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Extended Audio Sample There But for The, by Ali Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ali Smith Narrator: Anne Flosnik Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 one told from the points of view of four of them: a woman in her forties called Anna, a man in his sixties called Mark, a woman in her eighties called May, and a ten-year-old child called Brooke. The thing is . . . none of these people knows Miles anything more than glancingly. So how much is it possible to know about a stranger? And what are the consequences of even the most casual, most fleeting meetings we have every day with other human beings?

Brilliantly audacious, disarmingly playful, full of Smith’s trademark wit and puns, There But For The is a deft exploration of the human need for separation—from our pasts and from one another—and the redemptive possibilities for connections.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “So much more than the sum of its parts…This fine, unusual novel is sweet and melancholy, indulgent of language and of the fragile oddballs who so relish in it.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Quirky, intricately put together…There but for the is ultimately a book about loss and retention: about what we forget and what we remember, about the people who pass through our lives and what bits of them cling to our consciousness.”

    New York Times

  • A 2011 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • A 2011 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • Longlisted for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Vicki | 2/8/2014

    " I was very intrigued by the premise (man goes to a dinner party and in the middle of it locks himself in a room), but very disappointed that the man was barely a character in the book. I liked the first section, thinking that it would give clues as to why the man locked himself away, but it didn't lead anywhere. I found the rest of the book to be rambling and a bit boring. I just coldn't get into it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Casey | 2/5/2014

    " I gave this one away as soon as I finished it. I would have enjoyed the book more if the author had tied all the story lines together at the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Laura Armstrong | 2/4/2014

    " I just could not get into this, which is a shame as I remember really enjoying 'the accidental' by Smith. As a previous reviewer pointed out this probably needs to be read in one sitting or the momentum is lost and it is in my view very difficult to pick up again. I didn't like the style of her writing in this, felt it was a bit clumsy and had a rushed feel to it...I'm a little perplexed as to why this book garnered so much attention when it came out. Oh well that's the joy of reading you discover what ya like and what you don't. Not for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Paul | 1/27/2014

    " Gentle, warm, humourous tale. I was a wee bit thrown by the different perspectives and number of characters at times, but it all fell into place in the end. "

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