Celebrated playwright Harold Pinter and critically acclaimed biographer Antonia Fraser lived together from August 1975 until his death 33 years later, on Christmas Eve 2008.
Must You Go? is an eccentric, hilarious, and often moving testimony of their life together, based partly on Antonia Fraser's own diaries and also her own recollections of their fascinating life together. It is, above all, a compelling love story.
©2010 Antonia Fraser (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
Sandra Duncan's narration sounded very much as if Antonia Fraser were reading. Well read and with interesting inflection. Huge insight into a microcosm of the literati over some thirty years. A genuine love story, but despite that, it was occasionally repetitive and tedious. The author came across as condescending more than once. She and Pinter lived in a different world to the rest.
You can't change someone else's life story. It was honest, and with that honesty was the risk of revelation about the real person. It was enjoyable, but annoying at times.
Sandra Duncan reminded me of Antonia Fraser, so it's as if the author is reading. Was less keen on Gareth Armstrong's voice, but it was infrequent, so not a problem.
I'd wait until it was shown free on TV.
Despite their socialist and humanitarian leanings, I was left with a disappointing sense of wealth and privilege. Anguishing about table settings and who should set to left or right dependent upon title and heritage isn't, for me, a benchmark. But it is ultimately revealing.
Moving, engaging, warm-hearted.
Duncan's beautifully modulated narrative voice is well suited to the author's written "voice", while Armstrong's resonant male tones and discerning pace convey the simplicity and depth of Pinter's poetry.
Fraser's description of the couple's early times together, as they endured/negotiated the turbulence and pain of the disintegration of their respective marriages, underpins the rest of her story; but it is in speaking of Pinter's illness, and the dignity, creativity and courage with which he filled his final months, that she is at her most powerful, and especially in her telling of his death, all the more moving for its brevity and simplicity.
Once again, AUDIBLE wrecks its own product by its crass, insensitive, crashingly intrusive end-announcement. Barely TWO SECONDS after the book's final tender and hesitant words of farewell ("Goodnight sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to they rest"), in comes the Audible staffer's voice to tell you the book has ended. It's gross, shocking, unnecessary, and Audible should be ashamed of itself. Does no-one in the company ever actually LISTEN to the final product? Or do they feel every reader is so stupid and unlikely to have been moved by / engaged in the just-finished book that (s)he won't mind being bellowed at in this way?
"Good writing; bad narration"
This is a book I'm likely to enjoy more on paper than in audio. As a longtime Pinter fan, I'm interested in Fraser's story of their love affair and marriage, and the fact that the book is taken largely from her diaries makes it seem especially immediate. This narrator, though, reads nearly every sentence in an affected upper class drawl. It's tedious and distracting at first and finally really irritating to hear the simplest sentences delivered in an arch and condescending tone. This may be the was Fraser speaks, though I doubt it, but it makes for bad narration. I couldn't finish listening to the book, but I might buy the paperback when it's available.
"Very Moving Book"
No Once is enough
the author. It is an autobiography
Both the same
`I liked the book but a single moment did not stand out
I promptly read her book Marie Antoinette, a Journey as I had read several of her previous books and liked them all
"What a Romantic Ride"
Such a pleasure to read about a romantic relationship where there was so much mutual support. Antonia and Harold were at the forefront of the big movements of the 20thand 21 century. Their love for oneanother is inspiring!
"a major disappointment"
I ordered this audiobook before it was released in expectation of a great "listen." What a disappointment. The book consists of diary entries over a series of years: snippets each about 2-3 sentences long, with no synthesis or reflection ... just a catalog of events very sparingly presented. The result is tedious and ultimately infuriating coming from a writer of this caliber. I stopped listening mid-way through part 1. The author seems entirely absorbed by the fame of many of the people she met through Pinter and never hesitates to drop names and quotations, as though just knowing she was present among these people and heard them utter bon mots would impress a reader/listener. After she met Pinter, she left her husband and 6 children without a thought as to the consequences of her actions on any of them, and her children appear rarely in the text, briefly described, usually only by their clothing. Is this indicative of normative childrearing behavior for Scottish aristocrats, or the another indicator of the author's total self absorption...hard to tell.
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