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Publisher's Summary

A gripping story of obsession and betrayal, privilege and hypocrisy, set in the unassailable heart of the British establishment.

"As the train pressed on, I realised that my life was in the process of taking a different direction, plotted according to a new constellation. Because, although I didn't know it yet, I was about to meet Ben and nothing would ever be the same again."

Martin Gilmour is an outsider. When he wins a scholarship to Burtonbury School, he doesn't wear the right clothes or speak with the right kind of accent. But then he meets the dazzling, popular and wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice, and gains admission to an exclusive world. Soon Martin is enjoying tennis parties and Easter egg hunts at the Fitzmaurice family's estate, as Ben becomes the brother he never had.

But Martin has a secret. He knows something about Ben, something he will never tell. It is a secret that will bind the two of them together for the best part of 25 years.

At Ben's 40th birthday party, the great and the good of British society are gathering to celebrate in a haze of champagne, drugs and glamour. Amid the hundreds of guests – the politicians, the celebrities, the old-money and newly rich – Martin once again feels that disturbing pang of not-quite-belonging. His wife, Lucy, has her reservations too. There is disquiet in the air. But Ben wouldn't do anything to damage their friendship....

Would he?

©2017 Elizabeth Day (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Witty, dark and compelling." (Sebastian Faulks)
"I practically murdered this book in an evening I loved it so much. The Party is a terrifying, hilarious, brilliantly written original with a wit to die for." (Pheobe Waller-Bridge)
"Superb - clever, gripping, psychologically acute." (Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us)

What members say

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  • LVW
  • 08-24-17

The Party

What does Greg Wagland and Stephanie Racine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The performances of both speakers was excellent. They really helped encapsulate the world of the posh and wealthy.

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

The internal struggle of Martin and his need to fit in, to be part of this wealthy lifestyle and ultimately to be loved by the man he had worshiped since school is really moving.

Any additional comments?

A great listen, Elizabeth Day is a is fantastic writer. The book is dark, witty and exciting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • BurcotMark
  • 10-27-17

Dull and predictable

Had to read this for my book club otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered finishing it! Glad I didn’t pay for it!!!

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  • Molly
  • 08-22-17

Some of the laziest writing I've ever read

This shamelessly derivative, cliched story had nothing - repetitive and boring, the plot was too illogically planned out to make for a believable climax and every character was completely one-dimensional in really stereotyped, unrealistically exaggerated caricatures. This book was such a disappointing waste of money (it wasn't even fun in an escapist nonsense kind of way, it was just too bad) and unless you want endless lists of how many famous nobodies turned up to a party at which nothing happens, buy something else! Greg Wagland was a pretty okay narrator and I just felt sorry for his having to read such rubbish, Stephanie Racine was worse but it's hard to know how much of that was just the shockingly awful prose with which she was faced.

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  • Lee
  • 08-21-17

The Party

I did like this book and it did flow along at a nice pace but the twist was minor and the big reveal was obvious. On saying this though I loved the different characters and what each brought to the plot. The narration was spot on.

Briefly it's about two couples who come from different ends of the financial spectrum. The men have known one another since school and each - in my view - kind of depend on the other. The rich couple hold a party where something happens and that's where the novel starts. The story is told through the poorer couple's perspective and regularly hops between time frames.

A short novel - for me, and worth a credit. Don't know if I would read anything else by the author at the moment.

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  • difly000
  • 08-22-17

Great story but..

The narrator is really annoying!!! Speaks too high with the wrong inflection. Ruined my experience completely.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ingrid
  • 09-15-17

Unlikeable characters

Couldn't get into this, the characters were so unlikeable. It needed to move a bit quicker too.