The Passionate Friends


Read by Peter Eastman

(3.6 stars; 8 reviews)

H. G. Wells is best known for his science fiction, but some of his greatest works were in other genres. The Passionate Friends is a love story. It also is a story about dreams, despair, jealousy, sex, the struggle against social convention, the future of civilization, and much much more. It is written by a father to his son, "not indeed to the child you are now, but to the man you are going to be." He writes it so that one day, perhaps when he is dead, his grown son can read it and rediscover him as a friend and equal. In the process, he tries to make sense of a lifetime's experiences and distill some kind of wisdom from them. It is quite simply a beautiful book, both inspiring and heartbreaking. (Summary by Peter Eastman) (12 hr 48 min)

Chapters

Mr. Stratton to His Son 26:54 Read by Peter Eastman
Boyhood (parts 1-3) 25:06 Read by Peter Eastman
Boyhood (parts 4-7) 27:36 Read by Peter Eastman
Intentions and the Lady Mary Christian (parts 1-6) 32:14 Read by Peter Eastman
Intentions and the Lady Mary Christian (parts 7-11) 37:31 Read by Peter Eastman
The Marriage of the Lady Mary Christian (parts 1-4) 27:10 Read by Peter Eastman
The Marriage of the Lady Mary Christian (parts 5-9) 31:16 Read by Peter Eastman
The War in South Africa (parts 1-3) 32:59 Read by Peter Eastman
The War in South Africa (parts 4-6) 32:40 Read by Peter Eastman
Lady Mary Justin (parts 1-5) 38:57 Read by Peter Eastman
Lady Mary Justin (parts 6-10) 46:42 Read by Peter Eastman
Lady Mary Justin (parts 11-14) 53:52 Read by Peter Eastman
Beginning Again (parts 1-4) 23:48 Read by Peter Eastman
Beginning Again (parts 5-9) 27:06 Read by Peter Eastman
This Swarming Business of Mankind (parts 1-2) 23:49 Read by Peter Eastman
This Swarming Business of Mankind (parts 3-6) 33:16 Read by Peter Eastman
The Spirit of the New World (parts 1-7) 36:56 Read by Peter Eastman
The Spirit of the New World (parts 8-12) 34:26 Read by Peter Eastman
Mary Writes (parts 1-3) 30:10 Read by Peter Eastman
Mary Writes (part 4) 30:41 Read by Peter Eastman
Mary Writes (parts 5-7) 20:37 Read by Peter Eastman
The Last Meeting (parts 1-6) 47:07 Read by Peter Eastman
The Last Meeting (parts 7-12) 36:09 Read by Peter Eastman
The Arraignment of Jealousy 11:54 Read by Peter Eastman

Reviews

Better than a Jab in the Eye with a Sharp Stick

(2.5 stars)

As a fan of HG Wells this was one of my least favorites. The views on marriage were antiquated and the romantic relationships I felt were naive and overly dramatic. And yet, I was inspired by the altruistic aspects of the story which made it worth suffering through for me. The reader has a quite tolerable narration style, however, in the spirit of constructive criticism, I found the female characters all sounded the same... whiney with frequent strong accents on words that - to me - were startling and unnerving. I also found myself wishing for a male character with a masculine voice instead of sounding too similar to the females. Having said that, I do appreciate the effort of all the readers on LibriVox.

(3 stars)

I wonder how this book went over when it came out

good start goes awry

(0.5 stars)

Unlikeable romantic couple. Too many contrivances. Wells seems to think that women in love don't want or need sex even in marriage to a man they adore. Her elitism and materialism are never confronted by his feelings of the unjust treatment of the workers/slaves who toil in her family's South African mines.