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#300 ~ The End of the Affair

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

Published by: AudioGo

Published on: February 2009

Page Count: 192 (Penguin November 1999 edition)

Genre: Fiction, Literature

My Reading Format: Audiobook purchased with credits from Audible.com

Narrator: Michael Kitchen

Audiobook Length: 6 hours 26 minutes

Available Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook


My Review

From the first time I discovered that Graham Greene was a Catholic author, I wanted to check out his work. This was years and years ago, but it wasn’t until The End of the Affair was marked down on Audible.com that I finally took the plunge. What a waste of years! The End of the Affair is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

The story of Bendrix’s affair with Sarah and its aftermath are so perfect, so true.  Bendrix is never quite certain if his story is about love or hate, despair or hope.  It is always one extreme or the other. When he believes his competition for Sarah’s love is her husband or another man, he hates Sarah in his despair and wants to destroy her.  He cannot bare not knowing what took her away.  It stifles his art and eats him alive.  When he ultimately learns the truth about the ending of their relationship, he is elated and at once certain that he can overcome it all.

Michael Kitchen narrated the audio version of this novel and he was no less than superb.  This may sound odd (I think it’s odd, but I’ll share anyway), but the way Kitchen used his breath, particularly in exhaling, made it seem like Bendrix was in my car with me.  We were having an intimate conversation.  I could almost smell his tobacco.  The effect was fantastic and could not have happened had Kitchen not been paired with such a gifted author. It was a wonderful way to first experience Graham Greene. If you’ve read The End of the Affair before and are hankering for a reread, I cannot recommend this audio version enough.

Even though I loved the audio, I found that I had to possess the book as well. A Kindle version just wouldn’t do.  I immediately turned around and bought the Penguin Classics Deluxe edition of both The End of the Affair and, on Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog‘s suggestion, The Quiet American.  As soon as they arrived, I hugged them to my chest.  It felt so good and was nearly impossible for me to not start rereading The End of the Affair.

When I began reading The End of the Affair, I didn’t know what to expect.  What really surprised me was the ending would have a similar affect on me as Gone With the Wind.  It was so open ended and I loved every possibility.  I cannot rave about it enough.  The End of the Affair has got to be the best book I’ve read since I started blogging. More Graham Greene, please. Wow!

Other Voices

You’ve read what I have to say.  Why not check out these bloggers’ reviews?

Juxtabook
A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook
Vulpris Libris
Reading Matters

17 Comments

  • At 2010.12.17 08:43, Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said:

    Hurrah for discovering one of the best writers ever. I loved following your journey with Greene on Twitter, and it’s so nice to read a review that is this filled with love for a book.

    • At 2010.12.17 11:29, Melissa said:

      I read this in August and it was my very first Greene. I was left with the same feeling, I wanted to read more of his work immediately! I found myself highlighting passages and dog-earring pages, because there was so much beauty and pain in his words. You could just feel the characters’ heartbreak and confliction seeping off the pages. I loved this quote…

      “Sometimes I see myself reflected too closely in other men for comfort, and then I have an enormous wish to believe in the saints, in heroic virtue.”

      • At 2010.12.17 12:34, Sandy said:

        OK fine! This is just a prime example of how I manage to get like thirty audio books on my iPod, all wanting equal time with me. I’m off to see if my library carries this wonderful audio.

        • At 2010.12.17 12:45, Rebecca Rasmussen said:

          I love love love this book! 🙂

          • At 2010.12.17 13:02, Michelle said:

            I MUST reread this via audio after reading this.

            And I hope you love The Quiet American. You have reminded me that I love Graham Greene.

            • At 2010.12.17 14:57, Teacher/Learner said:

              I also love Graham Greene but haven’t read this yet. Sounds like a wonderful book! Have you seen the movie version with Ralph Fiennes & Julianne Moore? It’s lovely. If I may suggest another Greene book, Brighton Rock is a mystery with a fantasticly creepy protagonist.

              • At 2010.12.17 16:22, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

                Hmmm…I started this about a year ago and didn’t finish it. (I didn’t get very far) I think I’ll go back an give it another shot! So glad you loved it, Jennifer.

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                • At 2010.12.17 17:13, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

                  Wow! That must be fabulous if it’s one of the best books you’ve ever read and it wasn’t even narrated by Simon Vance!

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                  • At 2010.12.17 17:21, Jennifer said:

                    Thanks everyone! It was so nice to absolutely love a book. Since it doesn’t happen very often (to that degree) it is a treasure.

                    Amy, you may want to give it another try. I would highly recommend the audio.

                    Kathy, you almost made me pee myself! I do happen to be fond of Simon Vance, but that doesn’t blind me to the greatness of other narrators.

                    • At 2010.12.19 01:00, Lisa said:

                      You’ve talked me into making this one of the first books I read in the coming year!

                      • At 2010.12.19 23:33, Shelley said:

                        It’s great to hear some Graham Greene love! I’ve only read three of his and I consider him a favorite.

                        • At 2010.12.27 17:16, msog177 said:

                          I couldn’t agree more, this is one of my favorite books ever. A beautifully written, passionate, exquisite novel. I’m so glad you reviewed it.

                          • […] pockets of back listed books.  I loved reading The Poisonwood Bible last year and The End of the Affair was my top read of last year and many years before that.  While I nibbled at the back list, […]

                            • At 2011.06.15 10:59, Evelyn said:

                              I am not able to find this on cd anywhere. Can you please let me know where you found it. Thanks

                              • At 2011.06.15 11:02, Jennifer said:

                                Evelyn, I downloaded this from Audible.com. I’ll check with the distributor to see if you can buy direct from them. If so, I’ll shoot you an email.

                                • […] smoke. In that way it very much reminded me of the expert way in which Michael Kitchens narrated The End of the Affair. It will always amaze me how narrators can read such difficult material naturally and with just the […]

                                  • […] have previously reviewed The End of the Affair after listening to the audiobook version narrated by Michael Kitchen. Therefore, my review here […]

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