Scoop, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of 'The Daily Beast', has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another.

Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs Algernon Stitch, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia.


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Review by

A satire with a farcical story that holds back from becoming a 'farce', this is the sharpest sketch of Fleet Street ever written - a shame, because it deals with foreign affairs and so the newsroom passages are brief.

Review by

Mrs Algernon Stitch recommends a reporter called Boot to go to Ishmaelia as newspaper The Beast’s war correspondent. Unfortunately due to a mix up the wrong Boot gets ‘called up’ and leaves behind his cosy country home where he writes a column about nature and finds himself out of his depth in a foreign country on the brink of war, amongst a group of journalists as he struggles to come up with a ‘scoop’ that no other journalist gets wind of.<br/><br/>The first part of this book is really quite funny, and the character of Mrs Stitch is excellent. Unfortunately she soon disappears from the action and when that happened I felt the book lost some of its spark. There are some amusing moments, but on the whole I found it a bit of a let-down and not as good as Waugh’s Vile Bodies. There has been some criticism of the book due to its apparently racist nature. I think today’s reader has to remember that the book is “of it’s time”, and whilst some of the language wouldn’t be acceptable if written today, it was acceptable at the time, even if it shouldn’t have been.

Review by

An innocent abroad, a rural correspondant of "The Daily Beast", William Boot, gets sent overseas to cover the unrest in the African kingdom of Ishmaelia.<br/>Apparently, not a totally inaccurate way of how foreign wars were covered, i.e. from a distance and quite a bit of it made up, which is disconcerting. (Of course, nothing like that would ever happen today....?)

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