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  • The Very First Damned Thing

  • An Author-Read Audio Exclusive
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Jodi Taylor
  • Length: 2 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (2,304 ratings)

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The Very First Damned Thing cover art

The Very First Damned Thing

By: Jodi Taylor
Narrated by: Jodi Taylor
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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 listeners say about The Very First Damned Thing

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    584
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    75
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    254
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    58

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An intro....not much more

I heartily agree with other reviewers:

1 ) Don't start the series with this book - it's not the best first impression and may well turn you off the other books - which are really fun stuff.

2) Narration is fine, but better left to Zara

This book is very much a prequel, setting the back story to St Mary's, however, in order to appreciate the little bits of humour, you do need to have listened to and have an appreciation of the normal antics of St Marys - otherwise the humour / references will seem flat and out of place.

Jodi Taylor narrates her own work, which is admirable, and there is nothing obviously wrong with it - however, if you've listened to the other books in the series, it's immediately apparent that this narration lacks some of the energy and quirkiness which Zara's narration lends to the series. Given that the other books are told from Max's point of view, and this one told by Dr Bairstow, it makes sense to have a different narrator, however perhaps a male narrator would have been more appropriate? Jodi does a good enough job though, and as the author, I respect her choice to narrate it herself.

If you're a fan of the series, then you'll enjoy the back story, and the first meetings with some of the future key characters. It was a freebie download from audible, and therefore worth topping up my St Mary's catalogue with. Not sure it would be worth a full credit on its own though.....

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40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Read very badly

What did you like best about The Very First Damned Thing? What did you like least?

I enjoyed the story but would not listen to another read by the author.

Who was your favorite character and why?

All the usual St Mary's characters.

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

Absolutely not.

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

Possibly if combined with other St Mary's stories.

Any additional comments?

Had I realised how bad the reading was I'd have bought this on kindle.

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not the first book in the series

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

Yes - another excellent chapter in the St Mary's world. Listen to the stories in the correct order as other reviewers have said. You needed to know some history of St Mary's before you get to this part of the story, although I enjoyed listening to how it all came together, and there was a short history jump as well.

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

Just like all the other books in the series.... history and adventure but remember, it's not about time travel!

Which character – as performed by Jodi Taylor – was your favourite?

Like others, I'm use to Zara Ramm narrating these characters. However, Ms Taylor did an excellent job in her own right. The narration was clear and easy to follow ... what more do you want for the narrator?

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars

Poor narration 😕

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

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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5 people found this helpful