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Just One Damned Thing After Another

(The Chronicles of St Mary's #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  39,711 ratings  ·  4,995 reviews
“History is just one damned thing after another” - Arnold Toynbee

A madcap new slant on history that seems to be everyone's cup of tea...

Behind the seemingly innocuous facade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harml
Paperback, 325 pages
Published August 20th 2015 by Accent Press (first published June 1st 2013)
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Mary Kay Kare You'd really want a young Maggie Smith. Alas, I don't think we've got one.
You'd really want a young Maggie Smith. Alas, I don't think we've got one.
Julie The Sybils were Oracles n ancient Greece.
Mrs Dr Winter's name is Sybil.
You can draw your own conclusion here.
It is just my theory.…more
The Sybils were Oracles n ancient Greece.
Mrs Dr Winter's name is Sybil.
You can draw your own conclusion here.
It is just my theory.(less)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  39,711 ratings  ·  4,995 reviews

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Jul 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The title unfortunately describes the way this book is plotted. Things happen, and they are sort of loosely slung-together, with very little sense of time passing (at one point the protagonist notes she's known another character for five years, and I genuinely thought only a single year had passed since their meeting at the beginning of the novel) and with absolutely no character development. No characters at all, really: Taylor's creations seem to turn on a dime, depending on whatever the plot ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Light, fun and adventurous time travel romp. Just don't think too hard about it and you'll have a great time. :)

3.5 stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Just One Damned Thing After Another was a wild roller coaster ride! It’s a time travel tale, but doesn’t care to get hung up on the theory or mechanics of it. The plot careens wildly around from place to place and event to event, and I just raced around with it. Mostly it’s about the adventures ― explosions! dinosaurs! conspir
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a surprisingly delightful Time Travel novel!

I mean, if it wasn't for the great characters, and there were a ton of them, this book was still full of snark right down to the foundations. (And even sometimes under the foundations!) But even so, no one could hold a candle to Maxwell. I've never read a character so simultaneously dense about sex and love and so very, very brilliant and adaptable than her, while all the while being brainy, clumsy, and eventually able to go out and kick ass with

Madeleine Maxwell has had two pivotal moments in her life to date. Her second moment arose after a former teacher suggested applying for a job as a Historian at St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research. During the interview, St. Mary’s is cagey about the exact nature of their work, but once Maxwell accepts the job, she discovers they are historians who use time travel to correct historical inaccuracies. St. Mary’s has a certain eccentricity about it that appeals to her own rebellious nature:

Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second time reading it, and actually loved it even more

Second Rating : *** 4.44 ***

Best example of rapid cycling manic-depressive storytelling ever😃👍

“Thinking carefully is something that happens to other people”

First Rating: *** 4 ***

A buddy read with the MacHalo Freaks:) We believe that discovering history is the new sex!!!

At least, this is what Max, Madeleine Maxwell, the young historian from the St. Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, would like us to believe:) I kind of agree with her
Richard Derus
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1 JUNE 2020 UPDATE The Kindle edition of this wonderful, delightful first book in the Chronicles of St Mary's is only 99¢ TODAY!!

Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: “History is just one damned thing after another” - Arnold Toynbee

A mapcap new slant on history that seems to be everyone's cup of tea...

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporar
At some point last year, I must have been on a kick to enter tons of Goodreads Giveaways in the hopes I'd get a bunch of free books. Included in that over-zealous moment was Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. I tend to get lucky in terms of winning a giveaway once each month, and earlier this year, I won this book. When I received the email, I looked the book up as I couldn't remember anything about it... and for the life of me, I couldn't understand why I picked it given it's s ...more
Helen 2.0
Unfortunately I seem to have enjoyed this read a lot less than the rest of my MacHalo buddies. I really wanted to like it, based on trusted buddy reviews, but nope.

The premise: fascinating. Especially the part about history fighting to preserve itself, like a living entity.
The characters: a brilliant variety of realistic freaks.
The storyline: fast-paced and creative.

So what's the problem? The writing. If I had to describe it in one word (and this is just what I refer to it in my head; please do
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

DNF at 6%. Because no. Just no.

If you want the real thing, get yourself a copy of To Say Nothing of the Dog. Because this book right here?

