Sunday, 26 February 2012

Book Eleven - Brideshead Revisited

The books had high hopes but it somehow drifted off in the middle and end.

If you like the themes in period dramas like Upstairs, Downstairs and Downtown Abbey this will be quite up your street. Taking you from the 1920s to the 40s with its glamour and class.

What you think is going to be the main plot of the book is either a misinterpretation or a cleverly crafted red herring by Waugh. 

The relationship between Sebastian and Charles Ryder is an interesting plot, it spans from their first meeting at university and follows their growing friendship. Yet you never really know if they have a strong friendship or their is romantic tension underlying it.

You never find out. 

Their relationship deteriorates slowly after Charles is introduced to Brideshead, the Flyte family home, as Sebastian is part of a noble family. 

The family is highly religious, and this is a theme that is dominant throughout the book and each character suffers at its effect. 

Sebastian seems so innocent, at university he is still carrying around his teddy bear and his ideas seem naive. His apparent eccentricity is because he is driven to despair by his families religious believes he ultimately succumbs to it.

Charles as narrator and protagonist suffers greatly because as an agnostic believer he is an outsider to the family in any case, and after Sebastian leaves his ties are nearly severed. 

This makes for a very sad ending and I don't feel Charles deserved it, he never did anything wrong. It seems going to Brideshead was his undoing, an ending which I feel is unjust.

Rowen's Review

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