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am 17. Mai 1999
Just as *The Great Gatsby* captured the grand excess of the American Jazz Age, so too does Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece *Bridehead Revisited* capture the age of pre-war decadence. The clash between have and have not, so called class and commonness and Catholocism and athieism is brilliantly laid agains a backdrop of education and sexuality. A true coming of age novel, *Bridehead* captures a portrait of a young Charles Ryder as an artist. Content to live his destiny of middle class anguish, Charles meets the challange of his lifetime in Sebastian Flyte. Sebastian, an over grwon child, introduces Charles to a teddy bear named Aloysius, as well as his own upper crust band of misfits family who change the way Charles thinks about life, love, religion and money forever. From Oxford to the war, Waugh gives the reader a hint of a Britain loyal to the monarchy, yet more loyal to themselves. Read *Brideshead* with an open mind of the beauty you are receiving as a reader: the sybolism of the flower throughout, grand side characters like Anthony Blanche, and the little red light near the end that ties up Charles Ryder's visit to Brideshead in the same manner the green light across the lake summed up Gatsby's.
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am 2. September 1997
Evelyn Waugh's didactic Catholicism intrudes on this otherwise sparkling depiction of the decline of the British aristocracy.

Known more for his bitterly funny satires of British 20th-century life, Waugh here weaves only snippets of humor into a broader emotional palette, building a tale that moves from the sophisticated sarcasm of the university to the mourning of a trouble clan ultimately cursed by fortune.

Brideshead Revisited reminds us that as a prose stylist, Waugh had few equals. His multi-faceted and strikingly human depictions of the Brideshead inhabitants, his facility with language, his stately compression; few writers can claim to have so often struck upon le mot juste. Yet his central theme of spiritual awakening never stabilizes into a coherent whole; In the end, narrator Ryder's mood is ambivalent (as is the reader's), while the broken Marchmain clan swoons into a somewhat banal parade of rediscovered, yet damaged, Catholicism.

In his letters, critic Edmund Wilson pointed to Brideshea
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am 9. Oktober 1997
This book deals with many themes, friendship, love, duty, religion, and art. Charting the declining fortunes of the Catholic Flyte family, we are introduced one by one to the dysfunctional but totally charming members of the family, from Sebastian who turns from a beautiful but lightheaded student to a hopeless dipsomaniac; his father, mother, sisters and brother who are all affected by their Catholicism in different ways. We see Julia emerge from a social butterfly to a depressed beauty; Cordelia from a quaint child to a devoted nurse... all through the eyes of Charles Ryder, who himself undergoes a series of transitions from idealistic twenty-year-old to disillusioned artist. it is a poetic book about 'forerunners', how he first loves Sebastian then Julia, then learns to appreciate Cordelia for her strengths, and finally is able to love the House ---Brideshead Castle. A moving and almost epic book. Reviewed by FMJ Shaw
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am 23. August 1998
Brideshead Revisited is a deeply moving book with sections that are better classified as poetry than prose -- from the opening sequence of Charles Ryder looking back at Brideshead and his past, comparing his falling out of love with the army to a man who has fallen out of love with his wife; to the scene where Charles and Julia crash against the wall aboard the windswept ship, her body pressed against his as he gazes out at the starry sky through her long hair against his face.
But even more than the poetry of this book and the beautiful descriptions of Oxford and the time in which it is set (interwar Britain), it is the slowly unfolding tragedy of the book that makes it so appealing and moving. That, and the gradual but inexorable process of Charles' journey into maturity and the recognition that there is more to life than he had first realised. Definitely one of my favourite books of all time.
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am 21. September 1998
Brideshead Revisited is a beautiful tale about the destruction charm can cause. How the beauty and charm of upperclass life can destroy relationships.
Evelyn Waugh paints his characters very clearly. Charles Ryder is the upper-middleclass intelligent Oxford student who sees that there is more to Oxford life than mere study. He sees the upperclass and wants to be part of it. Of the parties, of the social circle, of the splendour of their world.
Sebastian is a lonesome soul. Using his religion as a toy, a frobbel. He yurns for love, but struggles with homosexuality. Therefore he has no romantic relationship with either a man or a woman until Charles arrives. Charles is not homosexual, but he fills the hole in Sebastian's soul.
It is one of the best books in English I've ever read. It is superb.
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am 29. Februar 2000
The most melancholic and beautiful book I've ever read. It sumerges you in a lost world and makes you miss an innocent age, a younger world where persons where so close while the storm was outside. With a depth sense of humor, Waugh tells the details of a perfect world that the characters lose and you spent the rest of the book missing it while you can feel you're growing, with the subsequent sense of desilution and apathy, at the same time the characters do. And the end you can feel that the good times are not coming back, but they were good, aren't they?. If at least there was a Sebastian in our life, we can remember him.
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am 6. Oktober 1999
I listened to the audio of this book after having seen the PBS mini-series years ago and I was amazed to find that the principal characters, by my standards, were dispicable. Charles Ryder, in particular, sent me off when he returned from the jungle and described his relationship with his wife and children (one of whom he had never met and whom he showed no interest in meeting). Through these eyes, I re-viewed Julia and her father and found them both contemptible. Although the era was full of elegance and physical beauty, it is not hard to understand its decline in the hands of such morally bankrupt characters.
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am 5. August 1999
There is a reason this book was made into a mini-series in England -- it's a classic. No long-winded review is necessary to impart what is important: the novel is surely one of the best-written stories ever. Waugh's use of language is astonishing. His ability to paint a scene and a mood is also a learning experience for all would-be writers. The story itself is captivating, a glimpse into the inner-workings of a rich Catholic family in decline and one man who comes under its spell. These characters are unforgettable, a testament to Waugh as a writer and an artist.
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am 27. Juni 1997
"My theme is memory..." An unforgetable cast of characters in a compelling story that's about....well, everything: love, war, family, architecture, Catholicism, homosexuality, wealth, poverty, alchoholism, college, painting, betrayal, time, distance, youthful exuberance, middle age melancholy, and the state of grace. In the rare company of Abraham Lincoln and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Waugh demonstrates the awesome but seldom seen beauty of the English language in an exquisite and bravura exposition of grammatical economy and poetic prose. Et in arcadia ego
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am 29. Oktober 1999
I started this basically to escape into some nice, aristocratic british world of the early 20th C. As it turned out, this is probably not a good book for escapists. But still good. The language is beautiful as well as robust (like a good cup of coffee). There's multiple levels of thematic stuff goin on here and it's oh-so complex but still quite wonderful. Not a perfect book, but still a magnificent one (and who'd want to read a perfect book anyway?).
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