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Extended Audio Sample The Accidental Audiobook, by Ali Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,531 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ali Smith Narrator: Heather O’Neill, Stina Nielsen, Jeff Woodman, Michael Bates Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781598871449
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Amber, an eerie, exotic woman, invades the Smarts' summer vacation. As she insinuates herself into the family with lies and cleverness, they begin to see themselves through her eyes. When she is finally banished, she disappears from their sight, but not f Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 2005 Man Booker Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marla Glenn | 2/3/2014

    " This was a really weird book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erica | 2/1/2014

    " I enjoyed this book a lot but got tired of the lists. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Krissy | 1/28/2014

    " People raved over this one. I must have missed something. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kira | 1/15/2014

    " A disappointment that I persevered through only because I kept expecting it to begin living up to the good reviews it received. I feel cheated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 1/14/2014

    " I liked the way the story revolved around the family giving each members perspective in turn. It was fun to see how each of them saw and interacted with their mysterious guest. I was a bit disappointed with the ending though. It just seemed too unrealistic (relatively speaking). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marguerite | 1/12/2014

    " The Accidental is a portrait of a family under mostly self-inflicted pressure, a family that drifts and reassembles into something different. A stranger, Amber, and a dreadful family vacation, are the catalysts. Lest we miss that, Ali Smith offers, "Couldn't it sometimes take an outsider to reveal to a family that it was a family?" The premise reminds me of several Clint Eastwood movies: a stranger rides into town. Is he good, or evil? Whichever, he leaves behind a trail of mayhem and reveals the townies to themselves. I like the characters in this, and the ever-present ambiguity. But I could have done without the stream-of-consciousness asides, which became tiresome quickly. I found the novel something of a slog overall. Still, Smith can write: "What was happy? What was an ending? She had been refusing real happiness for years and she had been avoiding real endings for just as long, right up to the moment she had opened the front door on her own emptied house, her own cupboards stripped of their doors, her own unpictured walls and unfilled rooms, no trace of her left, nothing to prove that Eve Smart, whoever she was, had ever been there at all." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lacey | 1/11/2014

    " Technically I haven't finished this book. I really liked the character of the girl, and the brother. I got bored. I think she is an amazing writer with a supreme talent for distinctive voices. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 1/5/2014

    " A strange and haunting book about strangers and distance between people. Funny, odd and dangerous. Worth reading. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paula | 1/3/2014

    " blah. this is a blah book w/ lots of empty, flashy conceits to cover up the fact that it's really very dull. the fact that this novel was a booker finalist is discouraging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 12/27/2013

    " Ali Smith is such an interesting writer with a very unconventional style. I really enjoyed her book "Hotel World" and was anxious to give this one a try. You really have to stick with it as her ideas wander a lot, but that's what makes it so fun to read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew McCarthy | 12/8/2013

    " Vivacious, clever and wholly original. A simple story made so much more by the breadth of its wit and Smith's undeniably readable prose. Brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shakirah | 9/26/2013

    " A friend of mine bought me this book and at first I couldn't get into it. Its not an easy book to read, but once you get your head around the unusual style of narrative its well worth the effort. The story stays with you after you've finished "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rtwriter | 7/1/2013

    " much appreciation for the writing style - lyrical, poetic. little regard for the lack of plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi cooper | 6/27/2013

    " very, very good. i love ali smith and her writing style. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gill | 1/9/2013

    " I was really disappointed by this book. It was highly praised, won awards, but I found it weird and downright dull in parts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookmaniac70 | 12/13/2012

    " "Stream-of-conscience" technique manages to create an effect of immediate reality but at the same time may fail to engage you emotionally. Exactly that was the case with "The Accidental". Very interesting and unusual writing which I enjoyed from certain point of view but mostly intellectually. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 12/3/2012

    " I basically just didn't get it. But I did really enjoy the author's writing style and ability. Another highly dysfunctional family; should make for some book club discussion fodder anyway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 11/22/2012

    " Wonderfully written and unsettling. Amber, the interloper who undoes the Smart family (or helps them undo themselves), nearly veers into Manic Pixie Dream Girl territory at times. But her blackhearted malevolence keeps the story from getting too whimsical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Michael | 9/13/2012

