If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place...

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
21 Pages
Reviewed on 08/22/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the author of "The Fight for Magicallus," a children's fantasy, and two books of humorous essays: "I'm Not Talking about You, Of Course" and "A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities," part of a series entitled Quirky Essays for Quirky People.

Her latest work is a humorous short story entitled "If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place..."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

Meet Ella Boudreaux, a self-confessed nag. By no means –- as Ella herself insisted –- is she a negative person. Persistent might be a better word; she is the kind of person you'd ask for directions if you were lost, or provides you with a long chat while waiting in line at the grocery store. If You'd Just Listened To Me In The First Place is written by Barbara Venkataraman.

“Nobody, and I mean nobody, can nag like I can.” Written from a first person point of view, protagonist Ella Boudreaux immediately establishes one important part of her personality or in her own words -- her unique skill set. I hardly raised my eyebrow when she mentioned that telemarketer was her absolute favorite among other jobs before she settled as a bill collector, her true calling. Ella delights in accepting her true self, and is from time to time brutally honest about her failings and idiosyncrasies. These are enough to put a smile on my face and make me chuckle. You will definitely learn some life basics from Ella in terms of relationships, the prospect of jobs, and everything in between.

The pacing is faultless and the prose that Barbara Venkataraman uses is simple and the narrative is rather linear, which suits the whole concept of the story perfectly. With humor fiction, I either get the humor or I don’t. As for If You'd Just Listened To Me In The First Place, I did. A quirky and funny short read.

April A. Renn

By April A. Renn

Format:Kindle Edition


IF YOU'D LISTENED TO ME IN THE FIRST PLACE.....by Barbara Venkataraman is an interesting,witty Marriage/Relationships story. A quick, whimsical read on how to find a career and things in between. The career,destiny, and journey of one Ella Boudreaux. Well written with an interesting,funny,storyline. A quirky,fun,light read! Received for an honest review from the author.
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

Joanne T. Lewis

Barbara V's latest short story is laugh out loud funny, provocative and real. I've enjoyed her other essays very much and Ms. V continues her streak as an author I will continue to read. What's so great about this story is its easy to read (I read it tonight), its very entertaining and it's self-deprecating and light humor was a perfect escape from a busy work day. Turn off the tv, shut down Netflix, ignore your family for a few hours and read If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place...

Linda A. Morales


This story was a lot of fun. I read it in one sitting because I just had to know what happened next, and the ending was perfect! Looking forward to more from this author.

Wendy Urbisci


Barbara Venkataraman writes for and about the modern woman; gloves are off and flaws revealed in all their glory. Ms. V assembles her characters with truth and drops them into great locations. I was totally drawn in and hope there is more Ella on the way!



This is a very enjoyable and cleverly written light read that took me through the career journey of Ella with all its highlights and ups-and-downs.

Would definitely recommend it to my friends.


In her most recent offering, Ms. Venkataraman tackles issues that we all face with a lightheartedness that reminds us to relax, breathe, and smell the roses. This is no flash-in-the-pan one wit wonder but an established humorist. I find her stories uplifting and refreshing and eagerly wait for more.