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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 about 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 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 about 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 his schoolmate Marcus Maudsley in his family country estate, impressive Brandham Hall Previous year was a bad one to him, first had been seriously ill, then orphaned by the father Leo has right to think of this year and the new century with high hopes and expectations as a beginning of something exceptional, onset of mythical Golden Age from his dreams And entering Brandham Hall seems to create a real opportunity on that way On the spot Leo meets other members and friends of Maudsley s family including Marian, beautiful Marcus sister, wooing her Lord Hugh nothing is ever a lady s faultTrimingham and Ted Burgess, tenant of nearby farm Hartley brilliantly captured dreams and dilemmas of a twelve year old caught, against own will, partly due to own naivety and vanity though mainly because of egoism and callousness of adults, in a network of interrelated though conflicting aspirations Enchanted by all participants of the drama boy is trying to please everyone Leo feels almost reverent worship for this world and its inhabitants, these ethereal virgins and young men in white, weren t they embodiment of his personal Zodiac , for this hot summer, for that social order that is already crumbling although no one yet can see it His admiration for Marian s beauty, almost animal vitality of Ted and the gallantry of Hugh, at last his loneliness makes that having received some interest from them can not deny small favor in return Run, Leo, run Lovers are waiting for the letters You can t let them down Do I see little wings at your feet Nah, it s likely chiaroscuro, only sun plays tricks when you run out of the shadow But you were called Mercury as well, the messenger of the gods and you believed at that and, lost in adult s world and also in own half awaken sexuality, convinced of own greatness and magic abilities , elated by glorious summer, you tried to change course of events Oh, poor little Mercury, even your divine namesake wouldn t have done that so carelessly That novel is so brilliantly multilayered, psychologically nuanced, rich and evocative, dealing on so many levels, speaking of rigid class rules and social inferiority, naivety and calculation, deception and recognition, illicit love and hypocrisy, Victorian morality and conventions shackling people like stiff corset, finally eclipse of some epoch and loss of grace and innocence If the past is a foreign country what then is a human heart Poor Leo, half a century later tries to bring back all events that merciful memory had hidden from him Stranger in the world of feelings,cindery creature, disillusioned with life and dream golden age but also own role in the bygone tragedy like a guest from another world, exile from zodiacal Eden returns to the ancient past Go, Leo and from the bottom of your dried heart, from your reluctant memory, for the sake of this memorable summer and all these bigger than life people, go and find proper words After all you believe yet thatthere s no spell or curse except an unloving heart 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 T ib n, 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 WarTh 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 T ib n, 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 Boer War was a local affair, and so I was able to set my little private tragedy against a general background of security and happiness Ostensibly this is a story about a thirteen year old private school boy, Leo, at the turn of the twentieth century spending a month in the summer at the house of a wealthier school chum, Marcus It is told from the perspective of that same boy, years later and remembering back He hints at some dark and irremediable end that casts a shadow through the warm and carefree beginnings of that seminal summer.This is a slow slide, told through innumerable details, into the deep end of the pool, but we hardly even struggle as the dim end comes We are watching the process, the progress of our descent Our boy Leo got a new set of clothes, fell helplessly in love with distant Marian, the older sister of Marcus, and had days of discovery on his own when Marcus came down sick and had to stay in bed Leo never does get to wear his new swim suit, though I waited for that moment almost as anxiously as I did the larger d nouement that loomed on the horizon that steamy summer Somehow I thought that nakedness and bathing and water and the thrill of danger would be intertwined with the finish, but that was just another beautifully executed feint where ordinary things take on the weight of portent The gentle, teasing story of that languid summer is that moment in a life when mysteries are revealed, truths are uncovered, futures are altered, and no one is ever the same again The miracle is that Hartley captured it so completely, the sensual detail caught with the enthusiasm and wonder of a boy s eye the rippling muscle of the farmer, the shock of cold steel and weight of the gun stock, the smell of Marian s perfume and the rustle of her satins as her white arms stretched over recalcitrant piano keysBut the best, the very best, is the way Hartley brings his story to a close We hold on through the summer