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Scoop [Hardcover]

Evelyn Waugh
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316926175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316926171
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 540,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
While still a young man, John Courteney Boot had, as his publisher proclaimed, 'achieved an assured and enviable position in contemporary letters.' Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SCOOP: A Satirical Novel, Not A Racist Rant 23 Jan 2004
This is an incredibly funny novel, and a must read for anybody interested in the politics of the world during the 30's, or the farcical nature of the press. All the way through it is funny, and I can think of no novel similar to it.
In regard to the novel being racist, I don't think it is. It must be taken in the context of it's time, much of the language is outdated, and would never be used now for fear of offence, but was, at the time acceptable. The African characters in the book are never criticised more than the white characters, and if anything, the African's end up fooling the journalists and being portrayed as intelligent, insightful characters. How this could be considered racist is a mystery to me.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is the review finished? Up to a point 1 July 2005
Waugh is both appreciated and reviled for much the same qualities. The same caustic wit and social observation that sliced through the ridiculous class structure of his time also brought a flippancy and 'carelessness' which in our politically correct age reads uncomfortably.
Scoop is a classic example, essentially involving a mix up in the assignment of a plum overseas journalism posting to cover the Ishmalian civil war. This is written in the age of Goebbels and Stalin, and so it is no surprise to see that the power of the press is essentially responsible for destabilizing the otherwise unassuming African state. Where the journalists decide there is a story, a story will exist. Is it really that different today?
Waugh uses his social observation skills to almost ludicrous extremes, with portraits of Lord Copper, Boot of the Beast and the other journalists in the pack being both ghastly and stunningly incompetent. The novel retains its comic touch, although has dated slightly more than some of Waugh's other works. Essentially many of the caustic barbs would be more suited to an age familiar with the excesses of Beaverbrook and Rothermere.
This is essentially classic Waugh, and thus should be approached with a little prior knowledge of his style. If you like him, you'll love this - I devoured it in a day.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition still dodgy 1 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very pleased to find SCOOP available in Kindle once again, as I had to re-read it for a book club event and my old Penguin paperback had of course gone yellow and fallen to pieces. The Kindle edition was unavailable, due, apparently to 'technical issues' with the text. Its reappearance alas does not mean that these issues have been entirely resolved. Throughout the novel (I have so far read about 27% of it) the letters 'th' have been mis-transcribed as 'di'. Thus (dius) 'their' becomes 'diir', 'those' 'diose', 'together' 'togedier' and most amusingly, 'the', 'die'. You might put up with diis when die e-version was put togedier by endiusiasts and cost nodiing, but not when you've just paid Penguin dirough die nose, diank you very much.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RUSH CHECKOUTWARD URGENT STOP 6 Nov 2000
Waugh effortlessly sucked me into this barmy but beguiling world where everyone speaks their mind but no-one pays any attention. If I said it was about journalism, international relations, nepatism, government, privilege, and philosophy you'd get totally the wrong idea, but it is. If I said it was firstly laugh-out-loud funny, secondly, a classic depiction of life for a certain class of people at a certain time in Britain and thirdly, based around an interesting set of observations I think I'd be getting closer to the truth. You see Waugh, I believe, didn't write about the answers to the injustices, or contradictions he saw. He just redrew them for his reader to make up his or her mind. Which is what I think you should do with Scoop. Only laugh first.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Lord Copper 16 Dec 2002
By Mr. Robert Kelly VINE VOICE
Evelyn Waugh was without doubt one the funniest writers that 20th century Britain produced, and this is one of the best examples of his work. Written during the interwar period, the book parodies the battles of mass market Fleet Street as the rivalry between the Daily Brute and the Daily Beast.
William Boot mistaken for his travel writing cousin is sent to Africa to report on a possible coup in the independent state of Ishamlia.
Having previously only produced a nature column called lush places, Boot's journey is a superb comedy of errors. This book is not only excellent in it's own right but provides a superb introduction to the rest of Waugh's work. Waugh might be best known these days for 'Brideshead Revisited,' but his earlier comedies are for me at least as rewarding.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really wonderful audiobook 20 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
SCOOP is probably the most purely enjoyable of Evelyn Waugh's books and Simon Cadell's wonderful reading has enhanced my pleasure in it. His characterisation is subtle and very very funny. When I read the book for myself I now hear Simon Cadell's interpretation of Corker, Gretchen, and Lord Copper. A flawless rendition of a marvellous novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of observation 16 Jan 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is widely known that Waugh's books are witty, observant and highly readable. This is no different, the depiction of the newspaper business then, is probably nearly just as relevant now. The book is amusing and clever to the extreme. The plot moves from traditional British farce (although highly believable) to cutting observant wit that stirs the grey matter. Excellent.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IN A WAUGH ZONE WITH THE WRONG BOOT 7 Aug 2001
This book is set just 54 years before CNN redefined the role of war correspondents during the Gulf War of 1990.
Back in the late 1930s just before WW2, the global powers were having a trial run ahead of the Big One. In those days, it was the newspapers (and not the TV networks) who called the shots.
Evelyn Waugh in his inimitable, over-the-top style goes right to the heart of the media business. It's not about delivering news; it's pure power politics. The egos of the media owner are the prime drivers of the machinations of this industry. Their bungling underlings are constantly in damage control and covering up their incompetencies.
Only Waugh could get away with these observations on indigenous Africa. His descriptions of the supposedly fictitious Democratic Republic in Africa (20 years before most of the continent went independent of their colonial masters) is pure clairvoyance.
Most of Africa today is just like his Ishmaelia. So-called democracies run by autocratic Presidents-for-Life.
This book as well as being a primer for foreign correspondents, is an excellent manual for students of African politics.
Unfortunately, for many readers on the West Side of the Atlantic, Waugh's subtle ironic style might be at times impenetrable. Rule one with Waugh is never to take things at face value. He was a brave and clever man to get away with the demolition jobs he does on his own class ridden British society.
Once you twig to his wit, his writing becomes a pure pleasure. There is never a dull moment. His observations on society, politics, business and the human condition are timeless.
Waugh is the master of 20th century satirical literary humour. Scoop is one of his best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars tedious and heavy
30 years ago it was hilarious. Now it seems old fashioned, tedious and heavy handed
Published 3 days ago by penrhynian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought this for my daughter and noticed it was finished within days, therefore must have been popular
Published 2 months ago by Mrs S M Wiltshire
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
Some reviewers take themselves too seriously! This book is not a racist rant, it is just one of the funniest ever written. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hugh Sedon
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version overdue
Do we think the Kindle version will ever be reissued? Scoop is a hoot of a novel. I long to re-read it but on Kindle so that I can carry it about with ease.
Published 12 months ago by amfortas
3.0 out of 5 stars In need of a laugh?
A light hearted look at the class system of the early twentieth century set out within a rather ridiculous story but nevertheless, it made me laugh out loud in places. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs Kathleen Arnold
2.0 out of 5 stars has not weathered well
How the world and I have changed since 1978, when I first read Scoop and found it so brilliantly funny. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Bobbie
3.0 out of 5 stars funny, dated in style but still relevant
The book is 75 years old and so seems a bit dated but once you get into it that isn't important. The message still has relevance as newspapers, and news tv, can be biased at best... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Timelessly funny
This was my first Evelyn Waugh novel so I was unsure what to expect. It was a quick and very entertaining read and generated an excellent discussion at my book group. Read more
Published 20 months ago by BookWorm
4.0 out of 5 stars scoop
mums book club enjoyed and discussed this some didnt get it too old?? in their minds. or unfamiiar with setting
Published 20 months ago by alygogs
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of three thirds
This is undoubtedly a novel of three thirds: The first third of the book drags its heels and the last third seemed almost indecipherable to me, but thankfully the middle third -... Read more
Published 20 months ago by D. Sedgwick
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