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Remote People (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Evelyn Waugh
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Perhaps the funniest travel book ever written, Remote People begins with a vivid account of the coronation of Emperor Ras Tafari - Haile Selassie I, King of Kings - an event covered by Evelyn Waugh in 1930 as special correspondent for The Times. It continues with subsequent travels throughout Africa, where natives rub shoulders with eccentric expatriates, settlers with Arab traders and dignitaries with monks. Interspersed with these colourful tales are three 'nightmares' which describe the vexations of travel, including returning home.

Product Description

About the Author

Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903. His first novel, Decline and Fall, was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). In 1942 he published Put Out More Flags and then in 1945 Brideshead Revisited. When the Going was Good and The Loved One preceded Men at Arms, which came out in 1952, the first volume of 'The Sword of Honour' trilogy, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. The other volumes, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender, followed in 1955 and 1961. In 1964 he published his last book, A Little Learning, the first volume of an autobiography. For many years he lived with his wife and six children in the West Country. He died in 1966.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 630 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (31 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082FYK9M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #244,108 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Junius
It is unfortunate for Waugh that he is addressed in cliches such as snob and hilarious. This travel book was written as a result of Waugh's visit to Abyssinia for Ras Tafari's coronation, which had come about after a fairly bloody tussle. Waugh was commissioned by several newspapers in 1931 to report on the event. This covers the first half of the book and is often all that is ever mentioned in conection with it. The second half of the book is in some ways more interesting and that is Waugh's visit to British East Africa on his return journey plus a nightmare experience passing through the Belgian Congo. On the whole the book is serious and informative. Waugh is always focused on the disparity between human ideals and human reality and especially so at this time when he had just converted to Catholicism. He writes as follows: It is very surprising to discover the importance which politics assume the moment one begins to travel . . . Outside Europe one cannot help being a politician if one is at all interested in what one sees; political issues are implicit in everything . . . I went abroad with no particular views about empire and no intention of forming any. The problems were so insistent that there was no choice but to become concerned with them.
In many ways this book tells us more about Waugh's state of mind and his social and political views, which barely change throughout his life, than Black Mischief, the novel that followed Remote People. Obviously Waugh is very right wing, for example he defends the jet set of Kenya's Happy Valley. He loathes all forms of bureacracy. But then he sees the idle rich in London, his social crowd, as contemptible too. The book is really quite bitter and sardonic and not especially 'hilarious'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ethiopia 10 Dec. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great travelogue from a good author - done many years ago when travel was RATHER different

I associated some of the problems as I have visited Ethiopia myself on several occassions
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic.. 16 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic! It covers Waugh's journey to see the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie in the 1930s, then his long and tough trip to get back home to England afterwards.

Evelyn describes the journey vividly and tells a range of amusing travel anecdotes. The only shame is that he did not visit more of Ethiopia..
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