The story arc of the book is pretty good, although the angst can seem a bit over-stretched at times. "Just talk to each other, for goodness sake!..Show More »" I was shouting at my Audible player fairly often, but was willing the characters on to do the right thing. It kept me interested to see what they would do, and I could feel myself getting quite emotionally involved on occasions. The quantity of the problems between Declan and Simon may be rather exaggerated in this story compared with real life, but I am sure a lot of the individual ones will be familiar to anyone who has been in a relationship. The value of friends is one of the most positive aspects of this book.
I enjoyed the plot, and the characters are fairly believable, acting consistently throughout the whole narrative. I know nothing about Australian football, but the reactions of those involved in most team sports to these types of revelations seemed very true to life.
So much for the story, then, but there are really two things that make it difficult to give a good rating to the audio book version.
The first is that the story is set in Australia, but read by an American narrator in an American accent. Anyone who has ever watched an Australian soap opera knows exactly how some of the lines of dialogue SHOULD have been said, and it becomes almost laughable to hear them spoken in an earnest US voice. Some of the dialogue writing isn't fantastic anyway, but it would have sound far less peculiar with an Antipodean accent and intonation. I have listened to other books narrated by Paul Morey and was surprised at how difficult I found it to distinguish some of the characters in this book, as the voices used were not always different enough, and were not always entirely consistent. Working out whether Simon was speaking or thinking something - easily determined in a print book - was quite tricky in places.
The second is that the editing is appalling. There are multiple mis-pronunciations of words or place names; quite a few mis-speakings; and far too many repeated phrases where you can hear the narrator has either made a mistake, or has decided to deliver the sentence with a different emphasis, but both versions remain in the published recording. This really is not acceptable - has anyone actually LISTENED to this before it was published? I am not a fan of musical introductions to chapters (a practice which seems to be waning now), but that irritation is nothing compared to the other problems with this audio version!
Shame, as the story was definitely worth it. As some other reviewers have suggested, I think I will buy the print or electronic versions of the rest of the series, as I can then pronounce and intone the dialogue correctly in my head. If I decide to re-read a sentence because I realise that I hadn't got the meaning right the first time, at least it will only be ME who hears it twice, and not someone who has paid money for my interpretation!