Jul 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am angry with this book. I so wanted to like it. It is not one of those one stars where you just can't get hooked by the story, and leave it after 30 pages. It started out so well. But there are gaps in the storyline, the caracters are sketchy at the best, sometimes doing things that are not in line with their previous caracteristics. The plot is oveer 5 years but there is no developement. And you don't get a real explanation as to why somebody did something. I mean, there is some explanation, ...more
I enjoy a well-written time travel story, and I really, really thought that “Just One Damned Thing After Another “might be one. But it wasn't, I just read for educational, scientific purposes and kept urging the plot: “Come on, give me my bone, I’m digging for!” No bone, no happy reader.

But let’s start from the beginning. At first I was struck by the lack of some punctuation marks or just missing letters (I thought that it was a bad edition or smth, but nope, two other editions, I tried, had the
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've done it! I can't believe I finished this book and am still alive! Just so you don't get the wrong idea: it was that thrilling and gut-wrenching!
Boy-oh-boy. The book has history, alternating funny and dark moments, some memorable characters, more history and lots and LOTS of timey-wimey stuff! How on Earth could I not have loved it?! :D

Let's start at the beginning (and bear with me, this might take a while).
This book is about an institute that researches history. Well, not the sand-digging v
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been a fan of the St Mary’s gang for a number of years, I’ve read all of the series to date (the newest of which, Hope for the Best, is released next week) and I’ve grown to love these characters like extended, eccentric, members of my own family. So when Jodi’s books were picked up by the major publishing company Headline at the beginning of the year, I was excited to see how they’d preserve the essence of St Mary’s and bring
David Putnam
Mar 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great little story. Loved it. It really sparks the imagination as should any good time travel novel. Although this one has more relationship development and less time travel. Some romance, and some worthy sex scenes, tasteful and properly motivated. The protagonist is a strong female character that is very believable. As soon as I read the first hundred pages I purchased the next three in the series. By the time I finished the first one I was glad I did. This book is four stars instead of five e ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

What a fun little time travel book! As someone who frequently goes trawling through Audible’s site looking for sci-fi and fantasy releases, I often see the audiobooks in this series pop up in my recommendations and I’ve always been curious about them. Now the first book is finally being released in the US in print (seven volumes are already available in the UK, where the series has become quite a sensation) and when the pu
Jamie Lymer
Well where to begin ? The book really grabbed my interest at first, and I thought the premise of the story was good.

However, some of the actions of the principal characters did not appear to be inkeeping with their previous behaviour - making them unbelievable.

Also from the description of the book I expected there to be a lot of detailed, historical content and there just wasn't - not enough to satisfy any history buffs anyway and that disappointed me.

Also annoying were the quips made by Max,
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant! This book was far more than I expected. I expected a fun romp. It was. It was fast- paced and funny and action packed. But it also had a clever plot, great characters and provided an original and unique look at time travel. Strongly recommended.
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More fun than Mr. Hand’s class in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Have you ever looked something up on Wikipedia, some historical event or biography, and then THREE HOURS LATER, you blinked and realized you’d been surfing the web for just one damned thing after another?

History has always fascinated me and writer Jodi Taylor knows the subject grabs a lot of people. Add to that attraction an urban fantasy like setting, mix in some actual fantasy, cool as the other side of the pillow time travel and y
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book feels very apt as this really is a roller coaster of a ride – not only through history, but through a whole host of different plot twists and turns. Our heroine is Madeleine Maxwell (Max), who is saved from an unhappy childhood through encouragement to get out of her bad situation through education. When she is invited to an interview at St Mary’s she finds that it is a research institution like no other. Indeed, the historians at St Mary’s can return to any historical eve ...more
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A fun and funny frolic. Very amusing prose and fast-paced action. There is no attempt to explain the mechanics of time travel and very little effort to make sense of what it is being used for and why. You have to be in the right mood to accept that; easier done in the first half, which is quite light, but gets harder in the second half, when unexpectedly darker events take place. A couple incidents and and inconsistencies had me on the verge of lowering the rating (I'd give it 3.5 or so if there ...more
Very disappointed. This has been a truly underwhelming experience.

I wanted to like this book so much as so many of my trusted GR Friends enjoyed it, but I just couldn't get into it.
The story started intriguingly enough, I really liked the set-up, but it soon turned into boredom and confusion. I felt detached and irritated.

The narration was utterly bland. The narrator, Zara Ram might as well have read out the weather forecast, the writing on a cereal box about ingredients and nutrition info or
"Discover History - The New Sex!"
History & Time Travel still screaming incoherently with excitement
I died and went to heaven!
I finished the book last night and went to sleep with this book on my mind. woke up, with the its characters on my mind again, re-read my most fave parts all over again. I am literally mentally kicking myself for sitting on this series for so many years and not reading it sooner.

