The Go-Between

The Go Between L P Hartley s moving exploration of a young boy s loss of innocence The Go Between is edited with an introduction and notes by Douglas Brooks Davies in Penguin Modern Classics The past is a foreign co

  • Title: The Go-Between
  • Author: L.P. Hartley
  • ISBN: 9780965450287
  • Page: 455
  • Format: Hardcover
  • L.P Hartley s moving exploration of a young boy s loss of innocence The Go Between is edited with an introduction and notes by Douglas Brooks Davies in Penguin Modern Classics The past is a foreign country they do things differently there When one long, hot summer, young Leo is staying with a school friend at Brandham Hall, he begins to act as a messenger between Ted, tL.P Hartley s moving exploration of a young boy s loss of innocence The Go Between is edited with an introduction and notes by Douglas Brooks Davies in Penguin Modern Classics The past is a foreign country they do things differently there When one long, hot summer, young Leo is staying with a school friend at Brandham Hall, he begins to act as a messenger between Ted, the farmer, and Marian, the beautiful young woman up at the hall He becomes drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous game of deceit and desire, until his role brings him to a shocking and premature revelation The haunting story of a young boy s awakening into the secrets of the adult world, The Go Between is also an unforgettable evocation of the boundaries of Edwardian society.Leslie Poles Hartley 1895 1972 was born in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, and educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford For than thirty years from 1923 he was an indefatigable fiction reviewer for periodicals including the Spectator and Saturday Review His first book, Night Fears 1924 was a collection of short stories but it was not until the publication of Eustace and Hilda 1947 , which won the James Tait Black prize, that Hartley gained widespread recognition as an author His other novels include The Go Between 1953 , which was adapted into an internationally successful film starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates, and The Hireling 1957 , the film version of which won the Palme d Or at the Cannes Film Festival.If you enjoyed The Go Between, you might like Barry Hines s A Kestrel for a Knave, also available in Penguin Modern Classics Magical and disturbing Independent On a first reading, it is a beautifully wrought description of a small boy s loss of innocence long ago But, visited a second time, the knowledge of approaching, unavoidable tragedy makes it far poignant and painful Express

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    One Reply to “The Go-Between”

    1. The go-betweenby L.P.Hartley, one of my favourite novels, is in my mind inseparably connected with the movie directed by Joseph Losey. Every time I’m thinking of it I hear great music motif performed by Michel Legrand. Having watched lately the recent adaptation of that classic I felt strong need to read it again to know how I would feel with it today. In the summer of 1900 just under 13 years old Leo Colston, imaginative and sensitive boy receives an invitation to spend part of holidays with [...]

    2. A sublime novel, beautifully written and very evocative. It has, probably one of the most famous opening lines in literature. Do I need to quote it? Probably not, but I will because it does sum up the book; "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." In the early 1950s Leo Colston looks back on the long hot summer of 1900 when he turned 13, the memory of which he has blanked out. He discovers his diary and begins to piece together the events. Hartley describes life in an E [...]

    3. ‘The Go-Between,’ is a novel which I have meant to read for a long time. It has, of course, one of the most famous opening lines in literature - "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." Published in 1953, it is narrated by Leo Colston, who is sixty-odd when we first meet him, but is looking back on events in the hot summer of 1900, when he visited a school-friend, Marcus Maudsley, and his family, at Brandham Hall.This is a very evocative novel, which really encapsul [...]

    4. Hartley has taken my breath away with the sweep of his story and the majesty of his writing. This book was published when he was fifty-eight, in 1953, and evokes England before the wars "quickly, simply, effortlessly" (Tóibín, Intro p. x). Hartley, in an interview, wrote:I wanted to evoke the feeling of that summer [in 1900], the long stretch of fine weather, and also the confidence in life, the belief that all's well with the world, which everyone seemed to enjoy before the First World WarThe [...]

    5. Look, just give me a book by a Brit with two initials whose observance is all the more sensual for being somehow repressed, and set him aloose on the pre-war countryside, okay? I'm easy.The climactic action of this book is when a kid rips up a shrub, yet, I liked it.

    6. "Was there a telephone here in your day?""No," I replied. "It might have made a great difference if there had been." Leo Colston, a man in his sixties, returns in 1952 to the place where his life began and ended all of it during a brief interlude of glorious summer days, such as England, and Master Leo, has never seen since. With the help of the intimate journal he kept during his 1900 journey to Brandham Hall in Norwich County, Leo Colston re-examines the events that had such a traumatic ('ar [...]

