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.
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The audio version is sublime.
Evelyn Waugh's magnificent prose.
Flawless phrasing; elegant, perfect timing.
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.
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 audible.com.
Performances like this are what every reader and listener hopes for. This title belongs in everyone's library. Buy it, and be spellbound.
- Vieux Carré Blonde
A Counterpoint to Downton Abbey