with stomach clenched when the crisis comes, we are ready, but Hartley teases us on with another suspense, and then another, until we are slowly sated, satisfied, and feel older, wiser, wistful I adored character Marian at the end, while I hated her throughout much of the story It was the older man s eyes and her own words that make this transformation, but it made her life and his a celebration, rather than a tragedy Only time and distance bestows that grace, and Hartley was wise enough to tweek our emotions that one last time This is the cusp of manhood story that school children should read, but aspiring authors could do worse than study how Hartley did this.A final word Hartley was a book reviewer foremost, and often read as many as five novels a week and reckoned that in all he must have read well over six thousand books T ib n, Intro p vi Would that our man were alive and writing today, we would be ever the richer The cruelty of grown ups manipulating children is endless What a strange, strange story this is, told in a double voice by a single narrator, partly reflecting as an old man on the younger self s experience, partly slipping into the voice of that younger self to make sense of a highly traumatising experience for which the boy had no explanation, but which nevertheless explains later choices in the old man s lifestyle to such an extent that the summer of his 13th birthday in 1900 can be called l The cruelty of grown ups manipulating children is endless What a strange, strange story this is, told in a double voice by a single narrator, partly reflecting as an old man on the younger self s experience, partly slipping into the voice of that younger self to make sense of a highly traumatising experience for which the boy had no explanation, but which nevertheless explains later choices in the old man s lifestyle to such an extent that the summer of his 13th birthday in 1900 can be called life defining Unconscious of the grown up world of mixed messages and desires, young Leo gets drawn into an intrigue full of passion and sexuality and of ambition and class prejudice Outside his usual social environment as a visitor to Brandham Hall, a fashionable mansion in Norfolk, and sexually innocent and oblivious, he judges what happens to himself from the school boy s logic Bringing business letters to a local farmer from the young, beautiful and spoiled daughter of the Hall , he becomes a tool, a go between who is successfully manipulated to play an involuntary role in a disastrously lopsided affair With his lack of knowledge and experience, he manages to put the blame for the following tragedy all on himself, and it leaves him scarred for half a century A social and psychological study and a coming of age story, this novel reads like a mystery as well, as explored inside the head of a boy who got shocked for life by being exposed to ruthless sexual desire and its social implications in class ruled England of 1900 What a bitter disappointment to see fifty years later that he had always shunned emotional life because of such trivial selfishness as his Lady Marian displayed To the boy, it looked like a dangerous curse One is tempted to throw in some what ifs.What if the affair had been allowed to run its course Wouldn t Marian have tired of her lover and moved on to something else to occupy her mind Wouldn t Ted have had a chance to start agenuine relationship or to die in one of the wars on offer, as his son and Marian s brothers did What if Leo had remained at the Hall to see the d nouement Wouldn t he have calmed down and been able to let it go But that is the thing with brilliant novels They leave you wondering for days, knowing full well that the plot played out the way it did because it had to 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 encapsulates 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 encapsulates the past well We begin with Leo s story at school, where he is bullied and his life made a misery, before somehow a chance event causes him to become something of a hero This experience gives him a certain confidence, so he is thrilled to visit Marcus in the holidays There is even a titled guest a Viscount, who allows him to call him by his first name, as well as the lovely Marian, Marcus s sister Leo s family life, alone with his widowed mother, is much less grand that that of Marcus, and he is impressed and eager to please It gradually becomes apparent that Marian is destined to become engaged to the Viscount, whose family seat is Brandon Hall However, she is attracted to the tenant farmer, Ted Burgess, and, when Leo is asked to take notes between Marian and Ted, it leads to a tragedy which Leo tries to understand as an adult Everything about this novel is sublimely beautiful It seems almost odd now that a boy like Leo, about to reach his thirteenth birthday, is really so unaware of the reasons for his message taking but, as the author tells us in the beginning it was ainnocent time and very different The setting is evocative of those rare, beautiful, English summers It involves class, cricket, croquet on the lawn and picnics The small victories, and crushing embarrassments, of childhood and the awareness of adult life on the periphery of Leo s senses A wonderful novel and one which encapsulates so much about a certain time so well Look, just give me a book by a Brit with two initials whose observance is all thesensual 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. 