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61 Reviews
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3 star:
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is one of the books that made me love english litterature. It is so wonderfully absurd and at the same time accurate in it's description of british society and education around 1930. When I sometime tires of Wodehouse and the constant mix-ups of his (otherwise wonderful) tales about Jeeves & Wooster, Psmith or Blandings Castle, Waugh is my choice. It is down to...
Published on 24 Jun 2003 by Thomas H. Frandzen

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't order Oxford Bookworms Version if you don't want
I think all reviews for this novel appear on all listings. Be sure not to order the "Oxford Bookworms Library: Stage 6" version unless you are looking for an abridged/adapted version for young adult readers. I ordered it by mistake and enjoyed it all the same, but wondered what I was missing out on.
Published on 17 May 2012 by Cara Bennett


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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic humour, 21 Jun 2013
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I read this book following its review on the In our Time podcast and it fulfilled expectations. Written before the current horror of anything even vaguely prejudiced Waugh was able to include hilarious comment on races and nationalities, which I believe were not meant to be taken at face value, but which provided an insight into various established outlooks.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very much representing social history, 4 May 2013
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Very much a product of its time - a classic parody of the upper class. I felt really uncomfortable reading some of it - it was gratifying to know that we have moved on considerably in terms of inclusivity in society.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very 1920s but excellent and quite funny, 10 July 2013
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This review is from: Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I brought it because of guests on In Radio 4's In Our Time thought it was hilarious, I thought it was funny in parts and clever.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle download excellent, 2 Jun 2013
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Kindle download excellent

I have nothing more to say on the matter except that the impositions on the size of the critique required dissuades commenting
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ok but a but dated, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Not as good as other books by the same author and contained some racisim. Liked tthe pace of the novel.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of 20th century, 5 May 2013
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This review is from: Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Very funny portrait of last twenties that fascinated me. It is writen in a way that makes you feel part of that society, a light yet profound approach of the values of a certain kind of people.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb, scathing first novel from the master of wit., 19 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Decline and Fall (Hardcover)
This first comic novel by Evelyn Waugh gets off to a flying start and the steady flow of surprises, caricatures and plot twists doesn't let up for a moment.
The work opens with the main character (Paul Prendergast) being expelled from his Oxford College after accidently becoming involved with a gang of upper-class hooligans on a wild drinking spree.
The chronicle of his subsequent adventures as he tries to make an honest living takes us on visits to a Welsh public school, a prison, a recently demolished stately home, the red-light district of a French port and a Mediterranean island.
Immersed in a social whirlwind of often bizarre upper class characters along the way, our hero hardly rests for a moment. Despite the fast pace, Waugh manages to work in a constant stream of sharp observations and acerbic comments.
The book can be achingly funny but must be seen in context. It is tainted by the social prejudices of the time and is racist, sexist and snobbish in parts. If you can forgive these faults, which characterise much of Waugh's writing and are a product of the period as much as the author, you are in for a roller coaster ride of wit that you will come back to time and again.
The book established Waugh's literary reputation and social status as the foremost wit of his day. It is easy to see why.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 16 July 2014
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fine thank you
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best and not very good in its genre either, 17 Feb 2008
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J. Thiry (Munich) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
From the same author I had read and liked "A Handful of Dust" and "Brideshead", two "serious" books, the latter made extremely famous by the mini-series starring Jeremy Irons. "Decline and Fall" belongs to the category of (slapstick?) comedy. I don't think it is a success as such though. It is plagued by flaws typical of first novels. Lack of momentum: each chapter seems to begin the story anew rather than take over when the preceding one left. Many characters (students and teachers) are not well individualised and socially unconvincing. Most importantly, much dialogue is redundant and leads nowhere: in a novel dialogue should either help the story forward or contain witticisms; when it does neither it should be curtailed. I should say that my judgement was probably made more exacting by the fact that I read this book after reading one of Waugh's contemporary and friend: Anthony Powell. I now realise that the latter deals with a similar subject matter a much more compelling way.
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vastly overrated, 18 July 2011
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John Nevill "jnev52" (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
There's not many times when I've been unable to finish a book, but this was one of them. Admittedly, there are some vaguely humourous bits in the first part of the book, but by about two thirds through it completely loses its way, and is simply boring.

I gave up at that point.

I should have known better from my earlier attempts to find Waugh's works "funny", but that's the last time I'll make that mistake.

So yet again, off to the Oxfam shop for that one, where it might do some good.
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Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics)
Decline and Fall (Penguin Modern Classics) by Evelyn Waugh (Paperback - 28 Aug 2003)
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