    7. Thanks to GoodReads friend CQM for his review of 'The Go-Between' which was a big part of what inspired me to read this. L.P. Hartley’s 'The Go-Between' takes place in the long hot Summer of 1900, and tells of how young Leo, staying with Marcus, a school friend, at the aristocratic Brandham Hall, begins to act as a messenger between Ted, the farmer, and Marian, Marcus's beautiful young sister. Leo narrates the events in 1952, as a mature adult looking back.'The Go-Between' was an immediate suc [...]

    8. There is, of course, the great opening line: The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. And there is the magnificent cover, with just the perfect adolescent male face; even the green color is important, it turns out. There is also the very useful, if unfortunately positioned 'Author's Introduction'. Hartley quickly and explicitly expresses his debt to Proust and posits that an author, though wedded to the present, writes better when reflecting on the past, where impressions [...]

    9. This is a novel written in the 1950s about the English Victorian world of the turn of the 20th century. It is told by a much older Leo Colston from his “box of memories” and concerns the summer of 1900 when, as a youth of thirteen, he spends much of the summer at the residence of his classmate, Martin Maudsley. Martin is of the upper class. Leo is not (but few in the story are aware of his family background). The Maudsleys live at Brandham Hall in Norfolk, England. Through Leo’s memories, [...]

    10. I bought this book because I was intrigued by its first line: "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” It certainly is an intriguing line, but so much more could have been done with the message than is done here. The story is told by a sixty-two year old man, Leo Colston. He writes of his experiences in the summer of 1900 when he was almost thirteen. That summer he was invited to stay with his upper-class friend Marcus Maudsley in their Norfolk estate, Brandham Hall, [...]

    11. It is an unusually hot English summer in 1900. Sweltering temperatures echo simmering passions behind a facade of rules, manners and decorum. Twelve year old Leo spends his summer holidays visiting a school friend at his home, Brandham Hall. Leo is out of his class and out of his depth. He feels unworthy and insecure as he tries to integrate himself into family affections. Intoxicated by their party lifestyle, he is manipulated with charm and his schoolboy innocence is used as a means of deceit. [...]

    12. Evocative, poignant, and beautiful!“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” It is only fair to begin with this sentence which ruefully announces that things have now changed, however not without a sigh of relief. Nostalgia can sometimes be like an unopened letter which allures us to open it, but when we open and finish reading it, a pang of guilt makes us regret our decision. Now, Leo Colston is met with one such situation in his sixties and his source of guilt lies [...]

    13. This is one of the most perfect novels ever written. It has many layers and levels, thanks to its brilliant narrative structure of an old man recollecting a tragic love story he witnessed in intense close up as a young boy. It is a rare case of a complex narrative structure actually being necessary for the proper exposition of the plot. For the story is not just about what happened when the narrator was a boy, but how it changed his life as a man and how, towards the end of his life, writing abo [...]

    14. Another coming-of-age, loss-of-innocence novel that will undoubtedly be familiar to and especially appreciated by people who liked Atonement. For whatever reason, Atonement didn't work for me, but this one did.The majority of the story takes place in England in the summer of 1900, but Hartley brings that alive in a way that makes it familiar to someone like me who has never set foot (yet) in England or lived during the summer of 1900. It's not hard to forget the summers of our own childhoods on [...]

    15. The first line of this book brought familiarity, but reading further I realized that I had positively read this book before. Possibly in my late 20's, and no earlier than that, I am sure. And what strikes home the most NOW on reaction to this read, is that I was so much more sympathetic with our go-between then, than I am now in my own age. It's his older, 60 plus years, self that I find problematic. The child going to man, I can fully understand and sympathize. Especially with the death events [...]

    16. It's been a long time since I've been so flummoxed by a book that it leaves me (almost) without words.One part of my mind says this: I like the writing well enough, and Hartley seems to spin a well-constructed story; and for the most part, it isn't objectionable. The other part says this: I hated it with undefinable passion. I wondered, what did I really dislike? I didn't like the pretentious little prig who was nothing but a little blusterer with an inflated sense of self. In his defence, one c [...]

