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
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.
This may be one of my favorite books ever. But why? I don't like any of the characters. They are almost all self absorbed blighted people who hurt others with little compunction. The subject is depressing, the loss of innocence, alcoholism, divorce, lost love, death, the list goes on and on. It ends on the eve of ww2 with the house being neglected and ruined by soldiers stationed there. All is so sad, yet the prose are so wonderful, I feel I must have champagne and strawberries this afternoon. Of course, this book's narration belongs to Jeremy Irons, perfection! Listen before you see the movie (the old one, not the new silly choppy one). Get this book and enjoy Mr. Waugh's masterpiece!
Brideshead Revisited is my favorite Waugh book. It does not have the comic tone of so many of his other works. As I listen I can see many of the scenes from the BBC mini series and almost hear the music in my head. Unlike so many other books adapted for movies or TV most of the scenes are verbateum from the book.
I am a huge fan of Masterpiece Theater's "Brideshead Revisited" and have tried to read the book at least twice. Just could not get through it. But this Audible version is the next best thing to the television production. In it, Jeremy Irons channels all his co-stars from the BBC series - my favorite is his John Geilgud impression - bringing the whole series alive again. He brings Waugh excellent prose to life in a way the physical book just couldn't for me.
The presentation of this (i.e. reading by Jerey Irons) was spectacular. While he had a tidbit of trouble with American & Canadian accents, he captured a huge variety of British noble accents w/o missing a beat.
The story itself was a "quick read" - with just enough intrigue, scandal, romance to keep you eager for what comes next. Waugh is expert at this. Cultural clues of the time help transport the reader out of modern day.
Certainly not my favorite Waugh, but a very well produced nice little slice of modern wartime British lit.
Yes, Evelyn Waugh is a poetic writer. Every sentence carefully crafted. A good book to read and a good one to listen to. I listened on my Kindle, while reading the book. Not simultaneously, but flipping back & forth. You get to see the elite life of Brits in the first half of the 20th century, and terrific character development too (especially the men).
Performance and story are a perfect match. However, this recording was bad. It sped up, slowed down, faded in and out and was like the problems that I sometimes have with CDs and never have had with Audible. I cannot imagine the issue. Anyway, back to the book. I saw the PBS Brideshead years ago with the gorgeous Jeremy Irons and his performance on this book is as good as it was then. His voice is like eating ice cream and having a massage at the same time. Great!
The Passionate Genealogist
Jeremy Iron's performance. Compelling story.
A masterful performance turning a book I don't think I would have ever read, into a drama and masterpiece that I now recommend to friends.
I will keep Brideshead Revisited on my IPod forever. I will listen to it again and again. I love the story and Jeremy Irons tell it to perfection. The story came alive visually for me through his soothing voice. Loved it!
Although it was very hard to listen to the horrid details of life in the trenches, it was real. Going back to Brideshead was told with such emotional sadness that I have to admit I cried.
I cannot choose because each one had their own importance to the story.
Oh yes, however I could not do that. Could hardly wait for the next chance to listen.
This was a very good visual of life in the trenches which I had never thought about before. I saw this production on PBS many years ago and loved it then. The book gives a different slant on the reality and emotional part of the story which cannot be fully captured in film.
Thank you for bringing this book back and THANK YOU Jeremy Irons for this great audio version. I want to listen to more of you on Books on Tape.
This recording was right up there at the top...
Not so much the actual story but the prose; extremely well written.
Jeremy Irons was the only one to read this as he was also the star of the BBC series. In addition his voice was beautifully fit for this English story and his interpretation of the character's voices was wonderful.
I wanted to savor it so listened in meaningful segments.
It was wonderful to see just how well the book was interpreted for the TV series and many of the pictures of the series were just as Evelyn Waugh had described them in the book.
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