Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Another title from my Cavalcade of Classics, Round 2, which is experiencing a Monty Python moment (“Not dead yet!”).

This novel is a gorgeous, depressing, incredible portrait of a generation coming of age between two world wars. The characters are so flawed, so lost as they confront a world that isn’t what they’ve been promised by society, family, or religion (but at least they have their money). I cringe at their missteps in part because I am not at all certain I would make any better choices (different maybe, but better?). Waugh’s description of the ridiculousness and tragedy of life feels very timely. It’s not that life is more or less ridiculous or tragic at any given time, but I think some periods of history just make it easier to see.

A favorite quote:

“What is it?”
“His heart; some long word at the heart. He’s dying of a long word.”

p. 288 of movie tie-in edition

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