Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

read by Jeremy Northam

The sleeve may carry a still from the current feature film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's now classic novel of gilded youth, but this is the real thing - a wonderful reading (skilfully abridged) of some peerless patrician prose.

Waugh is enjoying a deserved reassessment; his place in the literary canon belatedly becoming confirmed. Ever popular, Waugh was for a long time considered a lesser writer than, say, Anthony Powell - his Catholicism and his perceived racism obscuring his satire.

Brideshead Revisited was brilliantly adapted for television almost thirty years ago and echoes of its soundtrack haunt this audio book presentation. But it is Waugh's prose which survives. His ability to describe and characterise can be appreciated only by reading the book or listening to this adaptation. And Jeremy Northam is the perfect narrator for Waugh, bringing all the characters to life and enfusing the scenes and situations with grandeur, emotion and atmosphere. This is a perfect choice for a long car, train or airplane journey: revisit a loved book or treat yourself afresh to a quintessentially English masterpiece.

So much better than any of the television or movie adaptations. A genuine classic.

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