The Go-Between (NYRB Classics)

The Go-Between (NYRB Classics)

4.4 10
by L. P. Hartley
     
 

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

Summering with a fellow schoolboy on a great English estate, Leo, the hero of L. P. Hartley's finest novel, encounters a world of unimagined luxury. But when his friend's beautiful older sister enlists him as the unwitting messenger in her illicit love affair, the aftershocks will be

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Overview

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

Summering with a fellow schoolboy on a great English estate, Leo, the hero of L. P. Hartley's finest novel, encounters a world of unimagined luxury. But when his friend's beautiful older sister enlists him as the unwitting messenger in her illicit love affair, the aftershocks will be felt for years. The inspiration for the brilliant Joseph Losey/Harold Pinter film starring Julie Christie and Alan Bates, The Go-Between is a masterpiece—a richly layered, spellbinding story about past and present, naiveté and knowledge, and the mysteries of the human heart. This volume includes, for the first time ever in North America, Hartley's own introduction to the novel.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Exuding such a sense of summer the pages might be warm to touch, Hartley's coming-of-age tale is set during the heatwave of 1900. It all ends in tears, but not before there have been plenty of cucumber sandwiches on the lawn." —The Observer

“The first time I read it, it cleared a haunting little spot in my memory, sort of like an embassy to my own foreign country…. I don't want to spoil the suspense of a well-made plot, because you must read this, but let's just say it goes really badly and the messenger (shockingly) gets blamed. Or he blames himself anyway. And here the mirror cracks; the boy who leaves Brandham is not the one who came. Indeed the narrator converses with his old self as though he were two people. That was the powerful gonging left by my first read: What, if anything, bundles us through time into a single person?” – Ann Brashares, “All Things Considered”, NPR
 
“I can't stop recommending to anyone in earshot L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between…. One of the fabled opening lines in modern literature: ‘The past is a foreign country: They do things differently there.’ The NYRB paperback has a superb new introduction by Colm Tóibín, but don't read it until after you've read the book itself.” – Frank Rich, New York Magazine.com
 

Los Angeles Times
Mr. Hartley is amazingly good, and no reader of serious fiction should miss this book.
Atlantic Monthly
A beautifully written and absorbing book.
Jay Parini
Like Henry James, his most obvious literary forebear, Hartley examines the nuances of morality with a shimmering exactness, focusing on characters like Leo, the narrator of The Go-Between, caught between natural impulses and the social conventions that would thwart them.
New York Times
Washington Star
It is always a pleasure to watch a conscious literary artist at work. L. P. Hartley is such a one. All his effects are deliberately sought and brilliantly brought off. Yet a thread of shining lyricism runs through...it is a beautiful and controlled feat of story-telling.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780940322998
Publisher:
New York Review Books
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Series:
New York Review Books Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
344
Sales rank:
252,092
Product dimensions:
4.99(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.82(d)

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