Book review: Scoop – Evelyn Waugh – 1938

Read in a Penguin Classics edition Scoop is, by Waugh’s standards, a fairly light-hearted satire on Fleet Street, Government, and the British upper classes. Nobody dies or gets stranded in remote jungles; instead we have what comes closest to a happy ending, in which everyone gets what they wanted. I usually avoid writing at tooContinue reading “Book review: Scoop – Evelyn Waugh – 1938”

Supplementary: Brideshead Revisited (2) – on the description of marital and extra-marital sex

There are some interesting descriptions of sex in Brideshead. Waugh avoids any explicit reference to gay sex, but he is slightly more comfortable with marital affairs, taking a quick peek into the bedroom. When Charles returns from his two-year long trip to South America, his reaction to meeting his wife could not be more off-handContinue reading “Supplementary: Brideshead Revisited (2) – on the description of marital and extra-marital sex”

Book review: Book review: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, 1946

Why do I write this blog? Thinking about it there are four principal reasons, with one bonus justification. To keep a record of what I read. Simple as that – just to look back and see what I have read over 12-24 months is interesting, as my appetite for classic fiction wanes and is replacedContinue reading “Book review: Book review: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, 1946”

Book review: Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

Let’s start with the title. About ten years ago a film was made of this novel, but due to wrangles with the Waugh estate the film was called “Bright Young Things” not “Vile Bodies”. (This is from memory, unverified by Wikipedia). The name change mattered, because the irony of the phrase “Bright Young Things”” isContinue reading “Book review: Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh”

Book review: A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, 1934

First published in 1934, and read in a gorgeous Penguin Modern Classic Edition.   Waugh is the great chronicler of mid-war upper class British life, and this is one of his bleakest, blackest novels. This savage, bitter comedy charts the end of a aristocratic marriage. The world the characters inhabit is not the comic, chaotic swirl ofContinue reading “Book review: A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh, 1934”