#93 review: There But For The

There But For The



Narrator: Anne FLOSNIK

Audiobook 7:30 hours

Published by Highbridge Company in September 2011

Received from Highbridge Company, through Audiobook Jukebox

This book counts for

2011 Audio Book Challenge


I requested this CD from the wonderful service offered by Audiobook Jukebox (click on the link above if you are a reviewer looking for audiobooks), because the plot sounded intriguing:
during a party in a private home, this guy Miles gets up in the middle of the meal, goes upstairs; but instead of going to the bathroom, as the other guests assume he is doing, he actually locks himself in a room, and stays in there for ever!
For such a long time that neighbors start organizing themselves to bring him food, that he receives through a window, so that at least he won’t starve.
Isn’t that exciting? yes, but the excitement stops right there!

During the whole book, people with slight connections with Miles reminisce about their past.
There’s in particular Brooke, this 10 year old “cleverest” girl, who is supposedly really funny. At the beginning, yes kind of, but after a while, it was way too much, even though, as you know if you follow this blog, I have a real passion for words, puns and word plays.

But seriously, this was the MOST BORING audiobook I ever listened to. I’m glad it was only 7:30 hours long. Because I received it from the publisher, I had to listen to it all.
Plus, apparently I read that there’s no quotation marks in the written book. So in the audio, after each sentence, you hear: Miles said, Brooke said, Miles said, Brooke said, ad nauseam.
And I didn’t like too much the sound of the narrator’s voice: her tone of voice was rather flat, I guess it fit the book but added even to the boredom.

I have the feeling it may not be that bad in print.

I suggest you don’t waste your time with it, but listen instead to something much more exciting, for instance to  Before I Go To Sleep.

Click on the publisher’s website, under the title, if you are curious about more positive reviews.


At a dinner party in the posh London suburb of Greenwich, Miles Garth suddenly leaves the table midway through the meal, locks himself in an upstairs room, and refuses to leave. An eclectic group of neighbors and friends slowly gathers around the house, and the story of Miles is told from the points of view of four of them: Anna, a woman in her forties, Mark, a man in his sixties, May, a woman in her eighties, and a ten-year-old named Brooke. The thing is, none of these people knows Miles more than slightly. So how much is it possible for us to know about a stranger? And what are the consequences of even the most casual, fleeting moments we share every day with one another?  [excerpt of Goodreads synopsos]


Ali Smith is a writer, born in 1962 in Inverness, Scotland, to working-class parents. She was raised in a council house in Inverness and now lives in Cambridge. She studied at Aberdeen, and then at Cambridge, for a Ph.D. that was never finished. In a 2004 interview with writing magazine Mslexia, she talked briefly about the difficulty of becoming ill with chronic fatigue syndrome for a year and how it forced her to give up her job as a lecturer at University of Strathclyde to focus on what she really wanted to do: writing. Openly gay, she has been with her partner Sarah Wood for 17 years and dedicates all her books to her.



14 thoughts on “#93 review: There But For The

  1. Pingback: 2011 Audio Book Challenge « Words And Peace

  2. Shame this one didn’t work out so well. I’ve read one book by Ali Smith (Hotel World), and I really liked it. I’m sure I’ll give this one a try at some point, but it sounds like it might be better suited to reading in print rather than audio.

    Thanks for a frank review!


  3. It really is interesting how we can have totally different experiences with this audiobook. It was my second favorite of the year. I’m sorry that it didn’t work for you. But, that is what makes the book world go round, I suppose. 🙂 If we all loved the same things, there wouldn’t be much to talk about. I will probably be listening to this audiobook again. I have a feeling you won’t. 🙂 I do need to listen to Before I Go To Sleep. I’ve been wanting to read that for some time now.


    • Yes, it is fascinating indeed! I listened to lots of great audiobooks last year, so no problem. My best was Before I go To Sleep, curious to know what you think about it. My current audio is Cleopatra’s Daughter (M.Moran), my next one is The Forgotten Garden, by K. Morton


  4. I feel for you, you actually sat through the entire 7:30 hours of audio, whereas I had the luxury to skip on ahead 😦 The idea behind the book was pretty good, but the cleverness was really too much.


  5. Pingback: 2nd blogiversary giveaway winner! « Words And Peace

  6. Pingback: Six degrees of separation: From the Renaissance to Versailles | Words And Peace

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