This trilogy about World War II, largely based on his own experiences as an army officer, is the crowning achievement of Evelyn Waugh's career. Its central character is Guy Crouchback, head of an ancient but decayed Catholic family, who at first discovers new purpose in the challenge to defend Christian values against Nazi barbarism, but then gradually finds the complexities and cruelties of war too much for him.
Though often somber, the Sword of Honour trilogy is also a brilliant comedy, peopled by the fantastic figures so familiar from Waugh's early satires. The deepest pleasures these novels afford come from observing a great satiric writer employ his gifts with extraordinary subtlety, delicacy, and human feeling, for purposes that are ultimately anything but satiric.
©2012 Hachette Audio (P)1966 Evelyn Waugh
Wonderful performance of a novel beyond praise. Waugh's chronicle of England at war. No drama, only honesty. I felt empty when the novel came to an end, after 25 hours. I wanted it to go on...
At least one chapter - chapter one of 'Officers and Gentlemen', the trilogy's second volume - is missing. This is not an instance of an editorial decision by the makers of the audio edition, much less a later version of the text. (Waugh revised the book.) It's simply, inexplicably missing.
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