The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain Audiobook

Thank you to Isabelle Wilson at Headline Books for the opportunity to listen to the audiobook for one of my favourite books of 2021. I’m sharing my thoughts today and an audio clip too. The paperback edition was published yesterday in the UK.



Albert Entwistle was a postman. It was one of the few things everyone knew about him. And it was one of the few things he was comfortable with people knowing.

64-year-old Albert Entwistle has been a postie in a quiet town in Northern England for all his life, living alone since the death of his mam 18 years ago. He keeps himself to himself. He always has. But he’s just learned he’ll be forced to retire at his next birthday. With no friends and nothing to look forward to, the lonely future he faces terrifies him. He realises it’s finally time to be honest about who he is. He must learn to ask for what he wants. And he must find the courage to look for George, the man that, many years ago, he lost – but has never forgotten . . .

Audio clip:

Please check out the other reviews too

My thoughts:

I’m pleased to say that this was one of my favourite reads of 2021 and I’ve enjoyed meeting Albert again in 2022, listening to the audiobook, narrated by Layton Williams (from Bad Education and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie). I have to be honest, I could have listened to Layton’s narration all day – Albert was brought to life perfectly.

As the synopsis above explains, Albert has been living a quiet life, blending into the background and avoiding making friends. However a number of events conspire to change Albert’s life, prompting him to start to take some risks and to look for the happiness he deserves. Matt Cain has created a book full of great characters, with Albert at the heart of the story. As the story develops, we discover why Albert has felt unable to be honest about his feelings and why he has locked himself away from his local community.

I loved how Albert’s life changed, as slowly he started to open up about his losses and his hopes for the future. It was also interesting to see how his own opinions about work colleagues changed as he got to know them better.

The story also looks at how society has changed in the UK in the past 50 years. My dad, in his eighties, grew up in an era detailed in Albert’s story and still struggles with seeing men kiss on TV, because of the way his generation were brought up. I have seen much needed major changes during my lifetime, and we’ve had some interesting dinner time discussions about why people from the older generations find it difficult to grasp how things have changed.

This is a story that flows so well, full of humour and heartwarming moments, but also some heartbreak (especially the vet visit). This is a reminder to everyone to fight against prejudices and stereotypes, and to be kind rather than cruel.

A five star read/listen for me and the audiobook is available to buy now online (I know that my local indie bookshop Bert’s Books has some physical copies too). Happy listening and/or reading.

Author Bio:

Matt Cain was born in Bury and brought up in Bolton. He is an author, a leading commentator on LGBT+ issues, and a former journalist. He was Channel 4’s first Culture Editor, Editor-In-Chief of Attitude magazine, and has judged the Costa Prize, the Polari Prize and the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. He won Diversity In Media’s Journalist Of the Year award in 2017 and is an ambassador for Manchester Pride and the Albert Kennedy Trust, plus a patron of LGBT+ History Month. 

Matt’s first two novels, Shot Through the Heart and Nothing But Trouble, were published by Pan Macmillan in 2014 and 2015, and his third, The Madonna Of Bolton, became Unbound’s fastest crowdfunded novel ever before its publication in 2018. His latest, The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle, will be published by Headline Review in May 2021.

He lives in London.

For more information, please visit

My original proof copy and Crunchie bar

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum. Adopter of dogs.

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