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One Good Turn  By  cover art

One Good Turn

By: Kate Atkinson
Narrated by: Steven Crossley
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Publisher's Summary

It is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident--an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander--until he becomes a suspect.

With Case Histories, Kate Atkinson showed how brilliantly she could explore the crime genre and make it her own. In One Good Turn, she takes her masterful plotting one step further. Like a set of Russian dolls, each thread of the narrative reveals itself to be related to the last.

Her Dickensian cast of characters are all looking for love or money and find it in surprising places. As ever with Atkinson, what each one actually discovers is his or her true self.

Unpausable and triumphant, One Good Turn is a sharply intelligent listen that is also percipient, funny, and totally satisfying.

©2006 Kate Atkinson (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about One Good Turn

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  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars

Expected more of a twist

I love how Kate Atkinson writes so beautifully about such bleak and seedy things. I loved the performance and I loved the characters. I was a little disappointed at how she tied up the threads in the end, though. Still a lovely and engaging story.

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A true thriller

A very good story with a lot of twists. A bit slow in the beginning, but makes up for it in a twirl of an ending. Special thanks to the very good narrator.

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Fantastic audio book

This was such a treat of a story to listen to on all the long drives we've done lately. We hung on every word and revelled in Steven Crossley's delivery. Highly recommended.

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Good writing but too much woolgathering

I like the Atkinson novels but in this case I was a bit disappointed, the technique she use of many chatacthers telling the story is ok but it has ben used too much and the story has lost some suspense. I have 4 stars because she can write and create a good setting.

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  • 1ellisj
  • 08-03-15

disappointing narration

What did you like most about One Good Turn?

I always enjoy Kate Atkinson's story-telling and style. Unfortunately this was spoiled sometimes by the narrator's seeming lack of feeling for the sense of what she had written, resulting in errors of pronunciation, stress and intonation which altered the meaning of the text!

What was one of the most memorable moments of One Good Turn?

I'm not sure that this is a book about moments. The plot is a mesh of interwoven stories -most memorable are the characters.

Did Steven Crossley do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Yes he did. I have listened to him reading other novels. The characters do have different voices but those voices are not always those which I should allot to the characters. I often find his female voices extremely irritating, their regional accents heavy and overdone, giving an impression of a lack of intelligence. He didn't learn how to pronounce Niambh until Book 3. His ugly pronunciation jarred every time.

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

Yes. I enjoyed the book despite the narrator's efforts to prevent this. I had read the novel some years previously and had read too quickly because of my need to know what would happen next - listening at reading pace meant that I savoured the text more slowly. To continue the metaphor, however, the dish was nearly spoiled by the seasoning of the narration.

Any additional comments?

The narrator made mistakes. This is important in a novel where the narrator is 'all knowing'.We the listener/reader assume that he or she knows the story. This is not the case here. One gets the impression that the narrator had simply picked up the text for the first time and had no more insight into what would happen than we had. I'm surprised that the errors were not picked up. Surely there is an editing process?

10 people found this helpful

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  • Gillian
  • 05-10-15

A good read, with some annoying elements!

This was a really good, clever, interwoven story, full of rich characters and many twists and turns. Sometimes Kate Atkinson's habit of wandering off into another story, or adding in a mass of detail, became annoying. But overall better than your average thriller. Stephen Crossley is an excellent narrator, and managed to convey a vast cast of characters clearly and distinctly.

I'll continue to follow Jackson's adventures - and his unfortunate love life!

