Books, Reading Challenge, reviews

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 38 – Brideshead Revisited

Hi, Hey, Hello!

So, this will be the last book review, before we all get a little reprieve from them.

I’m gonna close it out with a little classic.

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 38, Brideshead Revisited
2017 Reading Challenge, Book 38, Brideshead Revisited

I will be honest with you, I kind of went into this expecting to hate it. I felt like this was going to be one of those classics that I just wanted going to get the hype about (looking at you Moby Dick…still). I also tried watching the film, which it turns out was about a decade ago now, and I hated it. To the point that I don’t think I actually finished it. So, yeah I was skeptical about opening the pages of this book, regardless of how pretty the cover is.

I was pleasantly surprised. I breezed through this book at a surprising rate. I found something about it oddly comfortable and comforting.

For some reason I forgot that it would be set partially in war time. I mean not a lot, but or yeah I didn’t really expect it to be set in two timelines. Or mostly retrospectively. I liked that. I liked that it then had this sort of rose-tinted feel to it. I don’t usually, and that is sometimes why I don’t mesh well with some classics. But this was more like a Frankenstein so I got along with it well.

Let’s talk about Charles. I liked him. I liked the perspective that he gave. I liked that he was the way into the world of this book because like the reader he is never truly a part of this world. I am a sucker for that kind of perspective. And that was what made the story world so interesting as a whole and why I found myself getting actually invested in it and all that jazz.

This book is a coming of age stories in some ways. It’s very much Charles trying to find his place in the world and he initially finds that in the Flyte family and then gets dragged into the mess that primarily Sebastian, creates for him. The relationship that it created between the two of them felt very much like one of those friendships that you get involved in during your first year at uni and it’s one of those that shouldn’t last because it was a situational thing but then this one just continues beyond that. And gets him into all sorts of trouble. Seeing the way that that relationship developed throughout the narrative was one of my favourite parts of the book, because it felt so realistic to me. A friendship that was created out of circumstance and yet one that you still find yourself being drawn back to for some reason. That’s the core of this book to me.

Trying to escape something that you don’t really know how you got embroiled in.

And it’s a recurring theme throughout the narrative.

And I enjoyed watching how it kept coming back to this family and to their estate. Everything seemed to revolve around that. Even after years have passed it still comes back to that.

The narrative spans a few years and therefore it’s interesting to see the way that Charles does develop over the years and the way that does affect the way that he interacts with this family, especially Sebastian. It aways seems to come back to Sebastian. Once I had finished the book that particular relationship and the way that it ultimately ended in a way that kind of broke my heart but wasn’t totally unexpected given the kind of person that Sebastian continued to prove himself to be stayed with me in some way.

The way that religion plays into the story was interesting, because that too does inform a lot of the way that these characters act. Sometimes without them even knowing that it was the case. But the way that it affected these characters was almost in some ways similar to the way that class did. Maybe to a greater extent, but yeah in a similar way.

The ending was a bit meh  for me. I dunno, when it ended it didn’t really feel like it ended and I had to turn the page really quickly to double check if it had because the ending didn’t really feel conclusive. It felt a bit rushed and I guess it just left you as a reader back in the present day with the fact that there was a still a war going on for which no ones fate was really all that known. Yeah, it was just meh.

Overall, I liked this book. I really enjoyed this book. I moved through it a lot quicker than I expected to which surprised me. I loved the way that it was written and I found myself weirdly attached to the characters. I invested in them in a way that I hadn’t done with the books that I had read between this and The Muse (I don’t count Fantastic Beasts). I needed that at the time that I read this book.

This is actually a classic that I would recommend. In a big way. And not because it’s one of those books that you have to read. But because it’s actually good.

3/5 stars

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!main-sign-off


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