Book blurb: Evelyn Waugh's best-loved, most passionate and most poignant novel of a doomed aristocratic Catholic family - now recreated in Granada Television's once-in-a-lifetime production.
What I Thought: Well the book blurb doesn't give you much to go on by. It assumes that you have heard of the book and would dash off to read it. I thought - well, it's a classic, must read. I'm glad I did and I can say, "Don't dash. It is not as exciting it is made out to be."
The full title of the book is Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder. Just like its long title, the book is pompous and over-promising; a laborious read about entitled aristocrats who have never known a day of hardship, so they busy themselves with talks of religion and stuporous drinking. Charles Ryder loves them and has fond memories of them. So, in gist you will be reading about his love for Sebastian and Julia, and his desire to be part of the Marchmain family, but not to be completely sucked in to the ridiculousness of their existence.
Of course, the book is not wholly bad. In Brideshead Revisited, Waugh uses conversation and dialogue skilfully to quicken the pace of the book, but - oh dear - when he comes to paragraph passages, Waugh takes you on a long-winded walk of words, long sentences and their complicated structures. Remember, 'pompous' just like the title. If Waugh's purpose of the book was to show even just a smidgen of the aristocratic life - he has then achieved the goal in reflecting what a waste of resources and human lives that is aristocracy.
Overall, the book was okay. I'm glad I read it, but will not be returning to it any time soon.
inviolable - never to be dishonoured
idiosyncrasy - peculiarity
penurious - extremely poor; unwilling to spend money
breviary - a book containing the service for each day to be recited by those in orders of the Roman Catholic Church
internecine - destructive to both sides in a conflict
cumbrous(ly) - inconvenient in size, weight or shape; unwieldy
lubricity - the measure of the reduction in friction and or wear by a lubricant
prurient - having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters, especially the sexual activity of others
obsequious(ly) - servilely compliant or deferential; fawning; dutiful
dipsomaniac - a drunkard or alcoholic: someone who drinks alcohol to excess
wolfram - tungsten ore; a native tungstate of iron and manganese
tungsten - a steel-grey dense metallic element with a very high melting-point, used for the filaments of electric lamps and for alloying steel
manganese - a grey brittle metallic transition element used with steel to make alloys
climacteric - a critical period or event; having extreme and far-reaching implications or results; critical
prevarication - a fancy way to say "lie," skirting around the truth, being vague about the truth, or even delaying giving someone an answer
suffragan - a bishop appointed to help a diocesan bishop
Best sex scene description by far: some authors need to take notes from EW!
"It was no time for the sweets of luxury; they would come, in their season, with the swallow and the lime flowers. Now on the rough water there was a formality to be observed, no more. It was as though a deed of conveyance of her narrow loins had been drawn and sealed. I was making my first entry as the freeholder of a property I would enjoy and develop at leisure."