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The End of the Affair Audiobook
The End of the Affair
Written by: 
Graham Greene
Narrated by: 
Colin Firth
The End of the Affair Audiobook

The End of the Affair

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - The End of the Affair is somehow the antithesis and the definition of a love story, and Colin Firth’s performance is truly exceptional. Colin captures the story's intensity in his delivery – the emotion in each sentence is nearly tangible - yet he doesn’t \"over-do\" it. This is so much more than a love (and hate) story – it’s a reflection on what brings happiness and sadness into this life, and what one might sacrifice for a chance at happiness in the next. —Jess

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Audiobook of the Year, 2013

Audie Award Nominee, Best Solo Narration, 2013

Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King's Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

The End of the Affair, set in London during and just after World War II, is the story of a flourishing love affair between Maurice Bendrix and Sarah Miles. After a violent episode at Maurice's apartment, Sarah suddenly and without explanation breaks off the affair. This very intimate story about what actually constitutes love is enhanced by Mr. Firth's narration, who said "this book struck me very, very particularly at the time when I read it and I thought my familiarity with it would give the journey a personal slant."

"I'm grateful for this honor," Firth said when this production was recognized by the Audie Awards as Audiobook of the Year for 2013, "and grateful for the opportunity to narrate one of my favorite stories. A great novel told in the first person makes for the best script an actor could imagine. None better than The End of the Affair.... Theater and film each offer their own challenges and rewards, but narration is a new practice for me and the audiobook performance provides exhilarating possibilities for both actors and listeners. I'm thrilled to be involved in bringing this remarkable work of fiction to a wider audience, and thankful to Audible for offering me the opportunity to perform it and to engage with so many who share my passion for storytelling."

The End of the Affair is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star helped select. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.

©1951 Graham Greene (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (4870 )
5 star
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4.7 (4475 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Steve M 08-06-15
    Steve M 08-06-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Major Disappointment"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Greene is an amazing writer and brilliant storyteller. This starts off in a dark, brooding and suspenseful tone and with a great deal of emotional power. But the book gradually evolves into a fairly didactic discussion of God and religion (it's one of Greene's major "Catholic" novels) that became (for me) tedious at best. The specificity of the main characters is lost to theory, and the ending--with its possible "miracles" struck this reader as downright silly. The narrator's prevaricating becomes repetitious and dull. There are memorable characters and moments along the way, but for me, it lost the powerful sense of the "real" that Greene usually does so well.


    What about Colin Firth’s performance did you like?

    If I'd been reading this on the page, I would have skimmed the last third to half. Firth's reading is so good, I stuck with it. A compelling voice and a brilliant style. His clipped reading and at times terse delivery creates suspense out of even the banal moments.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-03-15
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-03-15 Member Since 2006

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Colin is amazing, story not worth your time!"

    Ok, I really tried with this one. My husband likes Graham Greene so I was excited to listen to one of my favorite actors narrate this book. What a disappointment! Yes, Colin has a wonderful voice and did the best job he could with this ridiculous nonsense. I could no longer stand the torture of this story after 1/2 way through. There was really no point to the story- all the characters were unlikable and I was not at all sympathetic to their "heartache", all self- inflicted and narcissistic. Dont waste your credits!

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pita Miami 08-13-14
    Pita Miami 08-13-14 Member Since 2013

    Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully written and narrated but never easy"
    If you could sum up The End of the Affair in three words, what would they be?

    This novel is fairly complex. It touches on religion, desire,war, adultery...I would not be able to summarize it in three words (and probably not in 100)


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator of the story, the lover, was my favorite. He was angry and flawed. The fact that Colin Firth gave him his voice probably further endeared him to me. I found this character very believable. Apparently this novel is based on an actual relationship the writer had.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I came to this book after seeing the movie with Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore so I have a very visual conception of this novel. Actually, I was touched by the interaction of the husband and the lover at the end of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration by Firth was a real treat. Although I saw the movie first and enjoyed Ralph Fiennes in the role of the lover I would take Firth characterization over his any day.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Washington, DC, United States 11-26-13
    Laura Washington, DC, United States 11-26-13 Member Since 2012

    Long commute = Lots of time for audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, Amazing narration"

    It has been a while since I listened to this, but I'm trying to get around to reviewing everything I've listened to, so bear with me.

    I found a New York Times review of this novel from 1951 by George Mayberry, who concludes his review this way: "It is savage and sad, vulgar and ideal, coarse and refined, and a rather accurate image of an era of cunning and glory, of cowardice and heroism, of belief and unbelief."

    I'm not sure I could put it better than that. For my part, though, I was drawn to and sympathetic toward the characters even though I couldn't particularly relate to any of them. I take that as evidence of Graham Greene's remarkable skill with words.

    I've never been much of a fan of love stories, tragic or otherwise (which is why I give 3 stars for story rather than 4), but I think the restraint of Greene's writing is what made this story beautiful to me. What a challenge it must have been to portray a protagonist who is positively boiling over with emotion throughout the story without veering into overwrought, contrived prose. He's a masterful writer, and I plan to read more of his work.

    As many reviews have said, Colin Firth is a perfect narrator and actor for the role of Maurice. I fully admit to being a total swooning fangirl for Firth, but I do also listen to a lot of audiobooks and feel I can semi-objectively assess his skill as a narrator (though perhaps that's wishful thinking). In any case, I suspect many readers will find themselves initially drawn into the story largely due to Firth's narration, but stay when they realize they're listening to such a beautifully crafted novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    linda United States 07-07-13
    linda United States 07-07-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Poignant, Introverted"

    I can't say anything about Colin Firth's delivery that hasn't been said already. He won an an award for this performance and rightfully so - he handles heartbreak, bitterness, and too-bright all-consuming love with a reserved grace that captures the tone of the novel.

