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A Very English Scandal Audiobook

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of A Very English Scandal by John Preston, read by Daniel Weyman.

The shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for murder.

Behind oak-panelled doors in the House of Commons, men with cut-glass accents and gold signet rings are conspiring to murder.

It's the late 1960s, and homosexuality has only just been legalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party, has a secret he's desperate to hide. As long as Norman Scott, his beautiful, unstable lover is around, Thorpe's brilliant career is at risk. With the help of his fellow politicians, Thorpe schemes, deceives and embezzles - until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good.

The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed our society forever: it was the moment the British public discovered the truth about its political class. Illuminating the darkest secrets of the establishment, the Thorpe affair revealed such breathtaking deceit and corruption in an entire section of British society that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

A Very English Scandal is an eye-opening tale of how the powerful protect their own and an extraordinary insight into the forces that shaped modern Britain.

©2016 John Preston (P)2016 Penguin Books Limited

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (272 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Andrew Dartford, United Kingdom 15/06/2016
    Andrew Dartford, United Kingdom 15/06/2016
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    "Almost unbelievable - but it's true!"

    The full truth finally comes out about an affair (or series thereof) which I remember rumbling on for a long time in British politics during my youth. The series of events which are described are almost too far-fetched to be credible, and could have been the basis of a British CSI episode, but the worrying thing is that it is all actually happened.

    The cover-ups by so many people, and the establishment looking after its own, may not be so easy to achieve today, due to the changed nature of the press and television, more instant access to news and information, and the more general acceptance (and decriminalisation) of different lifestyles. However, it would be hard to believe that some of the same attitudes and practices are not still going on - there are regular discoveries of the hidden pasts of public figures.

    It is a gripping listen, even if you already know the final verdict of the trial at the book's climax, as the details of the drama leading to that point are fascinating. However, the book may leave you, as it left me, with a rather low respect for the way our politicians and people in public life behave, and the way that in order to maintain their public facades, others can be mistreated or misled.

    The narration is excellent, with a style that is light enough to be entertaining and easy to listen to, but delivers the serious points admirably. The narrator's use of different voices for some of the characters helps clarity, and his tone of voice conveys the intentions of the author's words extremely well.

    If I have one quibble about the book, it is that Chapter 25 seems to be written in a different tense from the rest of the book, which rather jarred when listening, but I can definitely recommend this as a riveting exposé of a quite shocking scandal.


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Hall 13/08/2016
    C Hall 13/08/2016
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    "Excellent"

    I recommend this as an excellent listen. The story is fascinating - I lived through it but much of it passed me by at the time. The research is brilliant and it's been beautifully put together. At its heart - despite many wry and satirical moments - is an appalling expose of the 1970s Establishment looking after its own. It goes a long way towards explaining why 21st century voters hold politicians in such contempt.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derrick 19/07/2016
    Derrick 19/07/2016
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    "Fascinating and compelling"

    I am old enough to remember this a young boy. I remember the news reports on TV about the trial. I listened to this to understand the back story and was captivated. Preston describes a sordid, rather pathetic story filled with deeply flawed characters. He adroitly avoids any sympathy for some clearly bizarre people. One is left saddened by the pantomime murder plot and the deeply disturbing establishment cover-up, which is described without hysterical rancour or melodrama.

    Finely voiced, this is a superb audiobook.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah tipperaryIreland 28/09/2016
    Sarah tipperaryIreland 28/09/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "you couldn't make it up"

    a riviting story of the establishment closing ranks to protect the most anti social, self serving and manipulative politician of the time.
    I highly recommend this listen

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobbie 26/07/2016
    Bobbie 26/07/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Brilliant"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes it was so well written that you were in the courtroom and I didn't like J T and disliked him even more by the end


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Peter Bessel


    What about Daniel Weyman’s performance did you like?

    He made the book for me


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me think


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lulubeth Lanarkshire 10/10/2016
    Lulubeth Lanarkshire 10/10/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Well written and extremely well-read"
    If you could sum up A Very English Scandal in three words, what would they be?

    In short, how the Establishment looks after, then regulates, its own. Powerfully and inventively researched and drawn, this book that grows darker with every chapter, told in a style that recounts conversation, news reports, memory and every cast member of the drama, which remans shocking not only to this day, but makes an echo of what the present can still do when powerful authority is challenged to face its own failings and point blank refuses. In a harrowing story, the deficiencies and self-protective string-pulling of those who are entrusted to deliver justice shocks more than anything else. How privilege gets away with (attempted, but for the grace of god) murder. Thorpe is being 'rehabilitated' I hear. It makes me shiver.


    What other book might you compare A Very English Scandal to, and why?

    None


    What does Daniel Weyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A wonderfully fitting tone and grasp of the material (no 'actorly' inflection of words for its own sake) and great sense of timing.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The close is most affecting, when it touches upon the here and now after the storm.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved it and have been searching for further narrations by Daniel Weyman since.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    katherine 24/09/2016
    katherine 24/09/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Great storytelling"

    Great story with lots of twists & turns. I would recommend to anyone around 70s

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zmith Bath 08/09/2016
    Zmith Bath 08/09/2016 Member Since 2016
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    "Exceptional"

    Preston's account of the Thorpe Affair is masterly, absorbing and wonderfully paced. An astonishing achievement and one of the best audiobooks of the year.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gary 18/06/2016
    gary 18/06/2016
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    "Superb!!!"
    If you could sum up A Very English Scandal in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, engaging, relevant..


    What did you like best about this story?

    How this scandal was deliberately, coldly and in a calculated way, covered up...


    What about Daniel Weyman’s performance did you like?

    He brought the characters to realistic and believable life...


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely... such a gripping narrative..


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best boos that i have listened to in recent times...

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 15/11/2016
    Chris 15/11/2016 Member Since 2011
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    "Intriguing tale"

    This book lays a somewhat incomprehensible mystery to rest, in a fair and open way. Well read and engaging throughout.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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