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Brideshead Revisited Unabridged [Audio Cassette]

4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good book Dec 11 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My husband wanted this book because it touches on so many aspects of what losing faith can do to a person. The unattainable that so many try to get but there is always something missing. Easy read too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting Brideshead... June 17 2013
By lexie2
Format:Paperback
If Charles Ryder is a rather wealthy version of Everyman, he is at least a good representative of modern man. We are even more decandent than he is in many ways, now that almost everybody is lost in "entertainment" all the time. Charles is trying to find himself and his place in life. He is drawn to Sebastian as a moth to the flame: because he is beautiful and cultured and wealthy; but also because he has about him a faint aura of the holy.

Brideshead Revisited is about Charles' tracking down of his true self and about his pursuit of the holy: in Sebastian, in Julia, and in their strange recognition that there is more to life than everybody seems to think. Even amid the inane and meaningless "disciplines" of religion and military life, after all seems lost, he catches anew the glimmer of something transcendent.

Brideshead is a profoundly hopeful book. It offers hope, not for 'believers', but for the hopeless. That means us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful April 5 2013
Format:Paperback
This is the second Waugh book I’ve read, and once again I’ve found myself a bit impatient early on, but totally enthralled and captivated by the end.

Comparing it with “A Handful Of Dust”, which was written 11 years earlier, you can certainly see Waugh’s development as a writer. The plot is not necessarily as jarring it was in “A Handful of Dust”, but Brideshead Revisited certainly a better showcase of Waugh’s mastery of vivid prose writing.

The tone is very nostalgic. The prose is packed with rich settings, smells, and tastes. I imagine I never have and never will read a better “eating scene” than Charles Ryder and Rex Mottram eating at the restaurant in London.

However, it isn’t just a fluffy book of word-play. There are parts of this book that can hit like a ton of bricks. Through the characters, deep things are weighed. For instance, Julia’s realization is quite stark: “the worse I am, the more I need God”.

I will not provide any sort of further analysis of Brideshead. You can find that elsewhere. I will say, though, that this is a book that I think will stand up to a second reading, and I plan to re-read it at some point.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic on memory Jan. 21 2012
Format:Paperback
A classic on memory and remembering. It pays to be read and reread. The descriptions of the aristocratic house are especially enthralling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Reading It for the First Time April 4 2003
Format:Audio Cassette
I had a friend who made it a point to read "Brideshead Revisited" once a year without fail. She considered it the finest book ever written. While I might quarrel with that hyperbole, I do in fact list it in my own personal top ten. I, too, re-read it, in my case, every few years. And of course I was riveted to the brilliant BBC production starring Jeremy Irons as Charles Ryder.
Imagine my delight, then, when I found this unabridged reading by Irons himself! My delight was rewarded. Irons' perfect reading of this book opened up a whole new world for me. This time, I heard and felt the absolute poetry of Waugh's words--his ability to take his reader from sultry ... summertime to the slums of the Casbah to a storm at sea that is the perfect metaphor for the turmoil to come. Waugh never wasted a word. Never said more than he had to say. Never helped the reader by sugarcoating the story. And the result was breathtaking.
Maybe because I was listening this time rather than reading, I paid much more attention this time to the book's main theme, religion versus humanity. Can one exist without the other? Does one destroy the other? How far can one stray when bound by the "invisible thread"? Waugh's very personal and moving tale of upper-class Catholics in a Protestant country is a brilliant affirmation of faith, and at the same time, a bitter acknowledgement of the price that faith can exact.
I cannot say enough about this recording, which brings all the best of Waugh to the fore even more so than the written word.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story. Sept. 4 2003
By algo41
Format:Paperback
This is a story of an aristocratic, very Catholic family in Protestant England, and of the narrator, a well to do friend of the family who we meet as he enters Oxford, and leave as a middle aged establishment artist. It is a novel of character, but also of class, religion, and beauty. It is beautifully written, and is moving, sad and sometimes funny. Part of the genius of this novel is that not only do the characters evolve, but your understanding deepens, so that there is a cumulative impact. It is a book in which you cannot always take what the characters, including the narrator, say at face value, not because they are dissimulating, but because they don't have complete insight into themselves. Extending this idea, I would suggest that Catholicism is not quite as dominant an influence as the book seems to suggest, and that disfunctional parenting plays a major role that the narrator (not to be confused with Waugh) is not sufficiently developed as a human being to appreciate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect Elegy May 30 2001
Format:Paperback
Waugh's elegy to a passing way of life and ending era: the supposed death-throes of the English aristocracy in the years leading up to World War Two.
Waugh admitted that he wrote the book as "a panegyric preached over an empty coffin", and it certainly reads as such. Through the eyes of the narrator, Charles Ryder, the reader is taken on a nostalgia ride through Ryder's days as a student and his later connections with the aristocratic Flyte family. The main tone is regret - at lost youth, lost love, and a lost class. The future is looked forward to with dread - Ryder regards the soldiers he commands in World War Two with something approaching contempt:
"The history they taught [Hooper, an officer under Ryder's command] had had few battles in it but, instead, a profusion of detail about humane legislation and recent industrial change."
Ryder (and Waugh) knows that the national effort demanded by World War Two will mean that the old order will have to change after the war ends to accommodate the aspirations of the people as a whole.
The melancholy tone of the novel will surprise readers who are familiar with Waugh's more satirical works. It reflects an enduring theme in English culture which looks back to a idyllic rural past (a very powerful, yet totally mythical past) and reflects a deep unease with the Industrial Revolution and social change. The irony of it all is that Waugh's lamentations over the demise of the aristocracy greatly underestimated the (continued) adaptability of that class, and the sustaining power of that rural myth throughout English society as a whole. The funeral rites were premature.
I first read "Brideshead Revisted" some years ago and decided to reread it, having read a lot of Waugh's other works.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of remarkable beauty
Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead, revisited" is a masterpiece of twentieth century literature. Spanning a period of twenty years, Waugh paints a most extraordinary picture of idyllic... Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by Jon Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel
I could go on and on about how fantastic this novel is but that has been done already. This novel probably won't appeal to everyone, but certainly worth checking out. Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Allan Brinser
5.0 out of 5 stars Picture of salvation.
This book is not written in accordance with current literary tastes. It is descriptive to the point where it is florid sometimes; the writer's politics and elitism can easily... Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic story told with beautiful writing
The quintesssential story of the years between the wars, full of rich detail, emotional understatement, a terrific story, a bitter-sweet romance. Read more
Published on April 15 2003 by Peggy Vincent
4.0 out of 5 stars His lesser qualities Still Good art
Brideshead is a gloomy book but a must-read nonetheless. I am sometimes embarassed to say I liked it enough to read it twice and I'm sure that I'll read it again. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002 by L. Dann
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Languor of youth - how unique and quintessential'
Brideshead Revisited is an eloquently written book, visiting themes such as religion, beauty and the 'languor of youth'. Read more
Published on June 11 2002 by Dr. Gege GATT
5.0 out of 5 stars An Often Misunderstood Classic of 20th Century Literature
Like most great novels, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED is about a great many things--not the least of which is the decline of English aristocracy. Read more
Published on May 28 2002 by Gary F. Taylor
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