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Publisher's Summary

"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there."

Haunting, moving, evocative, The Go-Between is L. P. Hartley's heartbreaking novel about social constraints and childhood innocence.

During the long, hot summer of 1900, young Leo Colston is invited to stay for a month at a lordly, aristocratic manor in Norfolk. There he falls in love with his friend's older sister, who commissions him to ferry secret messages to the local farmer, her lover. His naiveté sustains their affair until ultimately leading to an event that will change their lives irrevocably.

©1953 L.P. Hartley (P)2016 Naxos AudioBooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Evocative and a little heart breaking

A beautiful opening line leads to a rather heartbreaking story, of lies and misunderstandings and class divides in pre-WWI England. The book must be better known in Britain than in the U.S. because I had only heard of it recently, even though I tend to be read a lot of British literature.

The reading was quite good, and managed to get me through a key plot point about cricket even though I know almost nothing about it.

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Great walk back in time.

Would you listen to The Go-Between again? Why?

This story keep me listening! Was get story!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Leo

What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

Brought each character alive!

If you could take any character from The Go-Between out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Leo

Any additional comments?

I love listening to this story!!!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew M. Woodward
  • 04-30-16

Superb evocative reading

Sean Barret's quiet understated delivery is perfect for the emotionally damaged Leo Colston and the supporting cast of characters

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AJ Beadel
  • 04-05-17

Stunning

Having vaguely heard of this book for many years, but confused about why a story about a boy passing letters could be so lauded, I took the plunge and started listened. Even from the opening chapter it is incredibly engaging - the old Leo looking back on 1900 the way we may look back on 1950. It's a tale of the end of innocence and entry into adulthood. A boy encountering his masculine potentials through Ted and Hugh. Adults using children for their own ends. The themes are powerful - class, magic vs fact, ability to determine our own fate. A brilliant listen, superbly narrated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Alvi
  • 09-16-18

Amazing!

The narrator's voice is fitting to the story and the time it is set in, also very nice to listen to! Would recommend this version of the audiobook! Great book too.

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  • Pamela
  • 05-20-17

A book to be enjoyed time and again.

An enthralling many-faceted story of a young boy caught up in a passionate, clandestine love-affair: the year is 1900. His unsuspecting role as a go-between is vital to the mismatched lovers, who would be social outcasts if discovered. But as he slowly becomes aware of what is really going on and tries to extricate himself, events spin out of control and there is an unexpectedly dramatic outcome for all concerned. The ending is upbeat and well managed.

This book made Hartley famous. Wonderfully well written and constructed, it deserves close listening - each word counts. Feelings and emotions on every level are discussed in such a way that the reader feels them too: this is a sensitive author whose story is compelling, and beautifully read by Sean Barrett in this recording.

The film with Julie Christie playing the lead, is distressingly shallow and unremarkable. The book deserves better: it is monumental.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-18-18

A perfect reading of an excellent story!

There's something very magnetic about this story. An illicit love affair seen through the eyes of a boy who understands things through his boyish code of morals. The descriptions of events, which take place over a few weeks in a grand house one hot summer, are very easy to slip into. The story is both shocking and beautiful. Highly recommend.