Evelyn Waugh’s most celebrated work is a memory drama about the intense entanglement of the narrator, Charles Ryder, with a great Anglo-Catholic family. Written during World War II, the story mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh.
This was another book that i bought at the tip for $1. It didn’t have a blurb on the back so i had no idea what it was about however the name sounded familiar so i thought it must be a classic of some sort.
The story is written from the perspective of Charles Ryder, an Englishman who reflects upon his life from the time he started university, and when he was on intimate terms with the Flyte family.
The story didn’t really follow your typical beginning, middle and end. It started and then just seemed to plod along on a wistful kind of journey. I really quite enjoyed it and even though it wasn’t very fast paced, it kept me interested as to how the Charles at the beginning of the book came to be where he was.
The character development was sound and i really felt i knew Charles and the other characters so well. They were also quite realistic and human. None of them were perfect and each had their own demons to overcome.
To be honest, even though i really enjoyed the book, it doesn’t have a clear and precise point to it. It is one of those books that you need to really think about and chew on to discover what hidden meanings lie under it all. I also think that a lot of it is up for interpretation and each reader will draw their own conclusions and form their own opinions of what they thought and there is no right nor wrong to it.
It was so beautifully written and i liked how simple the title of the book is and how relevant it is to the text. Again it is another thing that you can make so much of. This would be a great book to study for English.
Overall i really quite enjoyed it and i would definitely recommend it as “one of the classics”.