The Go-Between


I think this is my favourite book. Ever.
But then I think about Kent Haruf and his Plainsong Triology and then my mind wanders to the ever cliched Great Gatsby and wonder if maybe they are actually my favourite books.
But, either way, this one is a piece of literary magic.
I have studied it for my English coursework and still, when my mind glides over the epilogue, I shiver and tears form in my eyes.
I don't know what it is.
Maybe the utter fragility and vulnerability of innocence that is manipulated in the most deceitful way.
Maybe the sensuousness of the language; the metaphors, the imagery, the symbols. Its rich and abundant but still raw with the pain of realisation.
It is defined by the exploration of sexuality, identity and gender within the confines of Victorian mortality but presents destruction of self in the most tender manner.
Its warm and luxurious, being set in the heatwave of 1900, but so heartfelt.
It is a text, unlike any other I've studied, that gets better with analysis. The exploration and confusion is so much more apparent and Hartley's true skill portrays.
I remember reading this book in the beating sun of 2016, in the month it was set and it gave it all the vibrancy and life it deserves.
But every time I open the epilogue and I read "during my breakdown 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" my heart aches for Leo's youth and destroyed innocence.

This book is remembered only by its opening line:
"the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there."
but its so much more .
Its raw and its pure and its corrupt and its innocent and its damaged and it feels like its Hartley's mind, life and in someways survival poured into 300 pages of perfection.


4 comments

  1. This looks so good, I've been finding it so difficult to get into reading recently and I have no idea why? It sucks.. Defo gonna check this out x

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    1. I'm having the same problem, partly because I'm having to do so much bloody reading for school that I don't have time/cba so roll on summer!!

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  2. Wow!! You write so eloquently it seriously makes me want to give this a go - the stuff it explores about sexuality and gender and its place within Victorian morality sounds superrrr interesting. We're doing Dracula and the Gothic at the mo at school and the Victorian era seems so interesting to me so this sounds v interesting, will have to pop it on my painfully long list !

    Imogen xxx
    www.imocdj.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. yesss its so so good- i'd recommend reading in summer to get the full vibe!!x

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