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Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

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 had a hand in selecting. For more great books performed by Hollywood's finest, click here.
©1951 Graham Greene (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The smooth and convincing intimacy of Colin Firth's narration brings listeners quickly into dreary, cold post-war London. One of Greene's famous Catholic novels focuses on three characters—Brendrix, a novelist; his former lover; and her husband, a civil servant. Firth makes an emotional commitment to the story, and listeners do as well. The powerful introspection, the force of emotion, and even the melodrama are made real. Firth's full understanding of the text and ability to render the balance and meaning of each sentence allow listeners to admire Greene's elegant writing. The keen-eyed observations of realistic details—weather, war-damaged buildings, household effects—are contrasted with the theology and clash of emotions. Firth never misses a beat. Firth's celebrity may draw new listeners, and none will be disappointed by this powerful audiobook." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    3,295
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    2,105
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Late to the Party...

I've had so many people here at Audible recommend Graham Greene's The End of the Affair that, on some subconscious level, I think I made it a point of contention not to listen. That is until I was faced with a family vacation that required a lengthy car ride with my folks; at which point, my mother selected Greene's captivating story of love, obsession, and faith on the basis of Colin Firth's name alone. And, truly, Firth dazzles here; his voice a roller coaster of rage and resentment when faced with the scorn of a lover and the incredulity of God’s existence, but delicate and poignant for moments when yearning feels like a tangible thing you can touch. For over six hours, we sat in silence, rapt. I may be late to the party, but this audiobook deserves every bit of praise it’s received.

35 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent performance of Graham Greene classic

I bought this book quite a while ago but was moved to listen by a great customer review. Colin Firth, one of my favorite actors is truly an outstanding reader. He made this book a real listening experience. I can't say enough about his excellent expression and ability to bring the narrator's character and his emotions to life. This is a difficult book, it is full of strong emotions and demanding questions and it could easily be misread. I was drawn into the book immediately and captured entirely by the narration. This is a terrific example of a good book enhanced even further by a great reading. The themes of love and hate, death and faith are so weighty yet so well served by such a thoughtful performance.

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Colin whispers in my ear, and I melt

To my shame I have never before read "The End of the Affair". To my joy my first experience of Graham Greene's extraordinary words was with the performance of Colin Firth. I have, for better or worse, begun to restrict myself to only a few narrators. Those voices, so intimate, like a lover in my ears. Listening to another can feel ... wrong, disloyal. As Colin speaks he inhabits the dejection of the abandoned lover, the hopeless innocence of the cuckolded and the faint quaver of the loved. Greene created a core of desperate longing entwined in a mystery. Colin's performance is compelling, evoking a searing honesty. His female voice is perfect; Colin chooses a modulation of his own, avoiding a character and thus striping further that naked, fragile honesty. I am unsure as yet, how I feel about the fourth and final act of the novel, merely because a theme jars with my own atheism. I easily forgive that mild uncertainty in thanks for the moment early in the third when my breath caught: and Colin and Graham took me somewhere...unexpected.

71 of 76 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Colin Firth Kills It

Ok I’m only halfway through The End of the Affair, but I’ve been talking everyone’s ears off about it around the office and just had to go ahead and write a review before finishing it (something I’m generally opposed to doing).

I’m not sure quite how to capture just how exceptional Firth’s performance is, but I'll give you two good examples. Graham Greene writes a lot about how close together love and hate are (apathy being the true opposite of both), and Colin Firth totally connects with his meaning. When Firth says the word “hate” you really feel rapture simmering beneath the surface. When he utters the word “love” he spits it out like venom. The two are irreparably intertwined. The subject matter is there - this being, in essence, a record of great passion gone wrong - and Colin Firth does it justice. Every word is impassioned without ever being too much or over the top. Narrators have to be careful to walk this fine line when dealing with emotionally heavy material and Firth succeeds perfectly. But Bendrix, the protagonist isn’t just a man of great feeling – he’s also a curmudgeon, he’s difficult, he’s maybe a little cruel – but Firth makes you care for him despite the fact that you really don’t like him. Another vocal juggling act performed without flaw.

I have never read The End of the Affair before and only have a vague memory of seeing the movie, so I don’t really know where the book is going to end up – but I just hope I can somehow elongate the delicious few hours left that I have with it. Seriously, seriously, seriously – don’t miss this performance.

194 of 212 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a rare 5-star review from me

Not only do I rarely give 5-star reviews for performance AND story, but I also rarely listen to an audiobook all in one day. So this was the audiobook I couldn't put down! Usually I just listen while exercising or driving and a book gets listened to over multiple days. Of course, I knew I would love Colin Firth's narration (great voice and accent), but the story and the writing talents of Greene were also compelling to listen to... or possibly Colin made it just that much more compelling. Not sure. Either way, I loved this audiobook. Now I'm back looking for more from both Colin and Greene.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ellie
  • New york, Ny, United States
  • 05-16-12

This book is SO GOOD!!

A few years ago, I'd seen the movie version of this novel (which is also excellent, by the way), and I'd put it on my mental list of things to do to read the book. And then, of course, I promptly forgot about it...until I saw this Audible.com version with COLIN FIRTH reading it! What a treat!

The story is fascinating and dark and wonderful, and Colin Firth's reading of the novel is exceptional. As usual, his voice is wonderfully nuanced and emotive, and the timbre of his speaking style pairs especially well with the nature of this story. The voices he does for the different characters are not incredibly differentiated, but all of the voices seem to subtly evoke the deep emotions of each person.

Overall, it is just a fantastic listen--I highly recommend it!

55 of 62 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Complex, intimate, compelling

When Colin Firth reads the story, I believe it is true. Though Bendrix talks of hate, it is passion and love that come through. In the beginning I was most struck by the brief emotional intimacy between Bendrix and Harry (Sarah's husband). Sarah's voice seems more distant until we get a glimpse at her diary. The experience of love that you feel in your soul and in your heart, including joy but also pain, confusion and doubt truly come out in Firth's performance.

44 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michele
  • Miramar, FL, United States
  • 06-16-12

Enter the psyche of a man in love!

If you could sum up The End of the Affair in three words, what would they be?

The inner world of a man tortured by a romance ending too soon.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The End of the Affair?

It was the period when he finds her again and there is hope for their romance.

Which character – as performed by Colin Firth – was your favorite?

The investigator..love the accent.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The coming together of Bendrix and his lover's husband after her death.

Any additional comments?

Please have Colin Firth be a featured narrator again! I would buy anything he narrates.

36 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 05-21-12

I Hate It, I Love It.....

I know I'm in the minority here and many will think me shallow.... but dare I call this drivel? Okay so for me, this book went on and on..... I love God... I hate God....I love my lover.....I hate my lover....I love my spouse.... I hate my spouse...I love myself....I hate myself.....life is random....life is by design....there is a God....there is not a God.....and so forth. Now I saved you a credit, except P. S. Colin Firth did a terrific job narrating.

159 of 190 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Beautifully read, uninteresting story

Colin Firth does an amazing job enlivening a very boring tale of a love affair ended by a silly promise to God made during a bombing in WWII London. I could not wait for this story to be over, and I have read and enjoyed many many novels that many find horribly boring (e.g., Moby Dick, Remembrance of Things Past). Daydreaming while listening to Firth's mellifluous voice and cadence, I recognized Ian McEwan in this story, and even O'Henry in the ironic twists that develop, but none of this was enough to pull this book out of the depths of dreariness. The characters are all insipid, and the plot is inane, but Firth is wonderful to listen to. Find something else he's read. I cannot recommend this novel.

34 of 41 people found this review helpful