Vile Bodies, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Evelyn Waugh's acidly funny and formally daring satire, Vile Bodies reveals the darkness and vulnerability that lurks beneath the glittering surface of the high life.

This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Richard Jacobs.In the years following the First World War a new generation emerges, wistful and vulnerable beneath the glitter.

The Bright Young Things of twenties' Mayfair, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade - whether promiscuity, dancing, cocktail parties or sports cars.

In a quest for treasure, a favourite party occupation, a vivid assortment of characters, among them the struggling writer Adam Fenwick-Symes and the glamorous, aristocratic Nina Blount, hunt fast and furiously for ever greater sensations and the fulfilment of unconscious desires.If you enjoyed Vile Bodies, you might like Waugh's A Handful of Dust, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.'The high point of the experimental, original Waugh'Malcolm Bradbury, Sunday Times'This brilliantly funny, anxious and resonant novel ... the difficult edgy guide to the turn of the decade'Richard Jacobs'It's Britain's Great Gatsby'Stephen Fry, director of Vile Bodies film adaptation Bright Young Things


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

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Savage and surgical. <I>Vile Bodies</I> documents a zombie-world where humanity (in the sense of sympathy for other humans) is a waif, cowering in a sewer pipe, trying to avoid having its brain eaten. A bit scrappy in parts - apparently Waugh's wife left him during its composition - this novel redeems all with its stunning ending.

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If British madcap is your thing then this is the novel for you.

Review by

Funny and lighthearted for the first half and bitter and sardonic in the second half, this book had me sniggering throughout. Although when I was finished I had to think for a second, "Wait, he predicted World War II when again? 1930?"It wasn't nearly as good as Brideshead Revisited (which is an understandable masterpiece), but I also don't understand why Evelyn (if I may call him that) disparaged this book so in later years. I'm certainly wildly curious about Mr. Waugh now, and can't wait to read more.This should really be 3.5 stars, but I'll give it the benefit of the round-up.

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