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Publisher's Summary

Evelyn Waugh's most celebrated work 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 story 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.
©1973 Laura Waugh (P)2012 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Vieux Carré Blonde on 12-12-12


Would you consider the audio edition of Brideshead Revisited to be better than the print version?

The audio version is sublime.

What did you like best about this story?

Evelyn Waugh's magnificent prose.

What does Jeremy Irons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Flawless phrasing; elegant, perfect timing.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

This has already been done, as one impeccable broadcast series. And when it aired originally, it was reviewed as television's "finest hour.". That will do.

Any additional comments?

My audible library approaches 1,000 titles. I rarely submit reviews here on the website, preferring to tweet my impressions and recommendations. But when this title was released yesterday, I rearranged my day around listening.

Jeremy Irons' reading of "Brideshead Revisited" is magnificent.

Secondary, and even ancillary characters are fully realized, in the most surprising and wonderful voices--- Cordelia and Charles Ryder's father in particular. The vulnerable, sometimes diaphinous voicing of Sebastian and Julia Flyte, the narcissistic, calculated stutter of Anthony Blanche; worthless, unremarkable Kurt and lethally charming Lady Marchmain (a paradigm of toxic parenthood) surpass every expectation.

And of course, Jeremy Irons will be our Charles Ryder for all time. His pronounciation of the word 'forerunner' is a lesson for all dramatic actors. Be mindful, readers, that this same narrator's rendition of Nabokov's "Lolita" is considered to be one of the finest ever offered by

Performances like this are what every reader and listener hopes for. This title belongs in everyone's library. Buy it, and be spellbound.

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58 of 59 people found this review helpful

By Troy on 06-03-15

A Counterpoint to Downton Abbey

A coworker of mine who's more "literati" than I am heard me talk about how I was surprised to enjoy a series like Downton Abbey, given that it's not typically in my wheelhouse. Since I tend to explore outside my wheelhouse quite frequently where good books are concerned, my coworker suggested this one.

On the surface, this book has quite a bit in common with Downton Abbey. It deals with the decline of the British noble class in the wake of the first world war and the romantic nostalgia it seems to invoke. But that's really where the comparison stops. This book concentrates more on relationships and religion, and how these concepts factor into the shaping of personal identity. I can't really say more without spoilers, but suffice to say, if there was an illusion to the social norm of Britain at this time, this story is all about cracking the facade in the pursuit of personal truth.

My understanding is that the book is semi-autobiographical, which makes sense given the details of personalities and situations. Most of what's here would be highly controversial in the time period it depicts and in the decades since it was written. But I think the ever-changing landscape of what's considered socially acceptable or typical, combined with the fairy tale aspects of life at a British country manor, might offer something new to this generation's readers. As cynical as the story plays at times, there is a singular wit about it as well that makes it accessible.

The characters really make this story what it is, brought to life by Waugh's incredible writing style. Regardless of how much may be drawn from real life, the author made sure to make all of these characters his own, and the result is astounding.

As narrator, Jeremy Irons is a great choice. Having played the lead in the 1981 mini-series adaptation, that's an considerable personal insight into what this story offers. 30+ years of such nostalgia added to a story that plays on that very theme? Perfect. Irons is already impervious to the idea of a bad performance. With this book, his contribution is most definitely the touch of the master's hand.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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