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 traumat 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 arrested development , anyone effect on his innocent mind As the introduction notes, Hartley wrote the book as a memoir, as an act of atonement, and as a manifesto against the decay brought by two world wars and a social order turned upside downIt allowed him to evoke a past, a time half a century earlier, a golden age, as he saw it, of Victorian morals and manners, an age of innocence in the short time before its shattering What the introduction is less clear about, and what the reader can only discover by jumping right into the text, like the young boy dipping into the blue waters of a pond in summertime, is how full of beauty and sadness, how exquisitely written this trip down memory lane is The past is a foreign country they do things differently there One of the most memorable first lines I have come across in my long years of reading, and a moving evocation of a fraught coming of age at the tail end of a pious, rigid yet prosperous Victorian society Invited down for the summer to the opulent Brandham Hall by Marcus a friend from his public school , Leo feels both enthralled by the prospect of mingling with the rich Maudsley family and anxious about his own social statusI was between twelve and thirteen, and I wanted to think of myself as a man also,I was acutely aware of social inferiority I felt utterly out of place among these smart rich people, and a misfit everywhere Leo has managed to find his place among his peers at school, escaping the obligatory bullying and even gaining a reputation as an amateur spell caster Yet this new world of immaculate green lawns, formal dinners, white suits and dresses, tennis and cricket and evening dances has him flustered, out of his depth, enchanted Most of all he is attracted by the older sister of Marcus, the beautiful Miss Marian Maudsley, who herself seems to be taking an interest in the young boyWhat did we talk about that has left me with an impression of wings and flashes, as of air displaced by the flight of a bird Of swooping and soaring, of a faint iridescence subdued to the enfolding brightness of the day My spiritual transformation took place in Norwich it was there that, like an emerging butterfly, I was first conscious of my wings With help from Marian, Leo is out of his chrysalis his inappropriate cold weather clothes and heavy boots , Leo is now decked in a highly fashionable summer suit in bright green colour, and can take his place among the revelers On a trip to an improvised swimming pool he meets another adult that would have a major impact on his summer days Ted Burgess is not a member of the Brandham Hall social circle, he is just a farmer out for a quick dip in the water, yet his physical presence is arresting.Without going into one too many plot details, Leo ends up visiting Ted at his farm and becomes a bearer of secret messages between him and Miss Marian His innocence fails to spot the obvious reason for the illicit dialogue and Leo revels instead in the attention he is paid by the two people he admires the most Like many a young boy at that age, what he doesn t know is replaced by flights of fancyWithout knowing it, I was crossing the rainbow bridge from reality to dream I now felt that I belonged to the Zodiac, not to Southdown Hill School and that my emotions and my behaviour must illustrate this change My dream had become my reality my old life was a discarded husk Yet how long can this pretending game continue while real life happens all around Leo For a moment he is on top of the world when he saves the day at the annual cricket match between the Hall and the village teams, or when he sings a Psalm at the game s afterparty accompanied on piano by Miss Marian But the higher you fly, the most painful is the coming back down What an Eden Brandham Hall had been before this serpent entered it Master Colston begins to suspect that Ted and Marian are using him and that they care little about his own feelings, either praising or threatening him in order to get what they want from him The Biblical references are intentional, with knowledge of the real world being blamed for Leo s expulsion from Paradise and with the connotations of sexual awakening in Leo as puberty hits As older Leo inserts himself into the memoir, he even holds an imaginary conversation with his 12 y.o selfWell, it was you who let me down, and I will tell you how You flew too near to the sun, and you were scorched This cindery creature is what you made me Again, I don t want to go into specific plot points about what went down at the end of that atypical spell of sunny days in East England, but it must have been the defining moment for the author of this book, an admirer of the old class system and a misfit among the trenches of the twentieth centuryI was a conformist it never occurred to me that because I suffered, there was something wrong with the system, or with the human heart Leo the conformist to the Victorian values is mostly in evidence on the day of the annual meeting between the Lords and the Peasants with the occasion of the gameCricket isthan a game, they say, or used to say it is an attitude of the mind, a point of view I don t know about that You can think of it as a set of ritual movements, or as a ballet, a ballet in a green field, a ballet of summer, which you can enjoy without