Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Have You Read The Go-Between? A Guest Post by Simon Harding.

There’s so little time and so many books that you’d be forgiven for not having read every great work of literature out there – but there’s one novel you absolutely must put on the old bucket list and that’s L P Hartley’s The Go-Between.

First published in 1953, the story starts with an elderly man, Leo Colston, fighting nostalgia while looking back through his old diary from 1900, when he was just the tender age of 13. The majority of the book focuses on the summer that Leo spent in Norfolk at Brandham Hall, home of school friend Marcus Maudsley.

As a poor boy suddenly thrust in with the wealthier upper classes, Leo feels as though he doesn't fit in, although he’s made most welcome by his hosts. However, the story takes a somewhat darker turn when Marian Maudsley makes use of Leo to ferry messages of a romantic nature to Ted Burgess – a tenant farmer a lot further down the socio-economic scale than Marian herself.

Of course, the pair can never marry, something that the young Leo fails to understand. However, he grows increasingly uncomfortable with his role as go-between and tries to put a stop to it, but is compelled to continue by Marian. The story comes to a tragic and shocking end – but you’ll have to read the book in order to find out how it reaches its conclusion!

The book has remained popular over the years and has been adapted numerous times for both stage and screen. In fact, you can actually book a Go-Between theatre break in London right now if you love the novel that much you can’t wait to see it acted out in front of you. Make sure you watch the 2015 film as well so you can really immerse yourself in the world L P Hartley created.
Simon.
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Thank you Simon, I have to admit I've not read it, although it's been on my must-read list for ages. I haven't seen the film or the stage production either - very remiss of me!

Have you read The Go-Between? Or perhaps you've seen the film or the stage production?

I received no financial compensation for sharing the above post and have no material connection to the brands or products mentioned.  
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I've been looking for an opportunity to share a couple of recent photographs with you. Our granddaughter Lilly was four last week so what better time than now…

Strike a pose Lilly – beautiful, thank you!

Lilly’s big sister started school this year; here she is at her first sports day. Well done Zoe it looks like you had a lot of fun!

With thanks to Karen & Steven for the photographs.

That’s all for now, I hope you are having a wonderful week.

39 comments:

  1. As l don't read books, l'll have to look out
    for the film...Just Google it, had a quick read,
    l see it's on at the Appollo Theatre with Michael
    Crawford in it..And Jim Broadbent starring in the
    2015 film..!
    It also won the Palme D'or in the 1971..At the
    Cannes Film Festival..! So all round, it sounds good.

    And..A BIG Happy Burfday to Lilly...Four years old...
    Goodness wish l was four again..All l get now is.....
    'What Four'. :).
    Though a lot of people will tell ya...I act like a four
    year old...
    Nice photo to..At least she's wearing the right colours..!

    HaHa! I remember my daughters first sports day..As a single
    parent, l could go into the Mothers and Fathers race...Less
    said about that the better...! :).

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    1. Hi Willie, I must see if hubby fancies a trip to London. I would love to see the stage show, but I also want to read the book, so I really must get on with it!

      Thank you for the birthday wishes for Lilly, she looks pretty in pink, and I knew it was your favourite colour, so though you would enjoy seeing the pictures. Karen was telling us the girls are missing us (as we are missing them), so we must get on with saving some pennies and thinking about another trip to Oz. They will be all grown up before we know it.

      I love that you could enter both the Mothers and Fathers race … I hope you did, and I hope you won! :-)

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    2. The Fathers race..yes l won, but there was
      only six other Fathers...Now! this is very
      true...not a jest! I came last in the Mothers
      race...I held back...to watch the Mum's Bum's.
      HeHe! I remember one Mum..she was in one lane,
      and her bum was in the other..! :).
      God! She was a 'BIG' lady.....Don't matter where
      you were in the room...you were sat next to her..!
      HeHe! Are'nt l wicked...Still! Speak as you find!
      Tell the truth..shame the..what's his name...!!!

