I finished the novel A Handful of Dust, last night and completed my homework postings. I went into the reading with a hearty approval for it by Trish, who said it was one of her faves. I was excited to be excited about this one.
Satire is some of my favorite stuff. It really is. Waugh is pretty genius at conveying his disdain for the triviality with which his characters live their lives. Aristocracy and the working man, life and death, relationships that are just as much a facade as anything else, he covers it in this one.
In researching him, it was pointed out repeatedly his disdain for the modernization of society, the commerce, the ‘advances’ made in the name of progress. His true love was the England of old. Written in the 1930’s, Britain was really struggling with the repercussions of the Stock Market Crash of ’29, the politics were unsteady with great upheaval with the Labour Party. All of this is at the base, in the pulse, of this book. The humor, the brilliant dry crispy tickity tackity clip of the conversations, moves the pace and the story along without the reader even knowing it.
There’s a scene that shows Tony and his friend Jock getting snotfaced drunk, or ‘tight’ as it were. It’s one of the most brilliant drunk scenes I’ve ever read. I could see the farcical circles within the conversations, stumbling over feet, words, thoughts, curbs. Love love love it.
I’ve never read or seen Brideshead Revisited. He’s famous for that one, too. There is a movie version of this one, starring Kristen Scott Thomas in one of her first roles.
We’ve two more novels in this class and then it’s finished. I’m beginning a Graham Green piece this weekend. One more that I’ve never read. As is par for the syllabus, I’ll keep you posted.