Black Mischief: Scoop ; The Loved One ; The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold

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Alfred A. Knopf, 2003 - Fiction - 622 pages
8 Reviews
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) In honor of the hundredth anniversary of Evelyn Waugh's birth, four of the master's most wickedly scathing comedies are here brought together in one volume. Black Mischiefis Waugh at his most mischievousinventing a politically loopy African state as a means of pulverizing politics at home. InScoop, it is journalism's turn to be drawn and quartered.The Loved One(which became a famously hilarious film) sends up the California mortuary business. AndThe Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfoldis a burst of fictionalized autobiography in which Pinfold goes mad, more or less, on board an ocean liner. Here in four shortvery differentnovels are the mordant wit, inspired farce, snapping dialogue, and amazing characters that are the essence of everything Waugh ever wrote.

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Review: Black Mischief

User Review  - Goodreads

This comedy has to be regarded as a product of its era (1932) as there are quite a lot of non PC words and casual racism, although the British diplomatic corps come off the worst. The plot concerns a ... Read full review

Review: Black Mischief

User Review  - Goodreads

This book is not considered politically correct these days, because of the way the African population of the fictional nation of Azania is portrayed. In fact, they get off pretty lightly compared to ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Born in Hampstead and educated at Oxford University, Evelyn Waugh came from a literary family. His elder brother, Alec was a novelist, and his father, Arthur Waugh, was the influential head of a large publishing house. Even in his school days, Waugh showed sings of the profound belief in Catholicism and brilliant wit that were to mark his later years. Waugh began publishing his novels in the late 1920's. He joined the Royal Marines at the beginning of World War II and was one of the first to volunteer for commando service. In 1944 he survived a plane crash in Yugoslavia and, while hiding in a cave, corrected the proofs of one of his novels. Waugh's early novels, Decline and Fall (1927), Vile Bodies (1930), and A Handful of Dust (1934), established him as one of the funniest and most brilliant satirists the British had seen in years. He was particularly skillful at poking fun at the scramble for prominence among the upper classes and the struggle between the generations. He lived for a while in Hollywood, about which he wrote The Loved One (1948), a scathing attack on the United States's overly sentimental funeral practices. His greatest works, however, are Brideshead Revisited (1945), which has been made into a highly popular television miniseries, and the trilogy Sword of Honor (1965), composed of Men at Arms (1952), Officers and Gentlemen (1955), and The End of the Battle (1961).

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