A Very English Scandal

  • by John Preston
  • Narrated by Daniel Weyman
  • 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.


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- Andy

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.
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- C Hall

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-05-2016
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd