©2010 The Beneficiaries of the Evelyn Waugh Settlement (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
This is an even more sublime experience than the outstanding BBC television drama, and it's difficult to imagine that the other audio versions could come close to Jeremy Irons' rendition. At once deeply personal and epic in its execution, this is a perfect match between writer and narrator, greatly enhanced by Irons' long and brilliant relationship with the text.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Jeremy Irons is a delight to listen to and reads this book like silk to the touch.
The start and finish has our main character in the army, and Jeremy Irons portrays the boredom and routine regimentally perfectly only to change his style for the early 20s of Oxford. His voice is truly magical. Evelyn Waugh is also a master of the pen. This book is a delight to listen to.
I love this book. I wasn't taken with the TV series and the last remake movie I thought was Okay. Many people roll their eyes when I express my love for this book, but I think it is great. This book is a work of art and Jeremy Irons is 'production parfaite'.
OK, I loved this book, don't know if you will but can it hurt to listen to it, you might just want to watch every Jeremy Irons movie after this (even Die Hard 2) just to hear his voice. All but Jeremy Irons that is, he is probably sick of his own voice; but for me it's like having my ears open to his magical tones.
A sublime performance - Jeremy Iron's laconic tone and intonation is a 'tour de force'..... and brings to life the incredible excesses of the era. Evelyn Waugh's remarkable prose can move you almost to tears, as his command of the descriptive is almost without peer.. I felt as though I was there and living in the moment... Don't miss this whatever you do ...
trying to see the world with my ears
and Irons' narration is the best way to experience it, I think. If you liked the recent film version, don't settle for the abridged novel. The full novel fills in the blanks and question marks left the hollywood movie and compliments nicely the much better early BBC adaptation.
Captured from beginning
Oh, there are no comparisons I'm afraid. This is one of a kind.
Charles, though I also loved Julia & Sebastian.
It grabbed me instantly & I fell in love with the story & the storytelling. Not for a moment does your attention wander. From the get go you are in the book & you stay there until the end.
There is hardly anything to say. I don't give 5 stars lightly. Evelyn Waugh narrated by Jeremy Irons - it's like a perfect meal in a book. Don't bother trying another copy of this book. This is the one you're looking for.
This is one of those books you will wish you hadn't put off reading. If it's made it to your wishlist, buy it now. If you're just browsing, then you've found what you're looking for. You will love this.
Brideshead Revisited is the tale of Charles Ryder, a middle-class atheist and budding artist, and his relationship with the rich, Catholic Flyte family who own the beautiful Brideshead. The first part of the book focuses on Charles' connection to Sebastian, until his attention moves in the second part to Sebastian's sister Julia.
I immediately fell in love with Brideshead Revisited in the beginning. I adored Sebastian and his love of life, and was saddened when he succumbed to despair and alcoholism. I also liked young Charles, and the excitement and fun he and Sebastian brought out in each other. Their early romps are quite hilarious, and the deterioration of their relationship - and of Sebastian himself - is heartbreaking. Sebastian's behaviour is incredibly frustrating at times, yet you can't help but sympathise with him, as he struggles with his sexuality and later his addiction in his staunchly Catholic, controlling family.
I liked Julia much less than Sebastian, which meant I didn't love the section focused on her. I found her hard to connect with, and I didn't understand the motivations for many of her actions. And I really couldn't stand the older Charles. The way he treats his wife and children is despicable. He repeatedly refers to the kids as "her children", showing zero interest in seeing or even hearing about them. More time is spent describing one meal he eats than his own family! But despite my frustration with both Charles and Julia, I did want them to have a happy ending. So, without spoiling too much, I was pretty exasperated by the turn of events (though I shouldn't have been surprised - the book starts with Charles alone, before he reminisces on his time with the Flytes).
But even though I was quite impatient with the last part of the book, I can see why this is a classic. While it is quite period-specific in many ways, the overarching themes are timeless and remain relevant today. There's still that struggle with growing up and trying to find yourself, the grappling with your beliefs, sexuality and mental illness, the desire to find love and friendship, the struggling to fit in with your family and especially the bittersweet sensation of nostalgia.
I have to say, my favourite aspect of Brideshead Revisited was the exquisite language. There are some stunningly beautiful sentences and passages. I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Jeremy Irons, and it was dreeeeeeeeeeeeamy. His rich voice and melodic tone perfectly matched the lyrical prose. Quite a few times I had to rewind a section, just so I could listen to it again. It's the kind of language and narration that makes you happy sigh. Just gorgeous.
I've been torn about how to rate Brideshead Revisited, because while the language and narration was lovely, and I adored the first section, I really hated the last part. Unfortunately my dissatisfaction with that section knocks off a star. I'd still recommend everyone give it a go at least once - especially the audiobook version.
This is one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. Jeremy Irons is THE voice for Brideshead Revisited, and his performance is masterful. He effortlessly bends his voice to portray every character and bring them to life.
For some reason the way he reads his father is just delightful, as well as many of the other characters. He does them all brilliantly.
Its a work of art in itself - a great book, a great actor who has lived the part already in the TV series and a superb reading.
This is such a lovely story of love and passion. Evelyn Waugh has captured the time and place so eloquently. Jeromy Irons is of course a great narrator as well.
The romance with Julia
When Lord Marchman came home and ordered the Chinese room to be made up
There is a film
It is, of course, the novel of a master. But, more than this, as other reviewers have already said, Jeremy Irons' reading is almost completely perfect. Obviously he knows the story intimately from acting in the television series but he adds so much in his interpretation of both the events and the main protagonists. His reading of the death of one of the main characters towards the end of the book is almost unbearably moving and poignant.
I can only say that, if you only ever buy one audio book, this should be the one, without a shadow of a doubt.
"chocolate for the ears!"
sit back and relax and enjoy reveling in Jeremy Irons' voice. The words wash over you with their beautiful destriptions, and Jeremy perfectly creates the voices of the characters, especially Charles'and Sebastian's fathers. Highly recommended.
This is the definitive audio version of a wonderful book. I've watched the magnificent TV version with Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick, et al several times. It is perfect to have Jeremy Irons doing the narration for as I listened to Waugh's elegant prose I could see the filmed version in my minds eye. Unreservedly recommended.
"A fabulous book beautifully read"
There is not much more to say. A social observation and a gripping story beautifully read by Jeremy Irons. My morning walks were not long enough.
"The Original and the best Charles Ryder"
Nearly 30 years after the TV series Jeremy revisits Brideshead. It's hard to imagine any else telling Charles's story, and Jeremy manages to capture the other characters well too. I love it. It's just a shame the audio book doesn't have the theme music to go with it.
Beautifully read by Jeremy Irons, this brought Brideshead Revisited to me for the first time since I failed to engage with it during my GCSEs about 20 years ago! The only fault with the reading is that his accents (particularly the American and Irish ones) are pretty poor, but his own accent is so perfect for the rest of the book that it is completely forgiveable. Highly recommended
A great story is here recounted in the velvet tones of Jeremy Irons, calling to mind throughout the 1981 television series in which Irons starred as the narrator, Charles Ryder. Irons' performance throughout is fantastic, and the richness of his voice is like chocolate for the ears. It was so much a pleasure that I am listening through it again straight away, as much to enjoy the sounds and the words as the story. Waugh's already excellent work is brought to its best in this reading.
"Beautiful, but ultimately rather sad"
This is a lovely book, beautifully written, and brilliant to have Jeremy Irons as the narrator.
The early part of the story, set in Oxford, is magical, but there is always the underlying sadness of Sebastian's life.
Would recommend but don't expect it to be sunshine and punting all the way!
"Well read but story needs more"
I came to this book on the back of listening to an "In Our Time" podcast on Evelyn Waugh, as well as the fact that as a teenager I recall the television serial. And certainly the television serial is a very faithful rendition of Waugh's book. However, this book, unlike some of his other pieces, is not thread through with humour but rather tragedy.
On one level it is the story of one particular family's demise and on the other it's about changes in society in the period between the first and second world war. Roman Catholicism, and the way that different characters interpret what it means to practise it, is also a key element. Indeed it is practically another character in its own right because of its affect on everyone in the book.
Jeremy Irons portrayal of each character is excellent - he is a true story teller. However, by the end of the book I was left uncertain of whether it was a good or bad book, whether it was semi-autobiographical or total fiction. My preferred listening/reading takes me from A to B, but this book seemed to take me from A to somewhere unknown.
As a commentary on the changes to the aristocracy in the interwar period I don't doubt its accuracy - based on 'factual' books I have read - but as a story I feel the lack of a 'satisfactory' destination means I can only give it 4/5.
"Classic narration, classic novel"
Jeremy Irons is the perfect reader for this book-- his cultured tones and measured pace seem to fit very well how one imagines the narrator would be, as if he really existed, recollecting. Somewhat melancholy, always considered, this story unfolds easily under Iron's masterful re-telling.
An English classic in fine audio form: you won't be disappointed.
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