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Extended Audio Sample There But for The 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 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ali Smith Narrator: Anne Flosnik Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9781611746174
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At a posh London dinner party, Miles Garth leaves locks himself in an upstairs room and refuses to leave. His story is told from the points of view of four of the friends and neighbors who have gathered there. But none know him more than slightly. What ar Download and start listening now!

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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maya | 1/22/2014

    " The writing had me mesmerized, and I enjoyed it a lot. However could have done without the final Brooke section! Augh!! I mean, I was already wary of whenever Brooke came on the scene and then to have the end just be endless Brooke was too much. But overall I liked it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John Pollard | 1/19/2014

    " Really didn't enjoy it. Then realised it is the same author as Hotel World, which I really didn't enjoy either. A lot of not very funny/clever word-play, can't understand the hype on the back cover. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 1/19/2014

    " I liked the creative element of this novel, but I was disappointed to never find out why Milo stayed there. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 12/10/2013

    " It was strange. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liana | 12/9/2013

    " This was a struggle for me to get through. I even grew to dread reading it, and almost gave up. I think the theme (how one life impacts many) was just too weak to keep my interest. Of the 4 different narrators, the last one was my favorite, which enabled me to power through the end and finish it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma Adams | 11/6/2013

    " I enjoyed it, but maybe it's better as a paper book, versus an audio book..... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lola425 | 10/25/2013

    " I love the way Smith uses words and loved the concept of the novel. I just didn't get into it as much as I thought I would. Definitely worth a read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angela | 10/19/2013

    " i had heard of ali smith and read about her, so i thought i would give this one a try. i had a really hard time; lots of long padded writing. i understand she's trying to be poetic in some ways, but did not work for me. I may try another one of her other novels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yashoda Sampath | 5/31/2013

    " Absolutely magical book that's stayed with me, months after I finished it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana Voelkel | 5/7/2013

    " After a dinner party, one of the guests goes upstairs, locks himself in the guest bedroom, and doesn't come out for weeks. Miles (the guest), Anna (an acquaintance of Miles), and Brooke (10-year-old neighbor) are delightful characters; the writing is brisk and lively. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 10/16/2012

    " Very clever book with great humor. The characters were wonderful, especially Brooke. It was just, stylistically, sometimes hard as hell to get through. Don't read this on the train! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayla Bassham | 9/2/2012

    " Not my favorite Ali Smith, but she is always interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joey Diamond | 8/24/2012

    " must read again because i missed the characters as soon as i put it down and need to find out the magic behind the tricks. i never know why i love ali smith but she makes me full of glee and also sad. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lou King | 5/25/2012

    " I don't care if Miles ever comes out, and if he does, I don't care why. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca H. | 4/22/2012

    " I loved this in parts, but it never held together for me. I think The Accidental is a much better book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia Tindell | 12/4/2011

    " This was an excellent book! It was an enjoyable read with fun characters and a charming ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 10/26/2011

    " This book does get you thinking about what impact you have on other people's lives without knowing it, but for me I just couldn't get into it. I had trouble following parts of it that were disjointed. The characters were amusing, but often off on tangents. Like the theme, but not the flow. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gaije | 10/22/2011

    " I liked everything about this book. The structure, the use of language, character construction. So, so, good. Read it immediately! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney Dachelle | 10/11/2011

    " Really wish I could give this one three and a half stars - loved half the book, thought one section was good and the other merely O.K. Interesting structure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali | 10/10/2011

    " There is some really interesting stuff going on in this book, and I really cared about the characters - but at the end, I was left wanting a little more closure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 10/10/2011

    " Lots of literary praise going on for this book. I just couldn't get into it like others, though. Writing is well done, but characters fell flat for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 10/9/2011

    " almost a 4 star. my dislike of stream of consciousness writing edged in there. Smith is a very gifted writer and I will read more of her. "

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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 Narrator

Anne Flosnik, a seasoned audiobook narrator, has over four hundred titles to her credit and several awards and distinctions, including three AudioFile Earphones Awards, a USA Today Recommended Listening, and the American Library Association’s Special Services to Children Award. She has twice been an Audie Award finalist. She is an accomplished actress with lead credits on stage, on television, and in commercials and voice-overs.