The Go-Between Recap #2

This is part of a recap of The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley, my literature text for this year. Its main purpose is to help me blow off steam and mock a book which is actually pretty good. Expect snark, complaints, and very very occasional analysis. Do not take seriously.

Chapter 2

We have another really nice paragraph on Leo describing his memories of Brandham Hall as chiaroscuro, but it's sort of long. Suffice it to say these paragraphs are better than ramblings of not-magic.

Leo apparently wrote part of his diary in code. And he doesn't remember the code. Great. He doesn't remember getting to Brandham Hall either, which is now just BH for simplicity. The ensuing description of BH makes me thinks the owners, the Maudsleys, are too pompous for their own good.

We get introduced to everyone, and here Leo calls them "Mr This" and "Miss That", and isn't that true for all the readers too. The only person I'm going to remember is Marian, which the back cover told me is a central character. Leo spends a good two pages stating that Marian looks beautiful and formidable, throwing in his description of nightshade. He then further narrates that he is curious about the plant. Yay symbolism.

Chapter 3

The day is hot, despite Leo predicting it'd be cool. Description of a picture of Leo and Marcus, which shall be filed under symbolism. Leo is mocked for wearing non-summer clothes. He writes out a spell to make it cooler.

Marian is nice (even though she actually makes a jab at Leo's overheating too) and offers to take Leo out to buy summer clothes. But, guys, do we not remember Marcus, who is of a similar age and obviously has summer clothes? Couldn't, I don't know, Leo borrow something?

After a deal of conversation about a possibly important Hugh person, Marian examines Leo's wardrobe, which is full of mended old clothes. She then catches Leo out on his lie that he had summer clothes at home. Leo is shocked. Oh my goodness you idiot it's not that hard! Especially since you keep lying!

Chapter 4

Marian is still nice to Leo. The question is, is she being nice because she's nice or is she being nice because she wants to use Leo as a messenger to her poor boyfriend? Whoops, did I spoil the story? Anyways, Leo now worships Marian.

Leo also now has wings. Symbolic, of course. Leo is complimented, he feels good, whatever, ooh, Marian bought some mysterious items for Mummy Maudsley and none for herself. Interesting.

Leo wants to strut around without his new (green; symbolism!) clothes, because he feels free. Okay, nudist urges aside, I thought buying those clothes made you feel free? So why are you taking them off? ... who cares about logic, another thing for symbolism. This book might as well be called The Go-Between: A Lot of Symbols.

Anyways, because the Maudsleys are rich, Leo is likening them to gods. Actually, it's the Zodiac people, but to him those are gods, so. And he wants to go to a bathing party ... which is weird. But he can't, because his mother is terrified he'll get sick. Instead he'll just watch everyone else bathe.

... okay then.

Marcus introduces Trisingham, rich guy, war veteran, and parent-approved marriage partner. Two pages later, we see Ted Burgess, farmer who swims. Guess who'll get the girl?

The bathing party starts, Marian is not in a bikini, Leo feels left out, Ted is naked and hot, Marian's hair is wet. Leo offers his bathing suit as a towel to drape around her shoulders. Leo is for some reason really happy about this. Are you okay? You're thirteen.

That's it for today: please do leave a comment whether you laughed to death, were shocked at my ridiculous comments, or simply awesome enough to make my day by saying hi :D And don't forget to subscribe for more random morbid insanity!


  1. Okay, so I've never even heard of The Go-Between...but it sounds interesting, haha, and your commentary is fun too! I especially like the part about Leo forgetting the code in his diary. Also, that's a lot of symbolism in just a few chapters. xD (You can always count on classics to be riddled with symbolism, eh?) I find it interesting that despite your snark you actually tend to the enjoy the books, though, haha. Do you like this one?

    1. Even the teacher admits this one had too much symbolism. Well — the plot was really really slow in this one, but once you got to the last quarter, it actually got a lot better. But by that point you've already been battered by all the symbolism! and the foreshadowing! that you're too fed up to enjoy it properly. Glad you found the commentary interesting!


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