We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Very First Damned Thing Audiobook

The Very First Damned Thing: An Author-Read Audio Exclusive

Regular Price:$0.00

Publisher's Summary

Audible is delighted to bring you an exclusive, author-read production of The Very First Damned Thing. Hear it here first, months ahead of the EBook publication.

Jodi Taylor reads the long-awaited prequel in her Chronicles of St Mary’s series, as Dr Bairstow struggles to set up St Mary’s as we know it in a world still scarred by the ravages of civil war.

Ever wondered how it all began? It’s two years since the final victory at the Battersea Barricades. The fighting might be finished, but for Dr Bairstow, just now setting up St Mary's, the struggle is only beginning.

How will he assemble his team? From where will his funding come? How can he overcome the massed ranks of the Society for the Protection of Historical Buildings? How do stolen furniture, a practical demonstration at the Stirrup Charge at Waterloo, students’ alcohol-ridden urine, a widowed urban guerrilla, a young man wearing exciting knitwear and four naked security guards all combine to become the St Mary’s of the future?

©2015 Jodi Taylor (P)2015 Audible Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1241 )
5 star
 (663)
4 star
 (369)
3 star
 (160)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (20)
Overall
4.3 (1126 )
5 star
 (625)
4 star
 (316)
3 star
 (140)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (17)
Story
4.3 (1133 )
5 star
 (604)
4 star
 (313)
3 star
 (160)
2 star
 (36)
1 star
 (20)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Krista San Antonio, Texas USA 12-09-15
    Krista San Antonio, Texas USA 12-09-15 Member Since 2016

    magicalfire

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    192
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved the story. The narration was ehh..."

    Maybe I got spoiled with Zara Ramm's narration, as I read the entire main series before starting on the short stories. I know, I should have checked the reading order first, but didn't. Zara Ramm is a great narrator. In books 1-6, she did an excellent job with the different voices, the emotion, the sarcasm. While I love Jodi Taylor and she has a fan for life, it was difficult to listen to M.s Taylor after the exceptional job that Zara Ramm did in her narration of the other books. If I had listened to this one first, maybe my expectations would not have been so high, but... Jodi is articulate, clear and easy to listen to, but all of the voices and accents are the same, so they are very hard to differentiate. Other than that, I enjoyed hearing how Dr. Bairstow recruited all of his people and established St. Mary's.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Milton Franklin, WI, United States 10-25-15
    Milton Franklin, WI, United States 10-25-15 Member Since 2010

    I didn't do much for the first twenty years of my life, spent the next twenty in the military, and the twenty after that in college. Then, I mostly retired.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    271
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully phrased and clearly stated"

    A treat for the ears to listen to, and a story of romance and daring. I think I have just gotten hooked on another series.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl 11-05-15
    Sheryl 11-05-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    170
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    169
    128
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    24
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wait for it on Kindle. Not the best on audio"

    This is a delightful short story "prequel" to the St. Mary's series. Any fan of the series should enjoy this short foray into St. Mary's past. Do NOT start the series with this title, however, as it will likely make no sense and not be very interesting. It really is meant for those who are already familiar with the series. That said, I would recommend waiting for the release of the kindle edition of the story rather than listening to the free audio on Audible. I'm very thankful to Ms. Taylor for offering this for free and I feel very bad saying it because I love her as an author, but reading the story herself did not do it any justice. She has a very pleasant voice but she does not do anything to distinguish between characters nor does she put much (if any) emotion into her voice. It makes for a rather dull reading and often a rather confusing one, as it is sometimes difficult to distinguish who is saying what. 4 stars for the story, but only 2 for the audio.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina SOUTHINGTON, CONNECTICUT, United States 11-06-15
    Regina SOUTHINGTON, CONNECTICUT, United States 11-06-15 Member Since 2015

    Believer in what you can't see

    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    189
    177
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous storyline"
    What did you love best about The Very First Damned Thing?

    Everything, the story is like a roller coaster, it's exciting, dramatic, funny. I can't wait until the next episode.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Malcolm, he is so funny and he is always getting into trouble.


    What does Jodi Taylor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She brings her story to life, more authors should narrate their stories.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I almost did.


    Any additional comments?

    Love this fun series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colonelswife 10-30-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    67
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    112
    63
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too short . Loved it."

    Highly recommend Jodi Taylor's The Chronicles of St. Mary's series- which are cleverly written & ,highly entertaining
    All Jodi's novels are marvelous, and very addictive.
    In her time travel series you will find humor , adventure, history, romance , & lovable characters .
    Her Frogmorton Farm series is just as entertaining and fun . Once you start , you can't get enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Carey 09-28-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    92
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Time travel with a slightly twisted sense of humor"

    First, I need to say up front that I'm reading this in the wrong order. It is by internal chronology the very first story, in which Dr. Bairstow gets funding for time travel, secures the premises of St. Mary's, and recruits the team vital to the St. Mary's project. At the same time, in fact, this story was written after several other, "later" stories, where St. Mary's is up and running, and the characters are settled into their roles. So it's safe to assume that those who have read those "later," previously written stories will find additional pleasure and satisfaction in seeing the team gathered and the project begun.

    Despite the fact that I doubt I'm getting the full pleasure of it, I really enjoyed this story. It's a great look at the importance of history, accompanied by a certain gallows humor that tickles my own twisted sense of humor. I especially love the way Dr. Bairstow cheerfully promises his prospective recruits that yes, the working conditions will be hard, but on the other hand, the pay will be really awful.

