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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 listeners say about Life after Joe

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    112
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    18
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    107
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    13
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    19
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    9

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

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.

7 people found this helpful

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

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

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

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

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 people found this helpful

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

5 star story, 2 star narration

The story is exceptionally strong. Worth a read even if you're not one for shorter stories usually. Matt and Aaron are both dealing with different forms of grief and create something new with each other that's healing, warm, and good. What I especially appreciate is how much respect is given to their past loves. Romance sometimes frames the book's love story as the one-love-above-all-others; instead, this book tells the story of the love that heals while still honoring people who are lost. This expanded version of love feels so human and realistic. Grief, love, really all emotions are captured so well in this. The story is paced well, too. All the revelations and big moments are perfectly timed and impactful.

The downer is that the audio performance doesn't work. The narrator speaks way too fast, but slowing it down to .9x speed helped with that (first time I ever slowed a performance). The bigger problem is that he struggles with the accent, and it jumps between sounding forced and outright fake. It's tolerable for brief stretches, but it really drains the emotion out of the story at times, like the narrator doesn't know how to balance speaking in a different accent while also delivering emotion.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gritty love after loss.

In a nutshell, Joe has left how can his lover go forward?  Although the narrator‘s accent and cadence initially slowed me down, his performance evoked Newcastle’s tough atmosphere. I really cared about the protagonist.   When he lost his treasured man, I felt it the pain too.  

1 person found this helpful

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

Horrible narration

Could not even follow the story do to narration. I will have to go read the book.

1 person found this helpful

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

Expectations....

Here's the thing with expectations, they can really colour a book, good or bad - long before you even pick it up. I thought this was going to pack a punch, to make me cry, be overly angsty and that I would love every second of it. So I've been putting it off for a while, books like that scare me a bit, but I also love them so much more for it. So when the book doesn't live up to those expectations, the ravings of my friends, I start to wonder "was it me?" "Did we read the same book?" "What did I miss?"

Maybe it was because I listened to the audio book and didn't read it? Sean Crisden is a tallented narrator, but the scottish accent took some time to get used to. That in combination with the oodles and oodles of sex and I just never felt invested in the story or the charactes. I never really cared one way or another. But like I said in the beginning, that might be just me.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

That horrible accent

I like this narrator but hated the accent. It was so bad. Like so bad I couldn't follow the story.

1 person found this helpful

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

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for HMM
  • HMM
  • 08-24-20

Loved it

It was raw, ugly, angry and everything but a romance until the 70% mark.
I accidentally bought the audiobook after having it shelved 'poor audio'. The heavy accent took a while to get used to and I limited the speed severely. It is read as a poignant litany and that worked just great.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.