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  • The New Life

  • By: Tom Crewe
  • Narrated by: Freddie Fox
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (76 ratings)

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The New Life cover art

The New Life

By: Tom Crewe
Narrated by: Freddie Fox
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

*Shortlist, Debut Fiction, 2023 Nero Book Awards *

London, 1894. John and Henry have a vision for a new way of life. But as the Oscar Wilde trial ignites public outcry, everything they long for could be under threat.

After a lifetime spent navigating his desires, John has finally found a man who returns his feelings. Meanwhile, Henry is convinced that his new unconventional marriage will bring freedom.

United by a shared vision, they begin work on a revolutionary book arguing for the legalisation of homosexuality.

Before it can be published however, Oscar Wilde is arrested and their daring book threatens to throw them, and all around them, into danger. How high a price are they willing to pay for a new way of living?

*** This audiobook includes an exclusive conversation between Freddie Fox and Tom Crewe ***

'A very fine new writer' Kate Atkinson

'Electrifying' Anne Enright

'Filled with nuance and tenderness... charting the lives of men and women who inspired not only political progress but an entire new way of living and loving' Colm Tóibín

©2023 Tom Crewe (P)2023 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about The New Life

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The ongoing fight

No doubt an important story to tell, despite it only being inspired by vaguely true events. The LGBTQ battle to be accepted is still ongoing and if you changed the time setting and replaced ‘invert’ with ‘trans’ it could be a book about today’s main fight. Wonderful narration and some truly moving passages. My only criticism is that at times it flip flopped from being very dry to being overly dramatic. The writer is no Alan Hollinghurst or James Cahill sadly.

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Wonderful

Thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Thought Freddy Fox’s reading of it was first rate.
Beautifully written with descriptions that were wonderfully evocative.
Was uncertain what book would be like given the opening.
Very glad I perceived.

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Brilliant; all the sadness of living through history

A quite amazing perspective of history,struggle, pain, loss and comfort. A gripping yarn without a true crime or shining hero. So very beautifully read by Freddie Fox. A wonderful piece of literary wonder.

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Prize-worthy partnership of writer and narrator

Welcome debut on Audible for a stunning young writer and equally gifted narrator, whose gripping and moving performance makes this what for me has been the best that I have experienced to date. Thank you to you both. Return soon.

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Where to start?

This was a beautifully researched and written novel about people pioneering LGBT rights in Britain in the 1890s. Gripping from start to finish, the protagonists attempt the first steps towards changing public opinion about sexuality and relationships. Every word is carefully chosen and the reader is fully invested in all the characters. It made me wish for the superpower of time travel so that anyone who has taken personal risk to pave the way for progress can come back and see just how far we’ve come.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely wonderful

This book is beautifully written and beautifully narrated. It was a joy to listen to

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Brilliant tender tragic hopeful

Brilliant writing, deeply moving story. Extremely well read. Great sense of time, place and pain caused by having to stay hidden.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Above and beyond pastiche

A good story which despite some self conscious writing, grips the ear.
An excellent final sentence.

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A beautifully written book magnificently read.

A beautifully written book full of interesting characters telling the story of repressed Victorian society.
It is wonderfully performed by Freddie Fox.

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A Triumph

I finished this book in 3 days such was its power in captivating the lives of its principal characters and the dilemma they faced. It is also a wonderful literary novel in the best meaning of this term. A word also for the hugely enjoyable narration of Freddie Fox which so enhanced the experience.

I was 10 when the 1967 Act decriminalised homosexuality. So my experience I hope would please the reformers focused on in this book but so much more progress has been made in my lifetime so that now my nephew and niece cannot see what all the fuss was about in being gay. I was aware of who Havelock Ellis and Edward Carpenter were and found it very interesting to be immersed in their world.

It was another reminder of the tendency for the majority to tyrannise a minority. Liberalism is an embattled creed today but no decent life can be led without it.

This book speaks particularly to gay people but should appeal to all for its humanity and its beauty as a literary artefact.

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2 people found this helpful