Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

82%

18 Critic Reviews

...those who disagree with him on religious or political grounds, or both, will have a time for themselves in trying to prove that his beliefs have marred his literary artistry. "Brideshead Revisited” is Mr. Waugh's finest achievement.
-NY Times

Synopsis

The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece-a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire. Through the story of Charles Ryder's entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.
 

About Evelyn Waugh

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Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), whom Time called "one of the century's great masters of English prose," wrote several widely acclaimed novels as well as volumes of biography, memoir, travel writing, and journalism. Three of his novels, A Handful of Dust, Scoop, and Brideshead Revisited, were selected by the Modern Library as among the 100 best novels of the twentieth century.
 
Published December 11, 2012 by Little, Brown and Company. 418 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Action & Adventure, Political & Social Sciences, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Brideshead Revisited
All: 18 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Nov 02 2015

...not to be forgotten, there is the fascination of the fluent facility of Waugh's prose, shaped by a practised observation and a civilised intellect.... This for your sophisticated readers.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by JOHN K. HUTCHENS on Dec 30 1980

...those who disagree with him on religious or political grounds, or both, will have a time for themselves in trying to prove that his beliefs have marred his literary artistry. "Brideshead Revisited” is Mr. Waugh's finest achievement.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Karl Wolff on Oct 25 2009

While some passages reek of high camp, the rare occurrences do not subtract anything from this masterpiece of the English language.

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Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Karl Wolff on Oct 25 2009

Distilled to a summary, the novel should not work. The schmaltzy premise becomes literary genius with Waugh crafting sentences ornate and luminous...While some passages reek of high camp, the rare occurrences do not subtract anything from this masterpiece of the English language.

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Pajiba

Excellent
Reviewed by Captain Tuttle on Nov 20 2013

I love this book, and will read it over and over again until my copy wears out. Then I will buy a new one.

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Open Letters Monthly

Good
Reviewed by Steve Donoghue on Sep 04 2011

Readers for half a century now have found themselves rapt in that vision; it never dims or looses its charms (even the sad charms – maybe especially those). There’s a great deal more going on in these pages that a simple glimpse like this could tell...

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NY Daily News

Good
Reviewed by Alexander Nazaryan on Jan 18 2012

Waugh was a master in balancing genuine feeling and humor (a dagger thrust at the end with that “concealed typewriter” business). Not only in “Brideshead,” but (to a slightly lesser extent) in “A Handful of Dust” and “Decline and Fall,”...

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That's What She Read

Good
Reviewed by Michelle on Apr 12 2010

Having devoured the book in one day, I now understand and support the critical acclaim Waugh received because of this novel. It is well worth the time to discover Charles Ryder and Brideshead.

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http://skrishnasbooks.com

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on May 23 2009

I enjoyed Brideshead Revisited and its depiction of the University of Oxford. If you’re looking for a deep, rich and entertaining classic read, I definitely recommend this novel.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on Sep 29 2014

The characters are too effete and indolent to sustain our interest, until the rather more interesting conclusion--wherein most of the Marchmain clan have their own religious epiphanies--which nearly redeems the book. I'd call this one a near miss, but better than most.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
on Nov 22 2015

In short, then, whilst Brideshead Revisited may be enjoyed for its sexy men, its punts and its gondolas, and because it contains many examples of Evelyn Waugh's wicked humour and evocative description, it may also be read as the author's attempt to explain and explore religious issues which were to him of central importance in human existence.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
Reviewed by Siân Cleaver on Dec 10 2012

Evelyn Waugh's most celebrated work explores the many ways in which human beings love each other, and the very varied ways in which they may also love, and fear, God.

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The Literary Omnivore

Excellent
Reviewed by The Literary Omnivore on Sep 19 2012

Really, it’s such a beautiful novel that I can’t quite go further with it before starting to sink my academic teeth in. It’s like one of the last days of summer; you try to enjoy what you have...

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Chrisbookarama

Good
on Apr 26 2010

This was actually quite an enjoyable book. Waugh brings the reader right into the 1920-30s before the destruction of the war. It feels like you are there. The characters are complex and I'm still unsure about the motivation of some of them. This is definitely a book to get lost in.

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The Mookse and the Gripes

Good
Reviewed by Trevor Berrett on Nov 11 2008

One thing that really strengthens this book, besides the subtle writing, is Waugh’s ability to draw and maintain strong motifs: painting and building being one of my favorites. Ryder is an architectural painter, but Waugh manages to use this to achieve a great effect when he pronounces some of the book’s largest themes and conclusions.

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Literary Corner Cafe Blog

Good
Reviewed by Literary Corner Cafe on Oct 30 2008

Brideshead Revisited often seems to be a polarizing book. There are those who say it's Waugh's finest and those who say it's by far, his worst. Although I was disappointed not to learn more about Sebastian, for me, this book, because of its scope and structure, is quite definitely Waugh's masterpiece...

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http://www.sheilaomalley.com

Good
Reviewed by Sheila on Jul 17 2010

The book is a wrenching affair, and yet, typical Waugh-style, there are some laugh-out-loud funny sequences.

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Belle's Bookshelf

Above average
Reviewed by Belle on Oct 12 2013

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.

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Reader Rating for Brideshead Revisited
79%

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Mo Joy 15 Jul 2014

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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