March 4, 2009

Vile Bodies, by Evelyn Waugh

"Oh, Nina, what a lot of parties." This seems like a key line from the novel, which is all about the Bright Young Things of 1920s London, and the frothy fun they got up to. 

I was under the impression that Evelyn Waugh was a humourist in the same vein as P.G. Wodehouse. I'm a big fan of that Jeeves and Wooster stuff; in fact, Fizz and Crumbs (my fiance) are our 1920s alter-egos who get into all sorts of mad scrapes. Ahem. Anyway, while the two Waugh novels I've read took place in that same era and lifestyle, they were decidedly darker. 

In the foreword, Waugh writes that he finished writing the book in a far gloomier state of mind than he started it, and the effect on the mood of the story is noticeable. It did start off about all the fun and parties, so I mostly got my wish, but what I really need is an episode of Jeeves and Wooster (Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie- good fun!) In the end, though, I did enjoy the book, and will read more Waugh in the future. 

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