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gertrude

August 2018

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reading

Something Nasty in the Woodshed: The Go-Between



The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.
This is probably one of the best-known opening lines in English literature.
L P Hartley’s The Go-Between was first published in 1953. It’s donkey’s years since I read the book; probably I was at school, when I read everything and L P Hartley was more highly regarded than he is now. Many people probably only know the book because of the film, which starred Alan Bates and Julie Christie.

Leo Colston, now in his sixties, looks back to a visit paid to a school friend in the scorching summer of 1900. At twelve years old he finds himself in a grown-up world of mysteries and secrets. As a result the whole course of his life is changed. No more about it now, as it’s the next choice of the Cornflower Book Group. I’ll just say that if you start the prologue and find yourself thinking, ‘This is rather slow and boring,’ persevere. It’s worth it.

Comments

Funny, I've got this one on my want list. I love his supernatural stories.
The only other books by him I've read are the Eustace and Hilda trilogy. Again, a long time ago and perhaps also due for a re-read.

(Anonymous)

I have the same edition as you and I love this book. The evocation of a hot, sultry summer is just brilliant and a great opening line.
Nicola@vintagereads
Isn't it pretty? I was lucky enough to pick it up cheaply at the market a while ago. Agree about the feeling of heat and English summer which pervade the book.
One of my favourite books. It's great to read during a hot summer.