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The Party  By  cover art

The Party

By: Elizabeth Day
Narrated by: Greg Wagland
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Publisher's Summary

A taut psychological tale of obsession and betrayal set over the course of a dinner party, The Party tells the story of two married couples who, in a single evening, will come to question everything they thought they knew about each other as the long-buried secret at the heart of their friendship comes to the surface, culminating in an explosive act of violence.

Ben, who hails from old money, and Martin, who grew up poor but is slowly carving out a successful career as an art critic, have been inseparable since childhood. Ben's wife, Serena, likes to jokingly refer to Martin as Ben's dutiful Little Shadow.

Lucy is a devoted wife to Martin, even as she knows she'll always be second best to his sacred friendship. When Ben throws a lavish 40th birthday party as his new palatial country home, Martin and Lucy attend, mixing with the very upper echelons of London society.

But why, the next morning, is Martin in a police station being interviewed about the events of last night? Why is Lucy being forced to answer questions about her husband and his past? What exactly happened at the party? And what has bound these two very different men together for so many years?

A cleverly built tour of intrigue, The Party feels like a novelistic board game of Clue, taking us through the various half truths and lies its characters weave as the past and present collide in a way that its protagonists never could have anticipated.

©2017 Elizabeth Day (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"I practically murdered this book in an evening I loved it so much. The Party is a terrifying, hilarious, brilliantly written original with a wit to die for." (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of Fleabag)
"Witty, dark, and compelling." (Sebastian Faulks)

What listeners say about The Party

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dark, joyless, frustrating

I absolutely hated this book. For around 60% of the book we are in the dark about a secret, and it’s not delicious suspense, it’s just annoying. The writing and character development are pedestrian, and the pacing is all wrong. On top of that no character is even slightly likable or sympathetic. The narrator does a decent job of conveying the snide natures of the characters but it still doesn’t make the listener like it any better. The final indignity is being subjected to the oh so tiresome and overplayed themes of rich=bad, female=victim compounded with the judgey British cliches of chastising anything modern. I considered asking for a refund on this one.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slow burn that kept me hooked to the end

Reading The Party is like peeling back the layers of an onion with each reveal more disturbing than the last. It reads like an Ian McEwan novel. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Small Story

This book is primarily about the lives of a couple school boys with vague relevance to the plot. The telling sets the reader up to think something sinister happens, but all the foreshadowing never came together for me. Discussion of culture and class usually make up for slow moving plot for me, but I basically kept listening because it wasn't unentertaining enough to return, but I will immediately forget I ever read it.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Pathetic characters

I couldn’t stand listening about their droll lives and thoughts anymore. Quit by chapter 4.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A sad tale

Another saga of a hanger-on. The protagonist is such a leech, you can't feel sorry for him in the least.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Claptrap

I waited the entire book for SOMETHING to happen. Extremely disappointed. Too many blow jobs not enough murder mystery. Just absolutely awful.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Could hardly put it down

Excellent narrators of a truly first-class book. Couldn't stop listening! Disturbing examination of a friendship.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Character driven book

I thought it was an interesting approach to the story. The book is definitely mostly centered around describing the 4 main characters and their back stories. The plot is actually rather minimal. The author does a really great job of letting you into the world of each one of these 4 people and creating an atmosphere. If you need an intense plot then this book is definitely not for you. My one gripe with the characters is that I found Martin to not be entirely believable- I think in real life he would have moved on at some point- but then again maybe not.

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Really Creepy!

Riveting story told largely in flashback. Creepy characters and ominous ending. Very entertaining but unsettling.