knowing what it s about or what it means Cricket is also a stand in for class warfare, with Lord Trimigham the refined war hero on one side and Ted Burgess the animal on the other, while Miss Marian standing on the sidelines to reward the winnerDimly I felt that the contrast represented somethingthan the conflict between Hall and village It was that, but it was also a struggle between order and lawlessness, between obedience to tradition and defiance of it, between social stability and revolution, between one attitude to life and another Older Leo feels betrayed by the selfishness and the brutality of the new age, a brutality he feels he is partly responsible for after poisoning the Eden he remembers Brandham Hall to have been In a book rich in metaphor and foreshadowing, Leo is obsessed by a wild weed growing in a shady corner of the Brandham stables Belladona comes to signify for him both passion in its wild, secret growing, and poison in its effects on other people He is wiser now, but he mourns for the enthusiasm and the hope that he lost along the wayKnowledge may be power, but it is not resilience, or resourcefulness, or adaptability to life, still less is it instinctive sympathy with human nature and those were qualities I possessed in 1900 in far greater measure than I possess them in 1952 Indeed, before he was exiled from Paradise, the young boy was putting down in his diary some very thoughtful lines about ethics and religion and politics the Boer War in that periodWhy should we call ourselves sinners Life was life, and people acted in a certain way, which sometimes caused one pain or,Wrong was not a word I had much use for the idea of Right and Wrong as two gigantic eavesdroppers spying on my movements was most distasteful to me But surely something which might end in murder must be wrong This dilemma between his intentions and the results of his go between actions in the summer of 1900 will haunt Leo Colston for the rest of his life, until he is ready to revisit the place in 1952In my eyes the actors in my drama had been immortals, inheritors of the summer and of the coming glory of the twentieth century.So whichever way I looked, towards the world of experience or the world of the imagination, my gaze returned empty I could make no contact with either, and lacking the nourishment that these umbilical cords convey, I shrank into myself The tragic vibe of the account of the summer of 1900 is balanced somewhat by the returning visit of 1952 This reader feels that the author was not satisfied with the bitterness of his own failed life, of his trampled sensibility, and he wanted another voice to give an account of that summer Do you remember what that summer was like how muchbeautiful than any since Well, what was the most beautiful thing in it Wasn t it us, and our feelings for each other We did have sorrows, bitter sorrows, but they weren t our fault they were the fault of this hideous century we live in, which has denaturated humanity and planted death and hate where love and living were Tell him there s no spell or curse except an unloving heart This epilogue raised the book from a simple five star rating to a place among my favorites Now I m ready for a re watch of the movie version I left out a long passage describing the relationship between young Leo and powerful Ted, something that has been used in some accounts to justify a homosexual interpretation I don t see it, given the stated initial innocence of Leo and the obvious interest they both have in the beautiful Marian, but then I may have my own baggage of emotions and experience I am bringing to the lecture To each his own To me the quote serves to paint Ted Burgess as a role model and not as a crushI liked Ted Burgess in a reluctant, half admiring, half hating way When I was away from him I could think of him objectively as a working farmer whom no one at the Hall thought much of But when I was with him his mere physical presence cast a spell on me it established an ascendancy that I could not break He was, I felt, what a man ought to be, what I should like to be when I grew up At the same time I was jealous of his power over Marian, little as I understood its nature, jealous of whatever it was he had that I had not He came between me and my image of her In my thoughts I wanted to humiliate him, and sometimes did But I also identified myself with him, so that I could not think of his discomfiture without pain I could not hurt him without hurting myself He fitted into my imaginative life, he was my companion of the greenwood, a rival, an enemy, a friend I couldn t be sure which 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 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 formed are most fertile for literary creation He tells us also that The Go Between is pregnant with symbols, naming a few, and then somewhat incongruously saying, But I have never deliberately introduced a symbol into any of my books Let me say here that I don t disbelieve him Symbols they grow as weeds, they bubble in the stew the wind and the stillness bring them in turn The artist can t escape them And the reader can tell when he s trying too hard.But it is the Epilogue which made this book for me Until then, the narrator s voice was that adolescent, seeing things with open eyes but not yet understanding No one will tell him what spooning is and conversations splinter when one says Hugh and the other hears you Such is the