In this classic tale of British life between the World Wars, Waugh parts company with the satire of his earlier works to examine affairs of the heart. Charles Ryder finds himself stationed at Brideshead, the family seat of Lord and Lady Marchmain. Exhausted by the war, he takes refuge in recalling his time spent with the heirs to the estate before the warÄyears spent enthralled by the beautiful but dissolute Sebastian and later in a more conventional relationship with Sebastian's sister Julia. Ryder portrays a family divided by an uncertain investment in Roman Catholicism and by their confusion over where the elite fit in the modern world. Although Waugh was considered by many to be more successful as a comic than as a wistful commentator on human relationships and faith, this novel was made famous by a 1981 BBC TV dramatization. Irons's portrayal of Ryder catapulted Irons to stardom, and in this superb reading his subtle, complete characterizations highlight Waugh's ear for the aristocratic mores of the time. Fervent Anglophiles will be thrilled by this excellent rendition of a favorite; Irons's reading saves this dinosaur from being suffocated by its own weight. (Dec. 2000) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Academy award winner Jeremy Irons demonstrates impressive skill in his performance of Brideshead Revisited. From the charming yet doomed Lord Sebastian Flyte to the absurd, stuttering Anthony Blanche, Irons manages to capture the many nuances and subtleties of each character. Waugh's most successful novel, narrated by Charles Ryder, this classic of 20th-century literature re-creates a vanished world and peoples it with a vivid and believable cast. The setting is Oxford and Brideshead Castle in the 1920s through the early 1940s. From the beginning, Ryder is captivated by the fascinating Sebastian, second son of Lord Marchmain, who seems to lead a charmed life filled with friends, wealth, and a noble family. But as Charles's friendship with Sebastian deepens, Charles is pulled into a closer relationship with the Marchmains a family with more than one dark secret to hide. Highly recommended for all libraries. Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.