A Handful of Dust

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2002 - Fiction - 225 pages
42 Reviews
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Evelyn Waugh’s 1934 novel is a bitingly funny vision of aristocratic decadence in England between the wars. It tells the story of Tony Last, who, to the irritation of his wife, is inordinately obsessed with his Victorian Gothic country house and life. When Lady Brenda Last embarks on an affair with the worthless John Beaver out of boredom with her husband, she sets in motion a sequence of tragicomic disasters that reveal Waugh at his most scathing.

The action is set in the brittle social world recognizable from Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies, darkened and deepened by Waugh’s own experience of sexual betrayal. As Tony is driven by the urbane savagery of this world to seek solace in the wilds of the Brazilian jungle, A Handful of Dust demonstrates the incomparably brilliant and wicked wit of one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished novelists.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

I'm unsure about this one- the ending seems just too absurd for the rest of the novel. How does homebody Tony end up as a reading slave in the Amazon? I have no idea. On the other hand, it's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Once again, an English writer creates a story centering around the landed aristocracy confronting new money, this time with adultery the mechanism by which an estate is jeopardized. The protagonist's ... Read full review

All 19 reviews »

About the author (2002)

Evelyn Waugh was born in England in 1903 and died in 1966.

Bibliographic information