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I own both the text and audio versions of this story. Although it's a short story, it's still one of my favorite of all romances. Harper Fox is a very talented writer -- and you can see that here in her depiction of Matthew's despair and desolation, as well as in the vivid descriptions of Newcastle, the helicopter, and the oil rig in addition to the romance itself.
Unfortunately, the narrator doesn't do any justice to this great story. He is working hard to present a "Geordie" (Newcastle) accent, but it's pretty obvious that he isn't a native (I've been listening to a lot of genuine Geordie accents, and this one just doesn't cut it). And in his attempts to replicate that accent, the narrator has completely forgotten about the character of the story. Matthew, the main character and narrator, is in the final stages of complete disintegration -- he's coming apart at the seams. As another character tells him, he's "in bits". Yet the narrator here makes Matthew sound nearly cocky and bouncy. It's all wrong. And it's quite disturbing to hear a fine story being distorted in this way.
My advice is to stick with the text version on this one. If you appreciate good writing, you should check it out. Don't give up on Harper Fox just based on the bad narration here.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Harper Fox and/or Sean Crisden?
I love Sean Crisden, but I'm just not sure this is the same Sean Crisden I love. This was terribly difficult to understand.
What didn’t you like about Sean Crisden’s performance?
Very hard to understand
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What disappointed you about Life after Joe?
Poor Sean Crisden trying to do a north-east England accent - jarring and ultimately impossible to listen to.
What did you like best about this story?
Excellent story as always from Harper Fox. I gave it 4 stars as it is a more conventional love story than many of hers, and therefore less distinctive in its plot and characterisation, but still very enjoyable and I liked the characters a lot.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Just could not do the accent - not surprisingly as many native British English speakers would find it hard to convey an authentic voice for the main character - but Sean Crisden has done many excellent narrations for audiobooks with American English-speaking characters. Could you really not find a British actor? Could you consider re-recording this one?
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Could not listen beyond the first half hour. Redeeming qualities were in the book, which I have read, and which is very good - if you like Harper Fox's style of m/m romantic contemporary fiction.