    17. The household will be happy to have my attention again. It hasn't seen a flicker of it since I started reading this book. I've seen the movie. Liked it very much. Yet even knowing what was going to happen, the story in the book still felt new to me. That's a quality in the writing; it's the kind that makes everything new. And by the end of the book, the crystalline narration , that is never precious, had made his memories, my memories. I haven't had a narrator do that since Nick Carraway. And th [...]

    18. Note: This review is from October 2nd 2007 when the reviewer was a spotty man-boy of twenty. Excuse the gaucheness herein.Hugh Might Enjoy ThisLord up on high, save me from the woeful sound of old people having sex.It was March 4th 1996 and the occasion was a brief stopover in a B&B during an enthralling coach trip from Dunbartonshire and Clydebank. Those are cities in Scotland, kind reader—of little import to this brief introduction—so we need not trouble ourselves with them at this jun [...]

    19. The novel opens with the narrator, Leo Colston, now in his 60s, reminiscing about the summer of 1900 when at age twelve he spent a month at a large country estate with his wealthy school chum, Marcus Maudsley, and Marcus's sophisticated and pretty older sister Marian. Marian is having a very illicit affair with a local tenant farmer, Ted Burgess. Leo becomes complicit in the affair as Marian and Ted use him to ferry messages between them. Also present is the young facially disfigured war veteran [...]

    20. This has been my second reading of "The Go-Between," my first having been probably some fifteen years ago. I was a little nervous that the book itself might not live up to my memory of it. I needn't have been. It is one of a handful of books that gets a childhood/adolescent point of view spot on. Andre Aciman's "Call Me By Your Name," Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," Truman Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms," Haven Kimmel's "A Girl Named Zippy," Ann Marie McDonald's "The Way the Crow Flie [...]

    21. [4.5] Not the chap from the Yellow Pages ad. That was J.R. Hartley.The Go-Between is a book of high summer, set in a hot July (in the year 1900) - but which I was prompted to read now, a little late in the season, after noticing a basic similarity with The Line of Beauty. (Also having decided to read some of the unread 1001 Books novels I own.) I loved the Hollinghurst so much I wanted to read bits of it again straight away, but knowing this is usually just a good way of making myself bored of a [...]

    22. This novel seemed to have all the ingredients of a perfect novel for me: set in pre-World War 1 England at a country house with some dubious, arrogant characters and one or two likeable ones, with a hint of a small pending disaster - like a good mix of Forster and Waugh with a bit of Atonement thrown it. And it was a good story, well told, interestingly developed, but not of the five-star quality for me that it apparently was for a lot of people in here. The story builds slowly, which on the one [...]

    23. Easily now one of my favorite novels. Hartley's ability to write children is amazing. This is a must-read, heartbreakingly good.

    24. This book has shot into my top ten of all time. Why this has drifted out of fashion I don't know, most people will know the opening line, many judging by other reviews on here now the movie too but the book Oh my the bookThe mood is one of melancholy as a man in his 60's looks back on the summer of 1900, the summer of his 13th birthday. Leo is staying a Norfolk country house with his school friend Marcus and Marcus' family.Essentially it is a story of a life wasted and the reasons why Leo catalo [...]

    25. ‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.’ Probably ranks with ‘All happy families . . .’ and ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged . . .’ amongst the most famous opening sentences in classical fiction. But in the case of The Go-Between, I found it a trifle off. Because when the book first appeared in America, in 1954, I was the same age as Leo the narrator, and I would have had much more common with him then, than either of us would have with the contempora [...]

    26. Upon second reading, this is definitely a five star book for me. The first great thing about it is that Hartley offers some really wonderful descriptions of the natural world. The novel is set at an English country house in the summer of 1900, a record heatwave, and the atmosphere is filled with wheat fields, swimming holes, and cricket pitches. In many ways, it's an idyllic vision of an English summer, but I also liked that one of the central metaphors of the book is a poisonous plant growing o [...]

    27. Wasn't too sure what to expect with this but it ended up far exceeding my expectations. The story of the twelve year old (going on thirteen) Leo Colston, who finds himself ill equipped to deal with a situation far beyond his years. This is a beautifully written, evocative novel. There is more here then first appears to the reader and I found myself thinking about the novel long after I'd finished.

    28. I thought the book was excellent and I also liked the film with Julie Christie and Alan Bates. I must write a review at some stage. This was a real trip down memory lane.

    29. Very enjoyable, and luckily I'd forgotten what happened even though it wasn't so long ago that I saw the film and the TV adaptation.

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