It was bloody brilliant. The whole premise, the characters, the adventure, the bad
Feb 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Im still deciding whether this should be 4 or 5 stars, as I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was one of those reads where you think "oh goody I can read more of book X later". So that makes me think it should be five stars. We shall see by the end of this review.
So this book has a number of strong characters but centres mainly on the historian Madelaine Maxwell. She is offered the chance of a job by one of her ex teachers at an offshoot to the University of Thirsk and goes along to see what comes o
Robin (Bridge Four)
I suck at time travel books and by that I mean I usually just can’t let go enough of the ‘ hey I’ll just go back and warn myself and then everything will really work out just fine. ’ It seems like a video game with a million lives until you get to the end. So in general I stay away from them because as soon as someone says paradox I’m out.


But all and all I enjoyed the way this book went much more than some of the other time travel books I’ve read.

So Max is this disaster of a historian (the hi
Kitty G Books
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this one an easy 4* rating as I don't think I've ever read a book where quite so much happens in such a short space of time, but yet it's also truly amusing and works. I honestly think that this story is wacky, odd, funny and bizarre, and pretty much everything I hoped it would be and more!

We follow a young lady, Miss Maxwell (a.k.a. Max) who is just graduating and applies for a job at a The University of Thirsk as a historian. Little does Max realise quite what she's walked into. She e
Tammy K.
Apr 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did it! I completed this book! Yippy. Do I recommend it? No, sorry.
The time travel paradox logic fails miserably. I found myself arguing with the characters (author) about the characters current actions vs their previous statements.
The characters were all over the place. Their motivations were disconnected to their character build up.
The Romance/sex scenes was out of the blue. Awkwardly placed. They did not read like any experience that I would like to have.
So truthfully, this was not a book
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, in Italian, has a title that intrigued me (The brotherhood of curious historians) but, as often happens, I realized that the original title is much more beautiful (Just one damned thing after another). The plot is immediately very engaging and then develops even better, with twists that are a bit sci-fi, a bit humorous and even a bit dramatic, but always with a very (but very) disenchanted background. We feel that the author does not take Humanity very seriously and that she has no ho ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First person narrative. We get to know the setting together with the main protagonist, Max. A lot of names and character descriptions are dumped on the reader in the first chapter. By page eight I was hopelessly confused about who was who and looked how.

A quarter into the book our main character had learned her new job (cheating and avoiding jobs you don't like are apparently acceptable behavior) and was on her first real assignment. I was mildly bored. The story unfolded through the eyes of Ma
Maria Dimitrova
Usually I stay away from time travel. I've had some bad experiences with it and I tend to find it tedious. This wasn't the case with The Chronicles of St Mary's. In fact for most of the book it was a 4 star read. I liked the setting, the characters and the general idea. What brought it down a star was the ending. (view spoiler) felt like laziness on the author's part. Maybe it's ...more
Time travel and Historians
A dangerous mix


On arriving at St Mary’s Priory Campus
I rang the buzzer and a voice said, ‘Can I help you, miss?’
‘Yes, my name’s Maxwell. I have an appointment with Doctor Bairstow at 2.00 p.m.’
‘Go straight up the drive and through the front door. You can’t miss it.’
A bit over-optimistic there. I once got lost on a staircase.

Behind the curtain
It was becoming apparent this was not a simple researching job. I felt a surge of anticipation. Something exciting was about to ha
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Jodi Taylor is the internationally bestselling author of the Chronicles of St Mary's series, the story of a bunch of disaster prone individuals who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel! She is also the author of the Time Police series - a St Mary's spinoff and gateway into the world of an all-powerful, international organisation who are NOTHING like ...more

Other books in the series

The Chronicles of St Mary's (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #2)
  • A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #3)
  • A Trail Through Time (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #4)
  • No Time Like the Past (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #5)
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong? (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #6)
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and History (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #7)
  • And the Rest Is History (The Chronicles of St Mary’s, #8)
  • An Argumentation of Historians (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #9)
  • Hope for the Best (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #10)
  • Plan for the Worst (The Chronicles of St Mary's, #11)

Articles featuring this book

Browse through the most popular book club titles on Goodreads, and you'll notice the same genres over and over again: historical fiction,...
52 likes · 46 comments
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” 37 likes
“Thinking carefully is something that happens to other people” 29 likes
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