Goodreads blurb: In 1979, Jeremy Thorpe, the rising star of the Liberal Party, stood trial for conspiracy to murder. It was the first time that a leading British politician had stood trial on a murder charge. It was the first time that a murder plot had been hatched in the House of Commons. And it was the first time that a prominent public figure had been exposed as a philandering homosexual. With all the pace and drama of a thriller, A Very English Scandal is an extraordinary story of hypocrisy, deceit and betrayal at the heart of the British Establishment.
A friend of mine recommended this book to me last year, but I promptly forgot about it until it came up on the audible Daily Deal this week. I’m glad I listened to this on audio as I don’t think I would’ve got along with it in a different format. Daniel Weyman was the perfect narrator for this book as he didn’t sensationalise any it, and was also a brilliant mimic for various British politicians and celebrities of the time.
I recognised the name Jeremy Thorpe, but don’t remember the news stories, as I was only 11 years old back in 1979, so politicians were definitely not on my radar back then. Unlike now of course with social media they constantly in the news and mostly for the wrong reasons.
Well this book really did come across as fiction, in fact I don’t think it would’ve been taken seriously as a novel because the ‘lead characters’ behaviour was so preposterous that I’m pretty sure the manuscript would’ve been rejected, many times.
It’s such an outrageous account and one that I really couldn’t stop listening to. As more of the outrageous details of the actions of these particular politicians, their friends, acquaintances and colleagues were revealed, it made me realise why certain politicians are still in power today, even though they should have resigned or been ousted years ago! It seems that in over 40 years things don’t change much in the British corridors of power!
I definitely recommend this if you enjoy non-fiction, especially political accounts. I also recommend that you don’t Google any of the story whilst reading/listening, as it will definitely spoil your enjoyment of the whole account.