    I would recommend this title on the strength of his narration alone.

    The work itself is more difficult to fully embrace. The writing is clean, whittled to an unflinching truth but no less rich for that. Written in first person, the narrator, Maurice Bendrix, is consumed by jealousy and hatred (which is to say, love) for his former married mistress. Set in London, when Europe is in the last throws of war, Bendrix swings back and forth on an agonizing pendulum as he struggles with the wreckage of life after the affair. In him, Greene sets both the best and worst of human nature in direct juxtaposition; he shows that love and hate are as connected as an inhale and an exhale.

    He takes the feeling in all its forms: physical, platonic, spiritual, obsessive, familial, divine; and places the enormous burden of that on one man's shoulders. Then he steps back and points at his narrator as if to say: "Look at how it twists him, look at how that much love and devotion and depth burns a man."

    In lean prose, Greene's man Bendrix staggers under an emotion that is only capable of being fully born by a higher power. He blurs the line between humanity and divinity until loving and hating someone becomes an act of loving and hating God.

    Religious or not, this book is insightful, complex, difficult; a classic worth the read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Mason, OH, United States 07-02-13
    Katherine Mason, OH, United States 07-02-13 Member Since 2010

    I love to read mysteries, histories, biographies, humor, and Jane Austen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Complex and difficult"

    It is interesting listening to Greene as he struggles with the complexities, frustrations, and passions of his Roman Catholic faith. This book deals with these themes well, although to someone not interest in Roman Catholicism, the book may seem to beat the same dead horse repeatedly (and I found it tiresome at times). I intensely dislike the literary convention that the best way for a romantic triangle to resolve itself is for the central woman to die. ("Madame Butterfly" anyone? "Miss Saigon"?) However, Colin Firth's performance is outstanding. As one of the other reviewers said, Firth makes the main character angry, misanthropic, and cruel, but still very human and someone you care about despite his many great flaws.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 06-15-13
    Amber 06-15-13

    I read and listen to books. I drink tea. I sleep like a cat and wished I lived in Hawaii.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Colin Firth delivers."

    I enjoyed this audiobook narrated by Colin Firth. He has a lovely man voice with lovely British accent that one can listen to for a long time. I have a feeling though that I would not have enjoyed the book nearly as much if I had read it. The narration definitely added a star for me. The plot itself is interesting, but there is a lot of tediousness that goes on with Sarah's internal struggle with love and god and her morals. She calls herself a bitch and a fake and a phony and sometimes I felt she was just that and sometimes I felt sorry for her. It wasn't easy to love the characters, but I felt that Greene created interesting characters that are flawed in a way that is timeless. Human beings are always going to struggle with their religious and non-religious beliefs and love is always going to bring pain and pleasure. Infidelity will always exist as will the need to emotionally connect with others. Greene's take on these themes are enhanced by Firth's performance. Overall, I feel like this short book is worth giving a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gerry Auburn, AL, United States 06-15-13
    Gerry Auburn, AL, United States 06-15-13

    gerrymorAuburn, AL My favorites are books read by the authors. Janis Ian is superb.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Audible at its Best"
    What made the experience of listening to The End of the Affair the most enjoyable?

    The way Colin Firth tells the story is as good as the plot.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Colin Firth who played the hero.


    Have you listened to any of Colin Firth’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, and he is always good. The King's Speech may be his best of all.


    If you could take any character from The End of the Affair out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Colin Firth because we would talk about English theatre and English movies.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I will keep on my hard drive so that I can listen to it again. It isn't so long that you lose your place. It is just the right length. I enjoyed it very much and wish you had some more just like this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 04-25-13
    Aaron 04-25-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "...'This is a Hate Letter' says the narrator."


    It almost sounds like the beginning of something funny... An Atheist, A Priest, An Agnostic, and A Reformed Sinner all get on a bus...but what you end up with is a meeting of the minds, serious questions, and some hard-line answers (and the occasional swerving of the bus into on-coming traffic).

    This is far from being a 'funny story' but is more often the 'serious thoughts' of a lonely and bitter man reflecting on a woman who is no longer in his life, and venting his frustration on a God he can hardly believe in.

    Stellar Performance meets Solid Writing

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Madison, WI, United States 04-16-13
    Mary Madison, WI, United States 04-16-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelieveable (and not in a good way)"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Apparently everyone, but I don't get it.


    What could Graham Greene have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nothing. I find it utterly unbelievable. Not one of the characters is likeable and the only one who rings true is Henry---as the husband who really doesn't want to know. I don't know why either Sarah or Maurice wants to have an affair with the other. They are both selfish and boring. Next, I don't believe anyone truly means the bargains they make with God in moments of desperation. However, even if she believed she had to keep it, why didn't she just tell Maurice? Her vow was to give him up and, presumably, bear the pain. It was cruel to inflict the pain of not knowing on Maurice. The only reason I can think that she didn't tell him is that there wouldn't have been a book otherwise. I realize this is a classic and I am in the minority, but there it is.

    As a story, this book is the pits. As philosphy, it's even worse.


    Have you listened to any of Colin Firth’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will be looking for more.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Colin Firth was great. I will look for more of his narrations.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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