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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waugh's best!
This book is excellent, Waugh's dry wit shines through and his observation of society and people is top notch. The plot concerning an old aristocratic family, whose fortune is on the wane is not new, but in this book Waugh explores the relationships between people and mocks the upper class behaviour of the inter war years. The fact that the hero imprisons himself in...
Published on 31 Jan 2000 by MonkeyUK

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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cold and cruel
I am not a great fan of Evelyn Waugh as I find him to be cold and rather cruel at the expense of an accurate, if less precise, depiction of humanity. Each of his characters has human selfishness as a major part of their make-up and though that might be a still-fashionable view of humanity I find it too heavily dependent on who is doing the viewing. In this book a selfish,...
Published on 13 Sep 2009 by Eileen Shaw


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waugh's best!, 31 Jan 2000
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This book is excellent, Waugh's dry wit shines through and his observation of society and people is top notch. The plot concerning an old aristocratic family, whose fortune is on the wane is not new, but in this book Waugh explores the relationships between people and mocks the upper class behaviour of the inter war years. The fact that the hero imprisons himself in his aristocratic tomb, before becoming enforceably imprissoned in Brazil is a great joke and women, well this shows them... The book also reflects some of the hard times of the 1930's. First class and hilarious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best novels from a great 20th century writer., 19 Jan 2000
By 
J. R. S. Morrison "Bibliomane" (Adelaide, SA, Australia) - See all my reviews
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Evelyn Waugh was a master of the dry, cruel, empathetic and funny; this, perhaps the ultimate "innocent Englishman abroad" novel, travels from between-wars infidelity to a bizarre Conrad parody, and is uneasily hilarious all the way. Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perceptive genius, 18 July 2010
This review is from: A Handful of Dust (Paperback)
Evelyn Waugh needs to be read in consideration of the times in which he lived. As someone on the periphery of the Bright Young Things of the 1920s, he was part of a disaffected generation whose fathers, older brothers and uncles had been slaughtered during the First World War. They felt disconnected from the lives and attitudes of their parents and grandparents, whom they felt had made disastrous decisions for the future. The response to these feelings of disconnectedness was to react against everything these generations stood for. Theirs was an era of frivolity, lack of responsibility for their actions, of debauchery and incredible naivety. Is it any wonder then that EW can sometimes seem depressingly cold and cruel?

A Handful of Dust chronicles beautifully and sensitively, lives typical of the Bright Young Things. Brenda Last cares little for the devastation she leaves behind her, in her quest for what she sees as her personal happiness. To me, one of the most telling and mindblowing revelations about her is, on the tragic death of her son John Andrew in a riding accident, she is told of "John's death" and immediately construes it as the death of her lover John Beaver. On discovering that is is not Beaver but her son she exclaims "Oh thank God."

That many of the perceptions and sadnesses EW carefully depicts in this book are as current and relevant today as they were in the 1920s and early 30s, is possibly the reason some may find this book disturbing. Maybe it reflects a rather uncomfortable aspect of their own lives?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Handful of Dust, 22 Nov 2013
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Mr. G. M. Ashley (S. Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Handful of Dust (Paperback)
I was more than satisfied with the response from this seller. The book is interesting if not exciting. I found it a little different from my expectations of Waugh but nevertheless a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for book club, 1 Oct 2013
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This review is from: A Handful of Dust (Twentieth Century Classics) (Paperback)
Arrived on time in excellent condition and a great read! Really pleased to get hold of a copy in time for my book club.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect present, 9 Mar 2012
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Pierre Brewee - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Handful of Dust (Twentieth Century Classics) (Paperback)
I had this book in my library but when a friend emigrated to Finland I gave him this book as a present. And of course I bought me a "new" one, this one. Great literature.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Group book, 21 July 2013
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This review is from: A Handful of Dust (Paperback)
This was our chosen book, it was a great insight to life & times in the 1930's, Evelyn Waugh at his most succinct.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cold and cruel, 13 Sep 2009
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Handful of Dust (Paperback)
I am not a great fan of Evelyn Waugh as I find him to be cold and rather cruel at the expense of an accurate, if less precise, depiction of humanity. Each of his characters has human selfishness as a major part of their make-up and though that might be a still-fashionable view of humanity I find it too heavily dependent on who is doing the viewing. In this book a selfish, pampered wife takes up with a selfish, inconsequentiality of a young man, leaving her husband to rot alone in his stately pile. The shock for me is when she is told her small son John Andrew has been killed in an accident at a fox hunt. For a moment she thinks the "John" who has died is her lover (the inconsequentiality, also called John), and she cries out, "Oh, thank God!" when she realises it is only her little boy.

At one point in the plot it seemed to me that Waugh was merely bored, as I was myself, with the London-based back-biting and bitching and decided to introduce a bit of exotic foreign action.

I find Waugh's style of writing has not aged well. These people are all repulsive and there is not so much in the way of character among them as there is of caricature.
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A Handful of Dust (Twentieth Century Classics)
A Handful of Dust (Twentieth Century Classics) by Evelyn Waugh (Paperback - 26 April 1990)
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