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The Coronation of Haile Selassie (Pocket Penguins 70's) [Paperback]

Evelyn Waugh
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

6 May 2005 Pocket Penguins 70's
In May 2005 Penguin will publish 70 unique titles to celebrate the company's 70th birthday. The titles in the Pocket Penguins series are emblematic of the renowned breadth of quality of the Penguin list and will hark back to Penguin founder Allen Lane's vision of good books for all'. Published by Penguin for more than fifty years, Evelyn Waugh is one of the greatest satirical writers of the twentieth century. In this irreverent personal account of the crowning of the last Emperor of Ethiopia who inspired the Rastafarian religion he makes full use of his comic genius, brilliantly capturing the bureaucracy, lunacy and passion of a country gripped by coronation fever.

Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (6 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141022442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141022444
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 929,231 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Evelyn Waugh published his first novel, Decline and Fall, in 1928, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies, Black Mischief, A Handful of Dust and Scoop. During these years he travelled extensively, and published a number of travel books including Labels and Remote People. In 1945 he published Brideshead Revisited and Men at Arms in 1952. Evelyn Waugh died in 1966.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Evelyn Waugh is a great author but this is a rather dull work. I purchased this book as the subject matter seemed rich and I was expecting to hear a great account of this important occassion.
Unfortunately this does not happen as Mr Waugh struggles with petty detail like hotel meals, staff etc.
I am sure that the coronation of King Haile Selassie would have been a fantastic event and full of colourful detail and highly important symbolism/ceremony. This detail is sadly missing and Mr Waugh's account of events is in my opinion not worth reading.
Upshot is this book has an interesting cover.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Satyrical Press Report 3 Mar 2007
By Bonam Pak - Published on Amazon.com
This booklet, containing 57 small pages, written in 1931, is a somewhat longer covering of the coronation festivities of H.I.M. Haile Selassie-I of Ethiopia and the days preceding the event of contemporary international interest.

The author makes fun of the procedings, but RastafarI do not need to get alarmed for any blasphemous or disrespectfull treatment. The Western press correspondent makes fun of everything and everybody including his fellow colleagues, the expectations of the Western public reading the latter's largely faked/imagined reports, all sorts of invited foreign guests and the rather hasty organisation of the event.

A bit of background information of the as of then still somewhat makeshift new capital Addis Abeba and previous emperors is provided to substantiate the quick and fun reading. Though the mockery is rather harmless, RastafarI should not expect any confirmation (or disconfirmation) of Leonard Howell's visions from "The Promised Key", covering the same event from a religious viewpoint.

It's a bit difficult to rate this book by stars, so here's an elaboration: For that, what it is, a well-written entertainment for one wait and ride on the night bus, it is a fine historical satire of an unusual subject to be covered and deserves full stars. On the other hand, one's life doesn't depend on it having missed it. It will probably neither affront nor enlighten RastafarI all too much.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Waugh 29 April 2012
By Matthew M. Howell - Published on Amazon.com
This is an account of the coronation proceedings of Haile Selassie, with a pointedly irreverent wit being directed at all participants, but most sharply at the European diplomatic legations and the western press corps.

As anyone who has read Waugh knows, he brings a worldly-weary and cynical tone to what are, in essence, very insightful observations on human nature and culture. Naturally, our 21st century ears, schooled to be ultra-alert to any indications of a colonial superiority complex, which you are sure to find here. However, when compared to the much greater stings and arrows he flings at his own culture, it is clear that this is simply his writing style, from which he allows no subject, including himself, immunity.

In all, I delightfully fun read as well as a window on history and culture.
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