Now is Good (Previously Published as Before I Die)

  • by Jenny Downham
  • Narrated by Charlotte Parry
  • 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex. Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out.Before I Die is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

So moving and inspirational

What made the experience of listening to Now is Good (Previously Published as Before I Die) the most enjoyable?

The most enjoyable thing about listening to this audiobook was the fact that the narrator used many different dialects and accents to help to portray the characters effectively.


What did you like best about this story?

I loved the interactions between Tessa and her family and friends. It really moved me.


Have you listened to any of Charlotte Parry’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any of her other performances however after listening to this book I will be sure to do so.


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

There were many moments throughout the book that made me laugh, cry and really think and appreciate life. However I must say that the one moment that really moved me was the sequence of events just before Tessa died. The way she interacted with the ones she loved just before this point within the book was so poiniant and moving.


Any additional comments?

Overall, I feel this book is a must read. It made me laugh and cry and feel all the emotions of each character within it. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

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- Kerrie Downie

Somehow not realistic...

I know this is fiction, but the topic being what it is... I found I couldn't believe someone (in that situation) would think that way. I'm not talking about her list of things to do before she dies, but about her moment-to-moment thoughts. I just cannot relate to such a perception of objects and sounds, transformed into thoughts.
It's a book that makes readers ask themselves what they would do in that situation and what is really important in life for them. But such questions are easily born, after all, you don't need this book for that.
In the end, I did care enough for all the characters to feel sad and cry. But if the book hadn't been so short I would have probably abandoned it, as I also found it boring.
The narrator was good, making all the characters easily identifiable (they aren't many, anyway) and giving them life and personality beyond the written word. Added value, compared to the written text, I'd say. But I may have had a different perception of everyone's personality, given the freedom of imagination. The narration is an interpretation, after all.
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- Ysera

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-08-2009
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks