- Author Evelyn Waugh
My knowledge of this book was simply that I knew it had been made into a TV programme and possibly a film. One of those that is adapted for the screen, I thought, it can’t be too bad. When I first started reading it, I thought it was going to be another Great Gatsby - an enigmatic individual, those around him desperate to be acknowledged, things go a bit awry, etc, etc.
It wasn’t like that at all though. The story was very slow to start, and although it picked up a little pace as the relationships started to weave their way together, it felt very drawn out. Part of the problem, to my mind, was that there didn’t seem to be any inflection to the narration. It felt like listening to a monotone for the entire time. Things kept on happening and there was very little emotion talked about - as though it was a bad thing to discuss, whether it was from Ryder or those around him.
It didn’t help me relate to the characters, and the subjects of religion and class didn’t help much either. I quite liked the story as it eventually wound towards a conclusion, but I can’t say that I felt particularly engaged in any of it. It was also a pretty depressing tale, with no one seemingly allowed a happy ending.