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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

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  • Saman
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 02-23-14

Smashing listen - loved it.

This is my first Graham Greene novel. I have seen a number of movies based on his books but never really listened to a novel. Seeing that this was narrated by Colin Firth, I dived in. What an experience. It’s a remarkable story from an incredible story teller. The narration is expertly delivered by Firth which really adds to the authenticity of Maurice Bendix – a not so nice chap who is a bit of a schemer and writer. I was certainly engrossed in the strong love affair between Maurice and Sarah Miles during WWII and its abrupt and mysterious ending. The mix of religion and faith plays really well into the storyline whether you yourself is a believer. Based on many writings about the novel, this is really a self expose of Green’s own life and experiences including his religious views and his affair with Catherine Walston.

Ofcourse, it really helped to know that this production won ‘Audiobook of the Year’ at the Audie Awards in 2013.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  • 01-31-14

A Repeat Listen

If you love classic literature, and stories of unrequited love (although this one doesn't quite fit that bill), you must add this performance to your wish list. I've read this book probably half a dozen times. It is beautiful writing, and Firth's narration only adds to the pleasure.

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Waaaay better than the movie

Would you listen to The End of the Affair again? Why?

While it's unlikely I'd listen to this again (not that it's not lovely to feel like Colin Firth is speaking intimately in your ear; it's just that this is a really long novel), I'm very glad I listened. The movie ends about halfway through this book. And it's much more spiritual and exploratory of human motivations than I expected. Loved it.

  • Overall
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tour de force

Would you listen to The End of the Affair again? Why?

Firth reading end of the affair is an amazing performance in its own right. The story itself is a nuanced and absorbing depiction of the rise and fall of obsession, and the pervasive nature of grief and loss.

What about Colin Firth’s performance did you like?

It was like listening to the thoughts in your own mind, so natural.

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

A little long of listening to all inr one sitting but I hated for it to end. This is one you can listen to more than once.

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  • Zonly1
  • Austell, GA USA
  • 01-04-14

Very Satisfying Read

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

Relateable, romance, agonizing

Which scene was your favorite?

When Maurice confessed to Henry and accused him of pimping Sarah by not learning how to love her properly.

Any additional comments?

I already know I'll listen to this book again. How many of us have thought, silently the angst expressed by these two lovers? All through the book opposites are at war; love and hate, christianity vs atheism, the desert marriage vs the plush fullness of a passionate affair...it's all there. Colin Firth's performance and accent make the whole experience all the more enjoyable.

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Boring. Could not get into it.

I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. It never really grabbed me. Colin Forth is great though.

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Heartfelt insight into the human experience

What did you love best about The End of the Affair?

The believable heartaches that were not overdone, not melodramatic and very touching.

What other book might you compare The End of the Affair to and why?

Tough question. Oddly, maybe The Old Man and the Sea. One major theme of the human condition

What about Colin Firth’s performance did you like?

The timber of his voice kept my interest and made the story sing.

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Brilliant reading

What made the experience of listening to The End of the Affair the most enjoyable?

Colin Firth did one of the best readings I've ever heard. Most impressive was that he read the woman's lines in his own voice -- no falsetto -- but with a woman's intonation. The story was only okay, but Firth elevated it. I will be looking for more from him.

What does Colin Firth bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Presence, emotions, color.

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A masterful performance by Colin Firth

Any additional comments?

This book is easily one of the top 5 Audible books I have purchased. The combination of the brilliance of Graham Greene's prose with Colin Firth's superlative narration results in a true masterpiece of the spoken word art form.<br/>The writer's description of the inner workings of both Sarah and Morris's tortured minds, punctuated by Mr. Firth's flawless performance, is un forgettable and is rich with universal themes.<br/>I am sure Mr. Firth is expensive...but I think thousands of us would buy any book he might narrate just to experience the power of his eloquent performance.

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  • Julie
  • FREDERICK, OK, United States
  • 11-05-13

Strange love story with an unforeseen alliance

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

This was a beautiful love story and really, strangely, love for this woman won out in the end.

What about Colin Firth’s performance did you like?

Colin Firth was great. At times the story seemed wordy, but I always enjoyed listening to him and stayed in it just to hear him read.