27 June 2009
Evelyn Waugh: SCOOP
Somewhere along the line, I managed to accumulate quite an Evelyn Waugh collection. It helps, naturally, that many of his novels have for some reason been published in a convenient two-books-in-one format, effectively doubling said collection's size. But, to be honest, that doesn't even begin to account for the volume. But don't take this as a complaint: I don't remember how such a thing came to pass, but I'm awful glad it us. Every now and then, after some serious reading, there's nothing to take the edge off like some comedic post-war British lit (you think I'm joking? Try Kingsley Amis's Lucky Jim). Waugh's Scoop was no exception. It's as if, say, George Orwell tried to write a Marx Brothers movie (and succeeded!)--or, alternatively, as if Evelyn Waugh tried to write an Evelyn Waugh book. There's some confusion about names at the London daily Beast, you see, and the wrong man entirely is sent off to cover the Ishmalian revolution in East Africa. Hilarity ensues, the news industry is sent-up in a manner that ages surprisingly well, and everything denoues to the sort of happy ending that one might logically expect from such an illogical tale. Waugh is British satire at its bitingest, a true heir to Swift and...well, and to everyone else, there's no point in name-dropping here. An easy read, this one gets a solid B+.