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Publisher's Summary

It's not the breaking up that kills you, it's the aftermath.

Ever since his longtime lover decided he'd seen the "heterosexual light", Matt's life has been in a nosedive. Six months of too many missed shifts at the hospital, too much booze, too many men. Matt knows he's on the verge of losing everything, but he's finding it hard to care.

Then Matt meets Aaron. He's gorgeous, intelligent, and apparently not interested in being picked up. Still, even after seeing Matt at his worst, he doesn't turn away. Aaron's kindness and respect have Matt almost believing he's worth it - and that there could be life after Joe. But his newfound happiness is threatened when Matt begins to suspect Aaron is hiding something - or someone....

©2010 Harper Fox (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Story

love the story, not the narration

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

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  • Robert
  • Humble, TX, United States
  • 01-14-12

Good Story, Terrible Narration

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

  • Overall
  • Randal
  • Tampa, FL United States
  • 12-27-10

Another wonderful story

I really enjoyed this book. The narration was a bit difficult to understand the first four or five times I listened to it, but after you get used to the accent it is a wonderful ride. It is now on my favorites list of books I listen to every few weeks.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Just lovely

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

At first the narration was a bit difficult to follow, but it was certainly worth it. Enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great gem

If you could sum up Life after Joe in three words, what would they be?

Like opening a gift box to find a diamond, rather than a tie. great characters , altho I have to confess the first audio scene bothered me and I almost gqave up , not into exhibitionism etc. but wow once it progressed and I learned the reasons behind the occurrence; I'm glad I pressed on. It was a gem

What other book might you compare Life after Joe to and why?

trick of time. It had the same surprise under the wrapper. believable characters and strength in the story

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

wow who knew how many accents he has. Great job , he brought the characters alive, didn't just read it, felt as tho he lived it as he read. fantastic treat

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the flight to the sea platform. the realization one JUST must be there, that AH-ha movement and the reunion of the two. just felt believable , he hope the relief and the joy , when one Is willing to risk everything to reach their loved one.

Any additional comments?

over all it grabbed me emotionally. Brought alive the feelings of loss, betrayal, and the beauty of true love, for the first time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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DNF: Unbearable Narration (Accent)

I only got through about 15 minutes before giving up. I can't judge the writing, so gave it three stars.

The Newcastle accent would be a challenge for most English actors, but is clearly impossible for Sean Crisden. It was painful to listen to and so distracting that I cannot remember anything about the story that I just listened to. Such a pity.

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  • Barbara
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 05-28-16

Charming!

A short book, but charming as are all of Harper's stories. The narration is very Scottish, but also understandable.

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If not for one unforgivable sin!

I would have really loved this book if not for one scene that is on my "Hell No" list. It is not only lazy but irresponsible and disrespectful to have a scene where the protagonist is raped and then show absolutely no processing, no trauma reaction, and no ill effects from the event. If you are going to feature a rape in your story, be ethical and treat it accurately and give it the weight it needs. Otherwise, use another trope!
It's too bad, too, because otherwise it would have been a good book!

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Short, Poignant, Sweet and HEA!

Where does Life after Joe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Pretty tough to rank, I listen to so many and re-listen to those I Love. This is definitely a re-listen!!!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aaron - because he is smart enough to cut through what Matt is feeling - and knows the reason why he is in the shape he is in - and has the patience to know he has a diamond in the rough

Which character – as performed by Sean Crisden – was your favorite?

I liked both of them, once I got used to the accent, which by the way was done beautifully. I thought he performed it very authentically and don't understand other criticisms I've read. I love Sean Crisden and will listen to about anything he does. Yes it was a difficult beginning, but I restarted it twice which helped. I had to acclimate to the accent. Once I did, it made everything so real to me - it brought Matt and Aaron to life.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It touched me deeply and made my eyes well up a few times. I understand Matt's pain and wish we had a little more insight on Aaron's feelings though the author does a great job with such a short book.

Any additional comments?

I just loved how Aaron saved Matt and in the end they saved each other...and I loved that Matt saw so clearly (finally) the place in life he needed to be...after Joe.

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so good!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This was absolutely wonderful. Even though this was a short novella, it had so much heart and emotion. It was a bit angsty, sure, but that just made the happiness the main characters were able to find sweeter. And initially the narrator was a bit difficult to understand, but I quickly adapted, and I DO have to give the narrator a lot of credit for really putting his heart and soul into this narration. He breathed a lot of life into an already great story.

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  • Serin6
  • 01-02-17

Inappropriate narrator/narration

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.