Sunday, 2 March 2014

Book review: Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

It's been a while since I couldn't let a book down. Weighed down by various (sometimes) tedious Austens or Stokers that would no let me have a good night's sleep, Evelyn Waugh's book was a well deserved break.

The novel was written in the 1930s and centres on the Bright Young Things, a sort of not-so-secret sorority in London between the two wars who had a very outrageous lifestyle and a sort of 'whatever' attitude to life.

As you can already tell, it's extremely amusing. Don't be put off the slightly strange allegoric introduction, it gets better and it makes sense as you go along. The novel was strikingly modern for the time but still the age-old romantic backdrop resisted. Although the focus shifts on various characters, the will-they-won't-they engagement of Adam and Nina keeps popping up. In their way there also appear a myriad of comic situations and strange characters that create the weirdest of situations.

If you have some sort of aversion towards overly descriptive books, fear not. This one is mainly based on dialogue, and, more interestingly, almost all of it takes place on the telephone. Perhaps it has a more gossipy tone which goes well with the otherwise gossipy novel; in fact, Waugh himself worked for the first social gossip column in English newspapers.

So, if you need a Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola-style pick me up book with humour but also a bit of a moralising message, this should be a contented on the list!

                                                                 Buy it HERE.

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