confusion when a boy turns thirteen What to make of lessons of right and wrong and what is proper and what is not when Life s joys and tragedies yet remain unexplained But, Proustians, the Epilogue begins with this line When I put down my pen, I meant to put away my memories with it.And then this I was like a train going through a series of tunnels sometimes in the daylight sometimes in the dark, sometimes knowing who and where I was, sometimes not knowing Little by little the periods of daylight grewcontinuous and at last I was running in the open by the middle of September I was considered fit to go back to school.It was not the denouement but the old man s voice that pulled the curtain away for me I had struggled with the Britishness of the story the notions of class seem silly to me There is a vignette a cricket match which was defining It was the day not a day when the servants got to play and party with the viscounts and landed gentry Our young narrator observes I remember how class distinctions melted away and how the butler, the footman, the coachman, the gardener, and the pantry boy seemed completely on an equality with us, and I remember having a sixth sense that enabled me to foretell, with some accuracy, how each of them would shape And yet the boy did not believe you could succeed at a game unless you were dressed properly for it It was like trained soldiers fighting natives It was the time of The Boer War Much would happen in the fifty years from the time our narrator put down his pen and when, in the Epilogue, he took it up again Whose fault was it All the sorrows the bitter sorrows All the deaths What we do to each other The woman at the center of this story says But they weren t our fault they were the fault of this hideous century we live in, which has denatured humanity and planted death and hate where love and living were Tell him this, Leo, make him see it and feel it it will be the best day s work you ever did.And so it was 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 succe 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 success when it was published in 1953 My only awareness of it, was from the 1970 film adaptation which I have never got round to watching I will be putting that right soon.My sense is that The Go Between has fallen out of favour since the film, and may well be destined to languish in relative obscurity in a few decades time This would be a great shame It s a masterpiece.There is so much to enjoy here the glorious writing the evocation of the seemingly perfect Summer the realistic insights into the mind of a 13 year old boy struggling to make sense of the adult world the boundaries of Edwardian society the Norfolk landscape and the dangerous, illicit love affair at the book s core.However, beyond the surface pleasures, lurk darker themes The Go Between also describes a world of conflict Edwardian class tensions the Boer War and the wars that were to follow and which claim other victims the supernatural vs the material young, vibrant, magical Leo vs his older, haunted self Leo s non aristocratic background which is at odds with the gilded world of his hosts Leo s conflicted feelings for Ted arranged marriage vs passion etc There is so much to ponder in this book I could reread it again right now I was relieved not to have read the excellent introduction in the Penguin Modern Classics edition until after I had finished the book, as this reveals yetinsights about the depth of meaning within this wonderful book The Go Between is a tense, rich, evocative, and multi layered novel Quite brilliant 5 5 {READ KINDLE} ¼ Mesagerul á Celebrul roman al lui Hartley a fost ecranizat in , avandu l ca scenarist pe Harold Pinter, in regia lui Joseph Losey, cu Julie Christie si Alan Bates in rolurile principale, pelicula fiind distinsa cu Palme d Or la Festivalul de la Cannes in Mesagerul este o poveste magica si emotionanta despre prezent si trecut, despre inocenta si cunoastere, despre trecerea de la fericirea simpla a copilariei la emotiile chinuitoare ale lumii adulte 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 muchcould 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, in 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 muchcould 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, in England The story revolves around what happened in those few weeks and how what happened changed Colston s life forever The story does not feel told, but vividly experienced as the elderly man relives the events of that summer You never forget that it is the elderly English man speaking You hear this in his manner of speaking The themes are interesting a child s incomprehension of adult behavior and ambiguous speech, love, death and deception It is about the simultaneous process of losing the naivety of a child and the abrupt awakening to the deceptions of adulthood It draws a rather negative view of British upper crust values and mode of life I find the consequences of the events as they are drawn in the story to be exaggerated I felt nothing for any of the characters The events left me totally unmoved There is a coldness, a steeliness in the manner in which the story is related This coldness reflects who Leo Colston came to be, but I find it questionable that such a man would have any interest in telling us his story The audiobook narration by Sean Barrett is easy to follow and properly displayed the cold manner of the central protagonist