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    3. You wicked? Never, just a little naughty perhaps! :)

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  2. YOU have me intrigued my dear, and I must get this book! Or at least see if I can find an on-line version! We adore anything British, and we are currently watching (for the 5th time), the Great British Baking Show series!

    Your darling Lily is precious. Enjoy your summer days, and thank you for this wonderful recommendation AND your visits to my Instagram. HUGS TO YOU!

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    1. Hello Anita, we are watching The Great British Sewing Bee at the moment and think it is every bit as good as the Baking Show, you must watch it if you get the chance.

      Thank you for your sweet words about Lilly, we think she is precious, but it is lovely of you to agree with us! Your Instagram photographs always make me smile. They are just so beautiful. Hugs back!

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  3. Not read the book, but saw the film and really enjoyed it. Lovely photos of Zoe and Lilly. xx

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    1. Hi Sue, I didn’t realise you had seen the film. Did you go to the cinema or has it been on TV? I’ve been meaning to read the book for ages but would love to see it on stage. It’s hard to believe Zoe is at school already. It only feels like five minutes since she was a tiny baby. xx

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    2. Hi there, Sorry only just looked at your reply. The film came out years and years ago when the kids were quite young so did not see it then. Caught up with it years later on TV. I know how you feel about the girls, hard to believe Robyn will be 25 this month xxx

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    3. Hi Sue, I have a card ready to send to Robyn and believe it or not I did know she was going to be 25 because I always put it on my calendar each year. I have been known to make mistakes though, either by adding a year or subtracting one, so I’m glad you confirmed it.
      I missed the film when it was on TV, but I’ve got a copy of the book on the way from Amazon, so I will be reading it soon. xx

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  4. I bought that book long ago and it now sits on my "Good book" shelf alongside the Portrait of Dorian Grey.

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    1. Hello Roger, I absolutely love The portrait of Dorian Grey if The Go-Between is as good as that, then it's very, very good.

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  5. I confess-I have not read the book! One of those books I used to sell, but never had time to read.(Running a bookshop and a catlogue for collectors all those years -I hardly read anything.) Now I am not so sure that it is not too sad for me. The older I grow the more I choose happy endings... Something for me to reconsider?
    Love the photos of Lilly and Zoe- what lovely and (from the photos)-already accomplished girls!Thank you for another thought provoking post, Barbara!

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    1. That makes me feel better Colleen as I’ve not read it either. I’m not sure if you should reconsider or not, as I don't how it ends. It certainly sounds as though it will be sad but maybe not? I read a lot of books while cataloguing, but most of them were intended for children. I often started the day with a large pile of books to catalogue and ended the day with a pile of exactly the same size and number. Once I started reading there was no stopping me, good job I worked for myself!
      Thank you for your sweet words about Zoe and Lilly, naturally we think they are beautiful and accomplished.

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  6. I haven't read this but it certainly sounds interesting. And yes, I am curious to know what the tragic ending is so I'll just have to find a copy of the book.

    Your girls are really growing up fast and so adorable. They must make you so happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've had it on my list for ages, and I'm sure it will be well worth reading. I hope you find a copy and enjoy it.
      The girls are an absolute joy, and we feel blessed to have them in our lives. Thanks for visiting, Barbara

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  7. Dear Barbara,

    thanks for sharing this book review and I will have to see if I can get a copy. How adorable your sweet grand-daughters are and you must be so proud of Lilly and Zoe - sweet girls.
    Just want to say many thanks for your kind visit and subscribing to Victorias youtube, appreciate that.
    thanks for all the lovely posts you share.
    happy June
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    Replies
    1. Hello Carolyn,
      I hope you enjoy the story if you do find a copy.
      We think Zoe and Lilly are the sweetest little girls in the world, but then we wouldn’t we?
      I did visit Victoria's youtube a couple of weeks ago but forgot to subscribe so went back yesterday. Hopefully, I will get notifications of future videos now, which will be good.
      Happy June,
      Barbara x

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  8. This book sounds great, something I would enjoy. Thanks for the recommendations. The grandchildren look fabulous! They are growing up quickly.

