Review: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

"Charles Ryder, a lonely student at Oxford, is captivated by the outrageous and decadent Sebastian Flyte. Invited to Brideshead, Sebastian's magnificent family home, Charles welcomes the attentions of its eccentric, aristocratic inhabitants, gradually becoming infatuated with them and the life of privilege they inhabit in particular, with Sebastian's remote sister, Julia. But he gradually comes to recognize his spiritual and social distance from them, eventually discovering a world where duty and desire, faith and happiness are in conflict."

I would like to be able to give a better review of Brideshead Revisited than I am able too, but as it turns out, I can't.

I wanted to like this book. I really enjoyed the movie and so I thought that the book would be bound to be better. Unfortunately, I didn't find it so.

I think the first problem I had was that I was unknowingly pregnant while I read this. I felt sick all the time, my concentration levels were unaccountably low and I just found reading anything hard slog. Perhaps, if I read this book while I wasn't under the influence of pregnancy hormones and morning sickness I might have enjoyed it more.

But then again, perhaps not.

I couldn't identify with any of the characters. I couldn't identify with their lifestyle. I couldn't identify with the class and religious differences and the conflicts that arose because of it. I didn't care whether Sebastian and Charles were gay or not. All the characters were definitely on the irritating side. Everyone whinged too much. Not enough happened in the plot to otherwise distract me from the 'irritating-ness' of the characters and their general whingyness. Waugh's writing was great, but again, it still wasn't enough to help me engage with the story or the characters.

There you have it, not much of a review but because of the state of mind I was in when I read the book it's all I can manage.

If anyone else has a proper review of this book they would like to share, please leave a link in the comments. I would love to know what you thought of the novel if you have read it. What did I miss? 


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