I just finished reading Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited. I highly recommend it. It’s an amazingly efficient book, given its 25-year timespan and at-times flowery prose. The novel moves quickly while at the same time pausing frequently to share important introspections and observations. Waugh’s pacing is just incredible, particularly given the fact that he wrote the book in six months.
The novel also tackles a number of subjects, including religion, namely Catholicism, wealth, love (Platonic and otherwise) and an interesting commentary on the changing times from 1920 to 1940 and the worthiness of the upcoming generation of young people.
I had watched the BBC miniseries when I was in college and I was awed by it. I watched it again last month (I’m slightly embarrassed to say, in two six-hour sittings) and was inspired to read the book. At first, on a whim, I tried the library. I was appalled that our local library not only didn’t have Brideshead Revisited but didn’t have any books by Evelyn Waugh. I thought for sure I could download Brideshead on my Nook, but there was only a pre-order for the e-book, coming out Dec. 11, 2012. Then a trip to our local bookstore in Boise, Rediscovered Books. Still nothing. Finally, I found a copy at Barnes & Noble. It didn’t take me long to read Brideshead. It turned out to be one of those books that I couldn’t wait to get back to. I actually looked forward to our flight home from San Diego just so I could read.
As soon as I finished it, I immediately wanted to read another book by Waugh. Fortunately, Barnes & Noble was open till 10 p.m. Sunday night, and I made it there just before closing. Oddly, Barnes & Noble only had a couple of more obscure Waugh titles, The Loved One and Vile Bodies. I was hoping for Handful of Dust or Scoop, but I bought both books that were there.
It looks like the e-books of many of Waugh’s novels will be coming out on Dec. 11. I would highly recommend buying a copy of Brideshead Revisited for just $9.99 when it comes out.