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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 helped select. 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

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    2,948
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Stacy
  • INDIANAPOLIS, IN, United States
  • 05-11-12

I loved this story

and I especially loved Colin Firth reading it....your life will be better if you hear this :)

19 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Exquisite

The prose of Graham Greene as narrated by Colin Firth are a sublime experience. I'm so glad I bought this. My only hope is that Audible can convince Mr. Firth to go back into the recording booth to do more.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Caches In Conflicts

Never has so short a book stirred in me such a cauldron of conflicting emotions.

You think Sarah deserves love, but cannot countenance that in a marriage or against vow of commitment. You ponder, why not, in her marriage free from sex for seven years, but then cringe when considering *but, with Maurice?* who's our narrator, the pompous, neurotic narcissist.

This short novel delves into such questions and those of faith in, and relationship with, God. To say much more of the story is to spoil it.

Colin Firth's narration is perfection.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Unusual story. Intriguing.

This book is the first Graham Greene book I've read And finished. I found it intriguing. It's quite different to anything I've ever read before. Colin Firth's narration made it very accessible. I think I was able to understand the story more through listening to Mr Firth's interpretation than I would have, if I'd read the printed word.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Somewhat Bleak Read

This is certainly a clever and insightful piece of writing on the emotional dynamics of love and infidelity. It's also rather dismal to live inside the protagonists head for the length of the book. Colin Firth is an inspired choice as reader, he portrays characters of that social class and period with precision and bone dry wit. One can't escape the prevailing sense of doom and sadness though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pita
  • Miami
  • 08-13-14

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

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  • Laura
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 11-26-13

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

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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

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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

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  • Gerry
  • Auburn, AL, United States
  • 06-15-13

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