Evelyn Waugh: Decline and Fall, Sword of Honour, A Handful of Dust, and that famous one....

Extollager

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Herewith a place to discuss this complex author and his works, but please not the movies and television adaptations. There are subfora for movies and TV.

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His A Handful of Dust seems to me an ironic masterpiece of control: funny, poignant, severe, audacious, alive.
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I also particularly like his travel book Ninety-Two Days. I was impressed by the Sword of Honour trilogy (it really is a trilogy), but would say it would have been impenetrable to me if not far this labor-of-love guide:

http://www.abbotshill.freeserve.co.uk/SH index.htm

Waugh's first novel, Decline and Fall, has seemed to me one of the funniest books I have ever read.

Now -- your thoughts?
 
I loved A Handful of Dust. Funnily enough, I've not gone all to read more by Waugh. I think the storyline really appealed in that book, whereas the plots of his other novels appeal to me a little less.
 
I enjoyed Handful of Dust and Scoop, and eagerly began Decline and Fall but didn't get on with it. I can't remember why.

BTW, there is a BBC radio adaptation of Decline and Fall currently airing.
 
Evelyn Waugh is a true master of prose as far as I'm concerned. I agree that Handful of Dust is a masterpiece but I also want to draw attention to Waugh's short stories. I regard Waugh to be amongst the best short story writers (at his best) in English alongside such writers as Hawthorne, Pritchett, Frank (and Flannery) O'Connor, Munro, Mansfield, Hughes, Carver, Welty, Carter, Purdy....well you get the idea.. :) Penguin published an excellent Complete Short Stories a few years back. It collects all of his short fiction, some novellas and earlier pieces. Highly recommended.
 
Scoop is brilliant. One of the funniest books I have read. One of the best satires I have read. It is rightly praised.
I read Decline and Fall many years ago. I remember liking it, but now, even looking up the plot summary, I find that I confuse it with various works by JP Donleavy.
Brideshead Revisited is a splendid book. The 1970s TV series was so influential that it is quite difficult to consider the novel in isolation.

I want to read his travel books.
 
Scoop is brilliant. One of the funniest books I have read. One of the best satires I have read. It is rightly praised.
I read Decline and Fall many years ago. I remember liking it, but now, even looking up the plot summary, I find that I confuse it with various works by JP Donleavy.
Brideshead Revisited is a splendid book. The 1970s TV series was so influential that it is quite difficult to consider the novel in isolation.

I want to read his travel books.
I'm rereading Scoop after 39 years now, thanks to your comment.

I think I've read all of Waugh's novels except Vile Bodies, and a lot of his travel writing but not every word. I haven't read his Rossetti book nor his Ronald Knox one, but have read the Campion one, which as I recall opens with a brilliant account of Queen Elizabeth I. Offhand I'd identify A Handful of Dust and Ninety-Two Days as my favorites by him.
 
I'm rereading Scoop after 39 years now, thanks to your comment.

I think I've read all of Waugh's novels except Vile Bodies, and a lot of his travel writing but not every word. I haven't read his Rossetti book nor his Ronald Knox one, but have read the Campion one, which as I recall opens with a brilliant account of Queen Elizabeth I. Offhand I'd identify A Handful of Dust and Ninety-Two Days as my favorites by him.
I hope Scoop lives up to the billing.
 
The contrast is interesting. Peake has always been quite niche. Waugh had mainstream success, is more accessible, and I think wrote more books than Peake.
The Waugh-shelf is pretty wide. The number of books Peake wrote is larger than some folks are aware because some of them aren't very well known, but nothing like as extensive as Waugh's.

My impression is that most of Waugh is still in print, but I'm not sure about Peake. But I didn't much like (e.g.) Mr. Pye and Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor.
 

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