    " A strange novel, one that I can't compare to any other I can think of, at least off the top of my head. I wouldn't say this was a perfect book, or even that I enjoyed it, exactly, but it was worth reading for reasons I couldnt--and still can't--seem to pin down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlene | 2/26/2012

    " Obviously influenced by Virginia Woolf, I found Ali Smith nearly treacherous with her wordplay and stream of consciousness style i.e. jittery and at times very confusing. Still, Magnus Smart is such an excellent name. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 2/10/2012

    " Parts of this book left me thinking what an innovative, lyrical writer Smith is while other parts left me shaking my head asking, "Huh?" The author captivates and disappoints me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elizabeth King | 11/26/2011

    " I didn't find any of the characters particularly interesting or engaging. I really struggled to finish the book and gave up more than once. When i did finish it, I didn't feel any sense of accomplishment or feel that I gained any insights into life or literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn Janson Medordi | 11/1/2011

    " insightful read about how a visitor becomes a catalyst for change in an ailing family. characters are easily relatable and the change of POV keeps things fresh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Addison | 6/19/2011

    " This book was described as being profound but I felt like there was something that I didn't "get." I really like the writing style, though. It was original and was in the style of stream-of-consciousness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bonnie | 5/20/2011

    " All I can say about this book is that it was very odd. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nika | 5/14/2011

    " interesting story wise, but too much random rambling for my liking. writing wasn't my cup of tea. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 5/11/2011

    " Different,clever, jazz-like writing, sorta funny. A family trying to find out where they belong, each separately and together, neurotically. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 4/10/2011

    " The literary equivalent of a breath of fresh air. Definitely peculiar but very interesting, there is always something to keep you reading. Occasionally it seems that substance is being sacrificed for style, but this does not detract from the novel as a whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina | 3/3/2011

    " A beautifully written beguiling story.

    Particularly liked the passage about Eve envisioning a line of her former selves along the ridge of the Catskills.

    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 2/28/2011

    " An engaging, fun read. Smith's characters are unforgettable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 2/24/2011

    " This has to be one of the most bizarre books I've ever read--both in the style which it was written, and the story content. It was hard to follow, and at the end I scratched my head and thought "what on earth did I just finish reading?" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 2/11/2011

    " This was a very good book. Not one you can skim though, it took a couple of weeks to get through it with my schedule but I would recommend it. Not a light read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carly | 2/5/2011

    " I loved it. One of the best books I've read in a long time. I need to read it again to appreciate the literariness of it, but it makes many of the other books I have read recently seem hollow. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Phil | 1/24/2011

    " One of the dullest books I have ever read and I gave up halfway through to end my misery. Has put me off ever picking up a Booker prize winning/nominated novel since. "

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About the Author
Author Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the author of many works of fiction, including the novel Hotel World, which was short-listed for both the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize as well as winning the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award. The Accidental won the Whitbread Award and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. Her story collections include Free Love, which won a Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award, and The Whole Story and Other Stories. Born in Inverness, Scotland, Smith now lives in Cambridge, England.

About the Narrators

Heather O’Neill has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway plays. Her audio narration credits include Blessed Are the Cheesemakers, The Accidental, Field of Blood, and The Dead Hour.

Stina Nielsen is an actress and audiobook narrator. Her reading of Kevin Henke’s Junonia earned her a 2011 Best Voice from AudioFile magazine. She is the winner of three AudioFile Earphones Awards.

Jeff Woodman is an actor and narrator. He is a winner of the prestigious Audie Award and a six-time finalist. He has received twenty Earphones Awards and was named the 2008 Best Voice in Fiction & Classics, as well as one of the Fifty Greatest Voices of the Century by AudioFile magazine. As an actor, he originated the title role in Tennessee Williams’ The Notebook of Trigorin and won the S. F. Critics’ Circle Award for his performance in An Ideal Husband. In addition to numerous theater credits on and off Broadway, his television work includes Sex and the City, Law & Order, and Cosby.