Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
97
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£7.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 7 July 2010
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there ... from the first sentence I was entranced by this masterpiece of a novel, set during an Edwardian summer heatwave - you can feel the tension building as the thermometer rises. This is one of the best novels of adolescence that I have ever read. Leo Colston, now an old man, looks back on a long country house visit in the summer of 1900 which seemed then to be the dawn of a golden age. He becomes embroiled as the messenger-boy in a love triangle between the beautiful daughter of the house, the wounded hero she is expected to marry and a throbbingly-sexy farmer.
A brilliant evocation of an innocent boy groping his way in an adult world that he is ill-equipped to understand. A classic.
0Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 July 2014
“The Go-Between” is a book that I lost myself in and one of those rare books that I wanted to start again as soon I finished – indeed, I did re-read the Introduction by Douglas Brook-Davis and the first chapter.

As a novel which has the theme of time and memory at its core, it has stood the test of time well, and the early 21st century reader can now look back a half century (and more) to the time of its writing as well as the half-century between the events that are described and their narration.

I became immersed in the story, on one level in the setting – the Norfolk countryside during the hot summer of 1900 – the sky, the fields, the smell of the hay and the sounds of cricket and swimming parties. The descriptions are perfect, if a little unfashionable for today’s pared-down prose, for example – the deadly nightshade: “The sullen heavy purple bells wanted something of me that I could not give, the bold black burnished berries offered me something that I did not want.”

And I became lost, too, in the landscape of young Leo’s mind: a boy on the brink of turning into a young man, the loss of childhood omnipotence, the realisation that the world does not revolve around him, and the disillusionment as his imagined “Golden Age” crumbles around him.

The novel employs the use of symbolism, much of which is explained at length in the introduction and the notes in this edition, but my belief is that it can be enjoyed without understanding every reference. However, this does add yet another layer of depth to what is an extraordinarily good novel.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 September 2012
I loved this. It was beautifully written and characterised with a story line that built up so slowly and then had a proper (albeit sad) ending tying in all the loose ends. Even the cricket game chapter was riveting! This was the month's choice from my book club without which I would have missed reading this wonderful classic.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 October 2015
I treated myself to this because I was fed up downloading cheap and nasty Kindle books - and you definitely get what you pay for! I hadn't read any LP Hartley before but the novel was recommended to me by Amazon, based on my browsing history. From the outset I was captivated. It is a spellbinding evocation of a 13 year old boy's experience over the very hot summer of 1900, and we are swept along, with the naïve young narrator, towards the inevitable outcome. I couldn't put it down and immediately purchased another Hartley - but it doesn't compare with this. 'The Go Between' is the best novel I've read in a while.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 December 2010
This is a wonderful evocation of its period. Hartley captures beautifully the world of the young Leo Colston, contrasting his innocence with that of his friend Marcus. Leo eventually realises that he has been manipulated by adults pretending to befriend him while the denouement, right at the end of the book scars his life for ever. Having seen and enjoyed the film it is clear that there is so much more to the book than the screen could encompass. It is also exquisitely written.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 September 2011
A bitter sweet story of a young boy turning 13 and starting to fall in love in 1900; his 63 year old self looking back on the events of that very hot summer when he acted as go-between for a rich teenage young Edwardian woman and a local farmer on a Norfolk estate; and the end of their love affair which caused him then a nervous breakdown (and other participants other equally unhappy fates).

This is just about perfect; ending with an 'epilogue' in which the 63 year old Leo revisits the scenes of his youth and learns that Marian still fantasies about how that summer was and how perfect her own love had been. He still acts as a go-between this time for Marian with her grandson.

The annotations in the Penguin are a bit annoying. But then I don't know what a 'dog-cart' is even if I do know what 'delenda est belladona' is about. And maybe the high culture of 1953 which LP Hartley could clearly take for granted is now just starting to pass us all by...

I could not recommend this book more strongly.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 August 2015
Expectations were high, and this, in its gripping, insightful readability, surpassed them.No idea why I didn't read it decades ago.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 July 2010
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there ... from the first sentence I was entranced by this masterpiece of a novel, set during an Edwardian summer heatwave - you can feel the tension building as the thermometer rises. This is one of the best novels of adolescence that I have ever read. Leo Colston, now an old man, looks back on a long country house visit in the summer of 1900 which seemed then to be the dawn of a golden age. He becomes embroiled as the messenger-boy in a love triangle between the beautiful daughter of the house, the wounded hero she is expected to marry and a throbbingly-sexy farmer.
A brilliant evocation of an innocent boy groping his way in an adult world that he is ill-equipped to understand. A classic.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 July 2012
This book has to be in my top 10 books of all time. L P Hartley captures the world from a child's perspective, from a time that no longer exists, where childhood means innocence. It is a masterpiece in the observation of the minutiae of class distinction.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 March 2014
Hartley's work is supposedly based on his own life experiences - he must have had a very interesting history!. Some novels need to be read and re-read many times as they offer more on each reading - this is no exception. Hartley's descriptive writing can transport us to other realms and his characters are always believable. The Go-Between offers stories on different levels, and is full of meaningful morality without being moralistic. This is a tragedy written in descriptive emotional language which will pull you inexorably into its characters - we can relate to them all.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse