Brideshead Revisited

Ok, so I just finished reading this book. It was a beach book, sorry not, it was a book in the beach condo we rented. I’ld seen all the adverts for the movie versions and thought it was basically a historical, manners, comedy romance.:smack:

So I got to the end today and I’m sitting on the lanai weeping and my husband is like “What?” And I’m so not getting it, I’m not a weepy chick lit kinda girl. I’ve been reading bits of this book for several weeks and it’s really not my kind of thing but it kept sneaking into my brain. It was soooo bleak. And I kept waiting for the happy ending.

I want to hug Sebastion. I hate them all.:mad: Thoughts on this book anyone?

It is a happy ending. Lord Marchmain is reconciled to the Faith; Julia rejects a life of sin with Charles because she knows deep down that it would be wrong; Charles too realises that his life is lacking something and eventually converts to Catholicism. The key theme of the book is the grace of God acting upon human souls. What more do you want?

Being a recovering Catholic with a mother who was a nun this is strangely unsatisfying to me.

I felt sympathy for everyone in the book except for Charles and his dad. I thought they were both wankers of unusual size (WOUS). I guess it depends on your point of view.

Or maybe you’re being ironic.:dubious:

I have no experience with literature so if I’m really missing something I’ld appreciate a clue.

Not at all. I’m being completely serious. Waugh mentions the Fr Brown quote about the unseen hook and the invisible thread which allows a person to wander all over the earth and yet be brought back with a simple twitch of the thread. That’s what Brideshead is about: souls being reconciled to God, no matter how far they may have strayed. You may not agree, but Waugh clearly sees that as the ultimate happiness.

Ok, dang I just read it as a novel and just now googled it and found out I missed all of the layers and layers that are supposed to be there.

Back to beach books for me. Still sucks to be a Brideshead character, no happiness for you, but I guess God, with a capital G, loves you and that makes it all better. Oh and don’t forget to make the sign of the cross on your death bed cause then you get to go to heaven no matter what kind of a wanker you were for most of your life.

Maybe that’s why I thought the book was sooooo sad.

Cunctator is, of course, correct in what he says, but it is also an exploration of various forms of love. The love of God, yes; but also the love between two young men, the love between parents and children, and, very significantly, Charles and Julia’s relationship. Their break up is heartbreaking; as Charles says: “I don’t want to make it easy for you. I hope your heart may break. But I do understand.” Yes, it is very sad.

Do not on any account see the recent film, if you liked the book. It will piss you off so badly you’ll start chewing off your own arm just to have something to throw at the screen. If you do decide to see a dramatisation of it, have a look at the old Granada television series.

Forget the film. The trailer made me chew off my arms. Both of them. And then I couldn’t even throw them.

It’s one of my favourite books. It’s got a lot of parts that are hilarious, but it’s also very sad. I think, as Cordelia says, that Sebastian achieves a kind of happiness, and Charles and Julia peace.

One of my favorite novels; the ending is sad, but inevitable, given the theme of the novel and its whole point. One of the things I was most dreading while watching the movie at the theater last summer was that they were going to change the ending and have Julia pop out of the shrubbery at the last second and declare, “I love you, Charles! Damn Catholicism and marry me now!” After some of the others changes they made, I wouldn’t have put it past them.

I’ve just re-watched the miniseries again for about the thousandth time since I first saw it in the 80’s. Love it still.

I’ve been trying to watch the miniseries with Himself, who has not read the book. He doesn’t want to go on the second disc whenever we have anything else to watch, because, “It’s not that I don’t want to watch it… but is it going to be more of the same people having the same ten minute conversations?” I honestly think you have to have an affection for the book before seeing the miniseries. It isn’t working for him.

I first saw the miniseries before I read the book, as a young Miss of 17 or thereabouts. I suppose it’s a matter of taste. Aside from the gorgeous setting, it’s the conversations between the characters I most enjoy. I began to appreciate what a fine actor Jeremy Irons was when I realized that much of his performance consists of listening to more interesting people talking, and reacting to what they say. The secondary characters are the most fun: the elder Mr. Ryder, the unctuous Mr. Samgrass, the obnoxious Rex Mottram, and Anthony Blanche.