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Vile Bodies (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Evelyn Waugh , Richard Jacobs
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

The Bright Young Things of 1920s Mayfair, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade, whether it is promiscuity, dancing, cocktail parties or sports cars. 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 hedonistic fulfilment of their desires. Evelyn Waugh’s acidly funny and experimental satire shows a new generation emerging in the years after the First World War, revealing the darkness and vulnerability beneath the glittering surface of the high life.

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Product Description

About the Author

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was born in London and educated at Oxford. He quickly established a reputation with such social satirical novels as DECLINE AND FALL, VILE BODIES and SCOOP. Waugh became a Catholic in 1930, and his later books display a more serious attitude, as seen in the religious theme of BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, a nostalgic evocation of student days at Oxford. His diaries were published in 1976, and his letters in 1980.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 378 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316926116
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (31 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082FYQBO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,400 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb follow up to Decline and Fall. 18 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a Waugh masterpiece. A deeply satirical novel, it should not be viewed as merely a chronicle of 1930s hedonism. It is, rather, an often extremely sad text as it chronicles the frustrations of inter-war Britain and Europe and the Old World's struggle to discover a new role. Ideally one should read Decline and Fall first, not simply for the integration of characters, but because Vile Bodies is in many respects the natural successor to Decline and Fall in its carrying through of the themes of the age. Do not be sucked into a superficial spin through the facade of the jazz age, this novel has, whilst being short and exhilharating, a darker subtext. This novel proves that there is so much more to Waugh than 'Brideshead'. I thoroughly recommend this novel, but suggest Decline and Fall is read first, and if anyone is curious enough compare the two to Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night which share many common themes and make a fascinating comparison.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I first read this book when I still lived in London years ago, and laughed until tears rolled down my face. I still like to dip into the time worn pages of my Penguin book and chuckle over the antics of the "bright young things." The descriptions of "flapper" and air balloon parties, stupid politians, machevalian clergy, film making, sports car racing and love affairs are funny, funny, funny. The writing style is sparse, well thought-out and easy to read. The characters are engaging, the situations are absurd and I highly recommend Vile Bodies as a great way to spend a dull, rainy evening. It will liven you up!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Sarah Tipper TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This novel is set in the 1920s in Mayfair and is about dreadful young people. I noticed the following words and phrases recurring; How too, too shaming, bogus, divine, Don’t you think? Or don’t you? (this is quite an insecure way of speaking I thought, of asking the listener to agree). I think I prefer these words to today’s lol and yolo but every generation has a vocabulary to differentiate it from the previous one.
There are just a couple of mentions of sex and it gets alluded to with three dots sometimes... Also a lady wears trousers, which is shocking. Money is frittered away. At the end of the book most characters have met a sticky end and war breaks out. Throughout the book some older characters moan about young people nowadays and some think that the freedoms young people now have are good. It had the French phrase “Si jeunesse savait, si viellesse pouvait” which means that nothing ever occurs at the proper time in life. The characters have good names, the Prime Minister is called Mr Outrage. Also there is a newspaper is called the Excess, which is probably a parody of the Daily Express. I’m sure I missed a lot of the symbolism and key issues by reading it eighty-four years after it was published. I enjoyed it much more than those novels with bonnets in.
I'm going to read Decline And Fall next which I should probably have read first, but as I've learnt “Si jeunesse savait, si viellesse pouvait” :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved the Ending! 31 Jan. 2010
Format:Paperback
I'm not one to read classics on a regular basis, but I like the period and it was well worth it. The style does not feel like an 'old' book, far more like something you could read in a new release, the decadence and spontaneity, yet the closeness of the bread-line was startling in these characters but that was what it was like at the time, so this book feels like a window into their lives that seem so much more fun than our own.
In my copy Evelyn Waugh writes that during the writing of the book, he underwent some bitter experience, that effected the entire tone of the novel. I could not ascertain the exact point where he does that but he his quite right. The end is so bleak yet beautiful with such heavily ladled sarcasm I think it is a work of masterpiece. Ok slightly over the top, but well worth a read!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vile bodies that intrigue... 12 July 2008
Format:Paperback
When I read Brideshead Revisted I had begun to wonder why Evelyn Waugh was so highly regarded. Vile Bodies answered the question perfectly. His creation of characters is beautiful and effortless and he handles humour and pathos with great skill. The narrative style is simple, and varied, keeping the reader interested throughout. What I found most compelling about the book was how Waugh excellently balanced the frivolous and vacuous lives of the Bright Young Things with the serious issues of their lifestyle and the world which they lived in. I enjoyed the novel from beginning to end, grew to love the characters whilst despairing of their shallow partying lifestyles, seeing what was ahead of them and pitying them.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best of Evelyn Waugh's canon 13 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
There are four types of people in the world. Those who have never heard of Evelyn Waugh, those who think he's a woman and those who know him only as the author of Brideshead Revisted. The very rare fourth type knows Evelyn Waugh is one of the most brilliant satirists of all time and that in fact, Vile Bodies is his best effort. The second of 40 novels, Vile Bodies is his most characteristic work, brilliantly witty, stuffed with farcically brilliant characters who drink cocktails, go to costume parties, ride in motor cars and do little else. It was this novel that spawned the expression "bright young things" and is an excellent starting point for a love affair with Waugh. If you try it and love it, read Waugh's Put Out More Flags next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent packaging, excellent quality as described and it arrived ...
Excellent packaging , excellent quality as described and it arrived faster than I expected thank you
Published 26 days ago by Janimage
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent
Published 3 months ago by carol mcalea
5.0 out of 5 stars Evelyn Waugh classic
This is a typical Evelyn Waugh story. Very good reading. And the service was excellent.
Published 4 months ago by Brenda N
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book
Published 4 months ago by A. Hemming
3.0 out of 5 stars Book came apart somewhat,
Book came apart somewhat, not entirely sure if I'd describe that as "used-acceptable" but then the price was close to nothing
Published 5 months ago by Philip Fx
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good postage and quality.
Published 5 months ago by Ella Bradley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A well known novel
Published 8 months ago by George Redgrave
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic book on Society
This is a book by Evelyn Waugh, one of the earliest Riot Grrrlz whose works consist of the kind of sarcastic comments that would be common in writers like Dorothy Parker through to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by K. J. Woods
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant dissection of superficial values and English snobbery.
Some critics rate Evelyn Waugh among the top five English language writers of the 20th century. On the basis of Vile Bodies, and other books by EW, I wouldn't disagree with that,... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dr. W. H. Konarzewski
4.0 out of 5 stars Vile bodies
Well-packaged and in excellent condition.
I wasn't familiar with Waugh's early novels until I
happened to read "Scoop" (not really politically
correct by... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Spike Beszant
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