9 people found this helpful

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  • JANE PRIOR
  • 06-08-15

Intricate and intriguing

Story telling at its best: I was absorbed from the first paragraph until the end of this intriguing novel. Each character was brought to life through cleverly woven sub plots and the whole brought together with style and panache. A great read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Di
  • 05-25-15

Not enough mystery and suspense

An average light read, I wouldn't know how to compare it to the average Jackson Brodie story, because I haven't read very many. After finishing the book, I couldn't help thinking that it was as if Kate Atkinson herself graded the book/ and series as average crime novels, through her character writer, also her description of the average reader wasn't very flattering either. That was the irony and tragedy of the book. Good imagination, but few of her characters were a bit shallow. Well, if Kate Atkinson feels that it is time for her to write a more serious novel, then I hope she can live up to the challenge, but why undermine this story by sharing the frustration.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ligs
  • 07-24-19

Entertaining but spoilt by silly women's voices

Enjoyed this book overall, but was increasingly annoyed by some of the narrators voices for a couple of the women, Julia and Louise who for the most part sounded rather supercilious, and not entirely how they were written, from where I was sitting anyway. Not enough to put you off completely, but irritating and spoilt the listen. His male voices were very well done.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Viv D
  • 12-09-18

Great listen

This was my first Kate Atkinson. I really enjoyed the twists and turns and despite being slightly implausible-was great fun. I’ll be trying other titles of hers!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • timothy
  • 11-20-16

More than a mystery

Kate Atkinson is such a good writer. This book had gripping moments broken up by great humour - she made each character very real. She is gentle with her people but you get a sense of how bad the 'baddies' are and all the characters are well observed making for some funny comments. The plot swung along well too. I wish I had it ahead of me to listen to still.

3 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 11-18-20

Entertaining and ironic

I loved the way the author reflected both upon the characters and the genre.

Some brilliant observation of human behaviour and I particularly resonated with the shy decent character of the writer Martin when "trying to urinate quietly" in the bathroom of the hotel room where events had conspired to force him to share with the character - clearly 'dodgy' who transpired to be a paid assassin. How many of us are over-aware of their existence and worry about how we feel we may impact upon others, whilst we tolerate the behaviour of others without question?

Full of gentle amusing irony which felt to me as much the point of the novel as any possible crime and hunt for perpetrators, by entertaining quirky detectives.

Not many detective/crime novels have you laughing out loud; that has to be an achievement.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. D. GRIFFITHS
  • 03-26-21

Not for me

I couldn't get into this drivel, but it seems to be popular. However, it was well read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M. M. Makki
  • 06-14-19

So disappointing

Kate Atkinson is a well known prize winning author but this book is boring boring boring .She keeps going off the point all the time which makes the story long winded and difficult to follow . I literally ‘lost the plot’.
It is well narrated though.
I suspect this is yet another case of a publisher not daring to edit a book by someone so well known.

1 person found this helpful

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  • oliver
  • 07-13-18

v much enjoyed

I love the book - particularly the quirky characters whose stories cleverly interweave.
Narration good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-26-20

Good not great

The first book in this series and the characters, had me enthralled from the start. This one took a while to get going. The characters were a bit bland, as we got further into the web of connection to Jackson, it was entertaining and clever, I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it.

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  • Dudley
  • 09-02-19

I am writing this review to let you know don’t buy

I don’t think it is me but the plot (s) are all over the place. I’m at chapter 7 & I m having trouble remembering the story précis. I have replayed 5 times just to follow.
Perhaps easier in written form - that way one could go back & check.
Is anything going to happen?
It is truly so boring.

I am sorry to say I will ask for my money back.

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  • Alisha
  • 07-31-19

Dull and Poorly Written

Oh dear - what a dull book. Ending was terrible too. Nothing was explained. It just ended. Characters were annoying and everything just glossed over. I bought the whole series and I'll be returning the lot!!

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  • Monty
  • 07-27-19

Very clever & lots of dry subtle humour

BEST BOOK. Loved it so much I'm writing a review (first time after over 100 audio books).

It's the subtleties and dry humour that make this book so best give it your full attention.

A clever storyline and characters that make an impression. Gloria and Tatiana the most interesting but even Martin at times. The humour's dry, astute and subtle so give it your full attention.

Kate Atkinson must be a fascinating person to write characters like these. She's certainly very skilled.

Great narrator too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-19-19

Enjoyable performance

I really enjoy the Brodie series! Multiple stories brilliantly & confusingly entwined. Crossley brings Brodie to life & makes the all characters relatable.