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Brideshead Revisited

Waugh, Evelyn

(Book - 1993)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Brideshead Revisited
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) nbsp; Evelyn Waugh's most celebrated novel is a memory drama about the intense entanglement of the narrator, Charles Ryder, with a great Anglo-Catholic family. Written during World War II, the novel mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's familiar satiric exploration of his cast of lords and ladies, Catholics and eccentrics, artists and misfits, revealing him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity. nbsp; The edition reprinted here contains Waugh's revisions, made in 1959, and his preface to the revised edition.

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Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [1993],c1945
ISBN: 0679423001
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: xxxvii, 315 p. ; 21 cm

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Not 'Anglo-Catholic' (that's an entirely different thing), but 'English Catholic'. The American poet, T. S. Eliot was an Anglo-Catholic, and not a Catholic or really English.

Sep 12, 2013
  • lorna2511 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Rich language, engaging story and characters - a true feast. I am sorry I waited so long in life to read this book. One of my best reads of all time. Thought-provoking themes of religion, class and sexuality follow all of the characters across their changing lives and fortunes. A must read - particularly if you enjoy the setting of Britain's early 20th Century or are interested in its anthropology.

Mar 28, 2013
  • bwortman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Waugh's novel is rich in textures with truly brilliant turns of phrase suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Given that a substantial portion of the novel takes part in the 1920s, comparisons with [The Great Gatsby] are inevitable. However, the work has a distinct flavour, not only because sections occur during the 1930s and WWII, but because Charles Ryder's development is far more rich than Fitzgerald's narrator. The characters are fascinating from Sebastian and his teddy-bear, Aloysius, to Lady Marchmain and her devout Catholicism to Julia and her sparkling sadness. Ryder's attempts to understand and bond with these last standard-bearers of a society that is disappearing is equally intriguing. A novel that glimmers with the glamours of a bygone era and a reminder that "we possess nothing certainly but the past."

Sep 09, 2012
  • Stagfoot rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Waugh wrote this after becoming a Roman Catholic. hence I think the protagonist's off page conversion near the end. However, though the thread of RC duty (and guilt) is woven though the whole story, one doesn't acquire the impression that the sacred portion of Ryder's memories are bound to the Christian faith but rather to his feelings and impressions of one or two of the aristocratic Flyte family. The sacred and Profane being one and the same. I often doubt that Waugh intended it this way. It's possible there was a difference between what the writer reasoned in his head and believed in his gut, and while his head may have written in certain religious plot points, the story lives and breathes with a different intention. In any case, the world and pleasures of pre-war Oxford has been wonderfully evoked;( as is the bitterness of Ryder's middle-age) If later in the book, Waugh was able to successfully instill a sense of spiritual revelation as well as the earlier worldly remembrances, this would of been one of the greatest books of all time. As it is, it's still very good.

Doomed and Decadent. With a capital D.

Aug 19, 2011
  • Lanny213 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I read this because it is a "classic" and I have always wanted to expand my knowledge of the "good books'. I'm not sure what makes this such a good book - perhaps the TV adaptations have something to do with it.

Aug 17, 2010
  • mhuynh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I wish I had enjoyed this classic. But sadly, I did not. Waugh's prose is too verbose for my personal taste.

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