The inspiration for a major film releasing 2008 starring Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon.
A study of faith and disillusionment in a glamorous upper-class world, Waugh's most famous novel is partly autobiographical and is a gripping multi-character-study of aristocratic life behind closed doors.
Charles Ryder meets Sebastian, a member of the aristocratic Flyte family, at Oxford. He then begins to spend time at the family home, Brideshead, where he is welcomed into the fold and enjoys a decadent high-society lifestyle.
Things start to unravel, however, when Charles notices the cracks in the veneer: his perception of the naivety of the family's devotion to the Catholic faith, and his friend's increasing drink habit. Tangled webs of love and obsession also threaten to break up the at first happy idyll.
Examining the complexity of relationships and the strength of belief, 'Brideshead Revisited' is an intense listen and a riveting one.
"It is curious that a novel about a group of deeply awful people should still fascinate. These Oxford wastrels - Sebastian Flyte, his ridiculous teddy bear and his effete hangers-on - are truly distasteful, yet the story enmeshes the listener. With the disintegration of the 'sinful' friendship between Sebastian and Charles, the destructive Catholicism in which the family is steeped leads inevitably to Sebastian's alcoholism. Elegantly structured, the story gradually forms a parable about the passing of an era. Jeremy Northam's narration brilliantly creates Waugh's self-parodying dialogue, but also allows the listener to feel the damage done to the outsider, Charles." (
"...Jeremy Northam is the perfect narrator for Waugh, bringing all the characters to life and enfusing the scenes and situations with grandeur, emotion and atmosphere. This is a perfect choice for a long car, train or airplane journey: revisit a loved book or treat yourself afresh to a quintessentially English masterpiece."(The Observer)
"......I'm going to recommend this CSA Word abridgement simply because Jeremy Northam reads it so brilliantly......(The Guardian)
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