As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Monday, January 14, 2008

November 2007--Brideshead Revisited

by Evelyn Waugh

Told in flashback, Brideshead Revisited is a meditation on love and regret, class and religion. Containing some of the most beautiful prose in the English language, the early chapters where the narrator Charles Ryder recalls his days at Oxford exqusitely capture the languor and beauty of being young. It is there he meets his first love, the fragile and charismatic Sebastian Flyte, and is drawn into Sebastian’s enigmatic family, who will alter the course of Charles’ life. Those idyllic summers at Brideshead, Sebastian’s palatial family home, continue to haunt Charles as he watches his friend disintegrate over the years and eventually falls in love with his sister, Julia. A defiant atheist, Charles battles against the Flytes' Catholicism, which leads to the novel’s somewhat unlikely conclusion. Yet, Waugh’s portrait of lost youth and England between the wars shows a writer at the top of his form, and leaves an indelible impression.


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