• A Very English Scandal

  • Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment
  • By: John Preston
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 05-05-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • 3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

Regular price: $26.24

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of A Very English Scandal by John Preston, read by Daniel Weyman.

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder.

Behind oak-panelled doors in the House of Commons, men with cut-glass accents and gold signet rings are conspiring to murder.

It's the late 1960s, and homosexuality has only just been legalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. As long as Norman Scott, his beautiful, unstable lover is around, Thorpe's brilliant career is at risk. With the help of his fellow politicians, Thorpe schemes, deceives and embezzles - until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good.

The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed our society forever: it was the moment the British public discovered the truth about its political class. Illuminating the darkest secrets of the establishment, the Thorpe affair revealed such breathtaking deceit and corruption in an entire section of British society that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

A Very English Scandal is an eye-opening tale of how the powerful protect their own and an extraordinary insight into the forces that shaped modern Britain.

©2016 John Preston (P)2016 Penguin Books Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • C Hall
  • 08-13-16

Excellent

I recommend this as an excellent listen. The story is fascinating - I lived through it but much of it passed me by at the time. The research is brilliant and it's been beautifully put together. At its heart - despite many wry and satirical moments - is an appalling expose of the 1970s Establishment looking after its own. It goes a long way towards explaining why 21st century voters hold politicians in such contempt.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • 06-15-16

Almost unbelievable - but it's true!

The full truth finally comes out about an affair (or series thereof) which I remember rumbling on for a long time in British politics during my youth. The series of events which are described are almost too far-fetched to be credible, and could have been the basis of a British CSI episode, but the worrying thing is that it is all actually happened.

The cover-ups by so many people, and the establishment looking after its own, may not be so easy to achieve today, due to the changed nature of the press and television, more instant access to news and information, and the more general acceptance (and decriminalisation) of different lifestyles. However, it would be hard to believe that some of the same attitudes and practices are not still going on - there are regular discoveries of the hidden pasts of public figures.

It is a gripping listen, even if you already know the final verdict of the trial at the book's climax, as the details of the drama leading to that point are fascinating. However, the book may leave you, as it left me, with a rather low respect for the way our politicians and people in public life behave, and the way that in order to maintain their public facades, others can be mistreated or misled.

The narration is excellent, with a style that is light enough to be entertaining and easy to listen to, but delivers the serious points admirably. The narrator's use of different voices for some of the characters helps clarity, and his tone of voice conveys the intentions of the author's words extremely well.

If I have one quibble about the book, it is that Chapter 25 seems to be written in a different tense from the rest of the book, which rather jarred when listening, but I can definitely recommend this as a riveting exposé of a quite shocking scandal.


30 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Derrick
  • 07-19-16

Fascinating and compelling

I am old enough to remember this a young boy. I remember the news reports on TV about the trial. I listened to this to understand the back story and was captivated. Preston describes a sordid, rather pathetic story filled with deeply flawed characters. He adroitly avoids any sympathy for some clearly bizarre people. One is left saddened by the pantomime murder plot and the deeply disturbing establishment cover-up, which is described without hysterical rancour or melodrama.

Finely voiced, this is a superb audiobook.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 09-28-16

you couldn't make it up

a riviting story of the establishment closing ranks to protect the most anti social, self serving and manipulative politician of the time.
I highly recommend this listen

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bobbie
  • 07-26-16

Brilliant

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes it was so well written that you were in the courtroom and I didn't like J T and disliked him even more by the end

Who was your favorite character and why?

Peter Bessel

What about Daniel Weyman’s performance did you like?

He made the book for me

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me think

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carol
  • 02-21-17

Fantastic Narration

Where does A Very English Scandal rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very high.

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

First time I have heard Daniel Weyman who is easily the best narrator I have heard on Audible. He could read a cookery book and make it interesting. Will look for other books narrated by him.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • gary
  • 06-18-16

Superb!!!

If you could sum up A Very English Scandal in three words, what would they be?

Fascinating, engaging, relevant..

What did you like best about this story?

How this scandal was deliberately, coldly and in a calculated way, covered up...

What about Daniel Weyman’s performance did you like?

He brought the characters to realistic and believable life...

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely... such a gripping narrative..

Any additional comments?

One of the best boos that i have listened to in recent times...

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • katherine
  • 09-24-16

Great storytelling

Great story with lots of twists & turns. I would recommend to anyone around 70s

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zmith
  • 09-08-16

Exceptional

Preston's account of the Thorpe Affair is masterly, absorbing and wonderfully paced. An astonishing achievement and one of the best audiobooks of the year.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr Richard L Peacocke
  • 08-09-16

An interesting expose

An interesting and important study.

We are taken and forced to look at an example of the power on citizens' perceptions of members of The Establishment as sacrosanct, as their being situated in a social milieu beyond or above the common ground, where usual societal concepts of 'badness' either do not exist or are accepted and forgiven by one's peers.

This story of political manipulation and intrigue, seen under the weight of misguided anti-homosexual legislation, needs to be taken with the later exposes of leading community figures of their involvement in child sexual exploitation (and even, allegedly, child murder and pseudo-Satanic rituals).

Although such tales are now commonplace and shockingly un-shocking, these very dangerous self-protecting people - found both in positions of authority and social leadership, as well as those quietly hidden in the folds of inherited wealth - damage the fabric of society and further blacken our already murky name internationally.

Accordingly, this story needs to be trumpeted across wider society to help more 'normal' people to root out these dangerous folk and expose them to the sanitising light of public opinion.

Dr Richard L Peacocke BSc Hons MSc

4 of 5 people found this review helpful