(P)2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Michael Kitchen's narration conveys the soul of Graham Greene's literary voice -- a great compliment. I've rarely been so "drawn in" by a reading. I am a long-time fan of Graham Greene's work and grateful to Kitchen for new insight into "The End of the Affair." Bravo!
Graham Greene was a brilliant literary novelist.
This novel, to my opinion, is not his best.
The plot is interesting, beautifully- melancholic, and it's obvious that Greene put his soul into it.
However, as soon as i got into the story, the theme became very religious, almost missionary (Catholic).
I didn't mind the religious elements as long as they came from a personal point of view, especially since, some of the themes were thought provoking and touching, but in a way i was left under the impression - the missionary text took over the story, overshadowed the literary value of the whole and gave the final word.
Graham Greene is a wonderful listen even when not at his best. The first half of the book promises more than the second half delivers. An earlier reviewer 'Vered' described exactly what I felt about this book; the religous issues are clearly something that the author was wrestling with, but they overpower the story in the end. The narrator does a good job.
I loved the way all of the characters emotions were disseted,it wasn't a romance as such but a studyof love and hate set aginst a background of stiff Bristish mores.
When Maurice and Sarah were making love in her drawing room on the lounge, and her pleasure was audible,maurice afraid her husband who was ill upstairs would hear her cries of passion,she replies that he would not recognise the sound.It was sad.
In the church, when Maurice had stalked Sarah after their breakup. She was so ill she had fallen asleep on his shoulder,he was under the impression they would go away together,she was actually dying and too exhausted to deny his wish.
The woman who loved.
This was quite a sad book,two people who were almost happy,circumstances were against their union.
I bought this book captivated by the title. Isnt it an engaging title : as if something ominous is about to happen at "The end of the Affair".
It is the first Graham Greene that I have 'listened' to, having read him before and I must say that Greene agrees well to the audio book format. Especially this story with only a few characters and a simple plot. It is not the best Greene for me (that would be The Quiet American) but it is engaging with its soap opera style telling of an extra marital affair. The narration is clear and doesnt distract you from the story - which is how good narrations should be.
Having never read any of Greene's novels, I was immediately engrossed in the journey he took me on in The End of the Affair. I shall be reading more of his works very soon.
I can honestly say that I felt completely immersed in the main character's mind and thoughts, his emotions and observations. The struggle betwixt God's existence and his desire to love and hate was captivating and took me on his journey with him.
Kitchen's narration was EVERYTHING in this 'listen'. His inflections of each emotion were perfectly read and delivered. One would have thought that Greene was actually doing the read!
I wouldn't rename it!!!
Can't wait to read the next one!
I love the story, but I thought the narrator was Colin Firth. I was so disappointed that it was Michael Kitchen, I could not listen to the whole book. In hindsight, perhaps I should have checked that it was a different narrator than advertized on the Facebook sidebar add. I cancelled my subscription, and unfortunately am leary about buying an audible book. It was free, but I would have hated to have wasted my money on the wrong version. All and all you have lost a potential customer.
This is not a critizism of Michael Kitchen.
"A Literary Delight"
Greene was a truly unique author whose career provided us with a few undeniable classics such as the screenplay for the "The Third Man" and produced many works which continue to be revisited today - with 2011's "Brighton Rock" film a topical example.
In this novel, with echoes of the intensity of Wuthering Heights, Greene gives a truly compelling narrative of the lifeline of a relationship that is both pure and savage at the same time. An excellent reading that captures the soul of a wonderful book that is a must for anyone working their way through modern classics.
The narration by Michael Kitchen exactly suited the prose and period of this rather melodramatic book. There are large tracts of stream of consciousness within the story - in fact it's very low on action - but he kept me very involved and wanting to know the outcome. I am looking forward to hearing more thought-provoking material from Graham Greene
"Deliciously bleak with a hint of optimism"
Michael Kitchen's distinct narration style might irritate some people, but it seems like perfect casting to me. He has a tendency to pause mid-thought and then run sentences together, which should be completely dissatisfying. But it's a manner that causes me to listen more intently and digest the prose more completely. Does that make sense? I loved the narration.
I'd only recommend this to people who have an appetite for the bleak. It's far from unremittingly dark, with surprising touches of optimism and caring just to keep you on your toes. But for those who, like me, enjoy a good wallow in bitterness and misery - it's just the ticket!I enjoyed the characterisation immensely. This is only my second Graham Greene novel but like "Our Man in Havana" this novel has too many amazing plot coincidences for comfort. It didn't diminish my enjoyment though.
War time and post war London compares and contrasts interestingly with Richard Yates? New York in Revolutionary Road. But the emphasis here is the spiritual life of the individual in the couple rather than an exegesis of the society in which they live. With the physical bombed out and shrouded in fog, Greene?s characters live in the metaphysical - and whilst the claim is of Catholicism, the line into mysticism seems to be crossed to no great satisfaction.
Catholicism in the conventional sense is about families and an exuberant embrace of the polytheistic roll call of saints ? here we are treated to a doctrine of deism, a god lost in the fog, narrow self interest, jealousy and a savage narrow rationalism.
?The End of the Affair? posits a philosophical encounter with convert Catholicism that is uniquely English in tone and approach, which is more entertaining that the narrative. Deep dark reaches of the soul and pulled out and examined ? difficult questions, ?love without joy? ?eternity as the absence of time rather than time without end? but set in a broadly familiar surroundings. In a Latin world would be considered a great classic but narrow English-ness forbids such excess.
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