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    1. Thanks Darlene. Zoe and Lilly certainly are growing up fast – we will be great grandparents before we know it! :-)

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  9. I have not read, seen, nor heard of The Go Between. But- I love to read good books and a friend and I have our own two person book club in which we try to read classics that we missed. Adding this to our list. ;)

    Adorable pictures of Zoe and Lilly!

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  10. Beautiful children. I've not read this book, but it's on my list now.

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    1. Hello Donna, I’ve read nothing but good things about it. Thanks for visiting.

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  11. Hi Barbara,

    Thank you to Simon for the informative guest post on that book, "The Go-Between." It does seem a fascinating read. I also notice that the book was first published in 1953. A year I can relate to, what with it being my birth year. That makes me 21! :)

    Happy, belated birthday to your granddaughter, Lilly. Zoe and Lilly are adorable :)

    Cheers,

    Gary

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gary,
      I enjoyed Simon’s post, and I’m glad you did too.
      Excellent! I’m five years older than you so that must make me 26!!
      Thanks for the birthday wishes for Lilly.
      Love to you and Penny.

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  12. Thanks for the guest post to Simon, and to Barbara for the cute photos of the grandchildren - real characters!

    I only read the Go-Between about two years ago - and thought it was a tremendous book, one that I will read again. It is so atmospheric and catches the mind of an adolescent boy so well. The heat of the summer, and the very British upper class setting - it's marvellous. I reviewed it here:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R37SKD7ICG5249/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0141187786

    In fact, I pinched the first line and adapted it for my book covers as a strapline - 'The Past is a Dangerous Country'. The original is 'The Past is a Foreign Country'.

    Thanks!

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    Replies

    1. Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your excellent review, I read it and ordered a copy! I’ve had it on my must-read list for long enough, now I’m going to read it.

      I remember thinking your strapline was very clever and a little familiar, but I didn’t know why. I’ve learnt something today, thank you!

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  13. I've never heard of this book, but it certainly does sound like a special one. Speaking of special, your granddaughters are beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. That is very kind of you thank you Marcia.

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  14. Beautiful photos Barbara.

    I'm afraid I've not read The Go Between, but seen the film many years ago and can't remember it.

    I was watching Alice in Wonderland this evening, at least part of it - must admit I prefer the more childlike version I watched when I was young.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anne Marie,
      I've wanted to see the Tim Burton version for ages, so I also watched it. I enjoyed seeing Helena Bonham Carter play the part of The Red Queen, and I thought Johnny Depp was very good. Overall it was an OK film, but the magic was missing. Not that I didn't enjoy it, I did, but it lacked something and parts of it were pretty gruesome.
      I hope you are having a good weekend, thanks for calling in.

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  15. Thanks for the intro, I haven't heard about this book.

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  16. These are lovely photos :)

    And thank you for pointing this book out. I'd never heard of it, and it sounds like something I'd want to read. Some books, for whatever reason (and not always because of quality), don't become better known. I like hearing about the lesser-known gems.

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    1. Happy to help and glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for commenting. Barbara.

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  17. Sorry I haven't been around, Barbara. It's been so nice catching up on your blog posts.


    I haven't heard of The Go-Between, so thanks for recommending it, Simon. The storyline does sound like my cup of tea so I'll be sure to check it out.

    Lovely to see more photos of Lilly and Zoe! And Happy Belated Birthday to Lilly.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Claudine, please don’t worry about that I knew you were busy re-designing your website (which looks amazing btw!)
      I’ve got a copy of the Go-Between, now I just have to read it. :-)
      Thanks for your birthday wishes for Lilly.

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  18. I did not know that the film was based on a book. I have not seen the film but hope I get the opportunity to see it. I have been wanting to see it.

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    Replies
    1. I would like to see it too Shashi. I’ve just started the book and am enjoying it so far.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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