    It's just a short, perhaps novella in length, and as I've clearly warned, there's an assumption that you've read at least one or two of the others. Despite that, definitely recommended. It's a lot of fun.

    Audible was (maybe is?) offering this one for free.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 03-15-16
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 03-15-16 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    309
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    361
    172
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Start at the very beginning."

    If you love St. Mary's, you'll love this prelude to the place. Fun and funny with a dry wit. This is a delight.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie 02-15-16
    Janie 02-15-16

    Papoter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    194
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    122
    64
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WHY do you let authors read their work?"

    WHY, oh why do you let authors read their work? I completely LOVE Jodi Taylor s writing. She is clever, smart, funny, fun, detailed, creative, brilliant, original, etc, as a writer, but simply should not read her own book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobbert magazine, AR, United States 12-12-15
    Bobbert magazine, AR, United States 12-12-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "story shows promise, narration not so much."

    I enjoyed the storyline love the humor but the narration put me into a stupor, not in a good way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juli J. 11-28-16
    Juli J. 11-28-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "weird"

    This was a vary difficult to follow story. I will say though, I listened to it during a very stressful time and I often found my mind wondering. I'm not completely sure if it was just so much on my mind or of the story was so boring it just didn't hold my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • kate
    Stirling, Australia
    10/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't start the series with this book"
    What did you like most about The Very First Damned Thing?

    I loved that it filled in gaps I hadn't even realised existed!


    What about Jodi Taylor’s performance did you like?

    As others have said, she's not Zara Ramm, and it takes time to acclimatise. Jodi reads the book perfectly well, but she reads it, where Zara perfomrs and brings it to life. As I got into the story, I forgot that and it was fine.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not start the series with this book. Read them in the order they were written. This book would make abvsolutely no sense iff you hadn't read the others.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Miss T. S. Prescott
    Brecon
    12/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant but please, leave the narration to Zara"
    Would you listen to The Very First Damned Thing again? Why?

    Yes, because the St Marys Chronicle are so enjoyable


    What other book might you compare The Very First Damned Thing to, and why?

    All of the stories are enjoyable


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jodi Taylor’s performances?

    With reservations


    Any additional comments?

    I love the humour in these books and with the deletion of some "yes sirs" are fast and witty. The historical pieces are so original but please, after all the stories and the incredibly generous freebies I have become so used to the quick, theatrical narration, leave it to the very excellent Zara Ramm

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jen
    12/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great filling back story for loved characters"

    I really enjoyed listening to how some of the regular St Mary's team came to belong. As other reviews have mentioned this is read by Jodi Taylor so it may take a bit of adapting to a different voice reading the much loved characters.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Crackdown
    Knighton, United Kingdom
    10/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A nice story giving background to St Mary's"

    This is a nice little filler story giving the background as to how St Mary's was set up.

    Really the summary given by Audible sums it up, so I won't add anything further on that.

    Onto performance.

    What differs this time is the change in narrator. Up until now Zara Ramm has been the narrator for these stories. Yet this time the narration is taken on by the author herself. There are always pitfalls whenever an author does this, but actually, despite the fact Jodi Taylor is not a professional narrator, it doesn't detract too badly at all. I've heard far worse, including some so called professional narrators who couldn't narrate their way out of a wet paper bag!

    What Jodi Taylor does is keep it simple. So, for example, there are no false tries at creating different accents for different characters. Also, (if you've heard the other stories) once you've been listening for a while you don't try and superimpose the accents you associate with the characters that Zara Ramm has placed in your head. And by the end that also makes it more enjoyable.

    Plus, let's face it; this story is currently being listed free, and for a freebie there is not really any cause for complaint.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Andrea
    Canvey Island, United Kingdom
    12/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't start the series with this book!"
    What did you like best about The Very First Damned Thing? What did you like least?

    The back story, as good to know a bit of background. The thing I liked least was the narration by the author.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    I'm sorry to say did not like Jodi Taylor narrating her own book, just didn't sound right. Best leave the narration up to Zara Ramm.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    I'd love the whole series to be made into films so yes would defiantly want to see it.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    12/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not enough"

    Being a prequel it was good but disappointing as I wanted to know more about the British revolution as to why it happened and also about America as is alluded to in latter books. Her narration is OK but dull compared to the original narrator

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sparks
    elham, United Kingdom
    12/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sorry could not finish it"
    What disappointed you about The Very First Damned Thing?

    The narration was so very poor, and did not flow, resulting in a disjointed story


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jodi Taylor again?

    I love Jodi Taylors books by the original narrator


    What didn’t you like about Jodi Taylor’s performance?

    Jodi Taylor may be a very good writer but her narration was amateur, with pauses in the wrong place, the intonation in her voice was all wrong, There was no emotion in the narration, and it left me feeling cheated


    What character would you cut from The Very First Damned Thing?

    no characters, just the narrator


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • caradoc
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed this"

    Jodi Taylor writes well, and in this short story she gives some insight into the beginnings of it all. It was read well and I very much enjoyed it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Teresa Cooper
    11/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hello St Mary's "

    What we can surmise from this book is that the majority of historians are mad. But Jodie Taylor gives us the first book in, what I hope, a promising new series. Long may historians dig for an understanding of the past.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bugeyes
    12/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    "Poor narration 😕"

    Never made it past the first 30 minutes. The author's narration is bland and nothing like the lively novels she writes.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.