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Summary

Guy Crouchback has lost his Halberdier idealism. A desk job in London gives him the chance of reconciliation with his former wife. Then, in Yugoslavia, as a liaison officer with the partisans, he finally becomes aware of the futility of a war he once saw in terms of honour.

©1961 Evelyn Waugh (P)2015 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Unconditional Surrender

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Darker Shadows and Much to Ponder

Waugh revised his Guy Crouchback novel trilogy into the single volume ‘Sword of Honour’. He stated that this was his preference for the way that the story should be read. After listening and reading the separate three novels, I think that the author’s choice should have been followed and an audio-book of ‘Sword of Honour’ been made available on Audible. Revisions Waugh made will have been for a reason. This is the reasoning behind my star ratings not seeming to add-up. (The other reason is that it would have meant a single purchase/credit-use and not three. There are plenty of novels considerably longer on Audible.) I found the narration/performance very good. The ‘story’ was something of a gear-change from the second novel and there was far more to ponder. Wish I understood more about Catholicism. Several characters remain alive in my brain and will do so for long to come. I recommend the BBC collected adaptations of Waugh novels currently available on Audible. All are faithful to the spirit of the original books and there is so much to enjoy.

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Outstanding reading of outstanding novel sequence

This is the final volume in The Sword of Honour Trilogy. This is late Waugh; more considered & more humane than his early satires, but still sharply & mordantly observant of human vanity & folly. While the first two books contain scenes of absurd & surreal humour, the final part of the second book and the whole of the third are much more somber, reflecting on the costs of war ...with truth often the first casualty. Christian Rodska’s narration is excellent - he does the voices so well it’s almost like listening to a dramatisation. Very highly recommended.

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Sharp satire but utter poignancy

Confession: I love Waugh's style, themes and devilish sense of the absurd. This is the final expression of his genuius - his best novel that covers the futilty of war, the bizarre machinations of bureaucracy and the promotion of villains and incompetents in all walks of life. Add to this the wonderful characterisations - one-eyed, mad Ritchie-Hook, lunatics Apthorpe and Ludovic, and of course our chivalric, diffident hero - and you have a near perfect mix of comedy and tragedy.

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Outstanding book

I listened to the BBC Classic serial of the sword of honour trilogy back in the early 1970’s and was hooked on Evelyn Waugh.
These were in the days when there were true classics broadcast in several parts rather than the dumbed down fare in two 45 minute sound bites which passes as ‘inform educate and entertain’. To my knowledge this has never been repeated
So this unabridged version read by Christian Rodska is a real treat.
Excellent.

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Superb narration of a masterpiece

Any additional comments?

I cannot imagine the narration being bettered. Waugh's characters come to life, the comic scenes are delivered deadpan and are all the funnier, and overall the pacing is superb. Nor do we lose sight of Guy Crouchback's sad trajectory through the war. One of the best audiobooks I have listened to.

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exceptional

again Christian Rodska delivers an exceptional rendition that should serve as a benchmark for all readers and producers.

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Great story: brilliant narration

Waugh's story captures the fine details of wartime military life and the strange perspective of the British upper classes in well crafted writing. Delivered by Christian Rodska in a brilliant narration - the best I have heard from over 200 books in my collection.