Thursday, November 29, 2012

Audio Encore: The End of the Affair


Thank you, Colin Firth.

Your voice added depth and meaning to a piece of literature which previously left me feeling profoundly indifferent. It's been ten years since I read The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. My reaction at the time was one of total apathy - no connection, no sympathy, not so much as a trace of like or dislike toward any of the characters. Greene's prose elicited a similarly flat response.

However, listening to you read Greene's work was a very moving, albeit depressing, experience. So depressing, in fact, it took weeks to finish a short six and a half hour audiobook. (I put it aside several times to read something cheerier.)  How did that feeling elude me in print? 

Several weeks have passed, and I continue to think about an audiobook that left no lasting impression in print. As various passages come to mind, I marvel the sheer beauty of Greene's writing. I still don't care much for the story, but I can appreciate what Greene accomplished and will now consider reading more of his work.

This production is a testament to audiobooks and the power of the spoken word.


Full disclosure: I downloaded a free copy of this audiobook during a recent promotion at audible.com.



16 comments:

  1. Don't you just want to hug him and make him feel better after having to read this depressing book? Thanks again for telling us about this. I have this on my Ipod, yet to be listened to.)

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    1. Audrey - My advice is to wait until after the holidays. The End of the Affair is just too depressing for this time of year.

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  2. In the end, I think I appreciated this story but it took me a long time to get there. The writing I was able to acknowledge throughout as being terrific but I still don't know if I could read a full novel. Unless...did Colin Firth read any of Greene's other works, maybe??

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    1. Lisa - Maybe we should petition Colin Firth to read more of Greene's novels. It could be the only way many of us will ever read them!

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  3. Your heads up is how I landed this one too! I recently watched a movie version of this book and actually enjoyed it. I wonder what I will make of the audio? But Colin should make it all good!!!

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    1. Staci - Thanks for reminding me... I meant to add this to my Netflix queue ages ago!

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  4. I still haven't found my way back to listening!

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    1. Softdrink - I can certainly understand why... this is one depressing novel!

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  5. Now I want to listen to this! The End of the Affair is one of the books on my tbr list for Project Fill-in-the-Gaps. I had no idea how I was going to get through it. Now I know! Great post.

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    1. Vasilly - You might want to wait until after the holidays... it is incredibly depressing.

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  6. JoAnn,

    You've spoken my heart! That was how I felt ... not only depressing, but you can feel his anger and bitterness towards the whole affair, and he sounds soo personal, like speaking right beside you. I must thank you again for introducing me to this audiobook and now your open letter to Colin Firth. I hope he'll come across it in the Internet.

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    1. Oh, Arti - Personal is the perfect word for this narration... it is painfully personal and the work of a truly talented narrator (actor). I am very happy to have shared this audiobook with you.

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  7. Um, did you have anything to say? I keep getting lost in the photo of Colin ... LOL. Wow. I would have never thought of rereading this one, even with Colin Firth reading, but now? Going on my list.

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  8. Beth F - I'll settle for any excuse to post a photo of Colin Firth on this blog, lol! Seriously though, it was a truly amazing audio experience... and I don't even like the book that much.

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  9. This was an incredible listening experience...Greene can definitely write, but seriously depressing like you said. Of course, Firth could read the dictionary and I'd swoon.

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    1. Melody - Colin Firth's performance is nothing short of amazing. If he recorded the dictionary, or even the phone book, I would purchase the audio version!

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