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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Go-Between (1953) L.P. Hartley

Book Review
The Go-Between (1953)
 by L.P. Hartley

    The Go-Between is the 1953 English novel, The Go-Betweens are the long-lived Australian indie band named after the novel.  The Go-Between is a late example of the English country-house novel, revolving around issues of class, property and marriage.  Leo Colston narrates the story from the perspective of an elderly man looking back on a formative summer spent at the country house of an aristocratic classmate.

   While at the house, Leo is drawn into carrying messages between Marian, the eldest daughter of the house, and Ted, a local farmer.   What appears at first to be something in the nature of a gentle comic/coming of age type story turns into something darker by the end, which likely explains the enduring appeal.  To give you an idea, Harold Pinter wrote the screenplay for the movie version.  The Go-Between reminded me of a cross between something written by Evelyn Waugh and Thomas Hardy.

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