I feel like I’ve started a lot of posts recently with a story about how I spoiled the book for myself before even beginning it and sadly this follows that theme because sometime in the past year – and I have no recollection where or when – I ended up watching a film of the Go Between – I honestly can’t remember if it was the 1970’s version or (google tells me) the more recent remake (I actually think it may have been the former) and I didn’t watch it from the start or sit down with the intention of watching it but for whatever reason I saw a bit of it and was compelled to watch the whole thing.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the vagueness surrounding the circumstances of my watching, I also couldn’t completely remember the ending (although I had a good idea of what it may be) so there was still a slight element of uncertainty to the plot – and although it’s a shame that I’d watched it (which I wouldn’t have done had I known that this book was on the list) the book was still equally enjoyable because (of course) it was more in depth (the film omitted some characters) and well written. The Go Between tells the story of a young boy who (based on misplaced esteem given by his snobbish boarding school mate) is invited to spend the summer with said friend at Brandham Hall. What begins as an ordinary boyish summer becomes more serious when two of the characters – the daughter of the wealthy family at the Hall and a local farmer – ask Leo (the boy) to carry messages to each other for them (I think you can guess where this is going without having a film spoil it for you although Leo didn’t).
Despite feeling slightly bitter at knowing the story – and completely bemused as to where I’d seen it (much brain wracking has brought zero enlightenment) I still enjoyed the novel. It’s an easy read and quite a gentle one and uses a young narrator to good affect (as so many great books do – not that I would typify this as “great” but rather “good” and “very pleasant” as patronising as the latter may seem).