully told. I had some serious laugh out loud moments with this. Highly recommend this book.
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- H Ireland

An Incredible Book & Performance

Would you listen to The Wrong Boy again? Why?

I don't really listen to audio books more than once. If I made an exception, this would be it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Raymond's Grandmother who was guided by an unerring faith in her grandson and had the wisdom, courage and vitriol to stand up for him.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Raymond's Granny confronts Akela (the cub scout leader).

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Wrong time, wrong place, wrong boy.

Any additional comments?

Willy Russell deserves an audio Oscar!

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- Fiona

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-10-2016
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited