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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivatingly silly read.
This is a book which will not appeal to all tastes. Its verbosity and self-consciousness are all part of its satiric/parodistic purpose: I imagine one finds it absurd and overblown or great fun. The latter is my assessment. The edition here (Yale Nota Bene) is hugely aided by the wonderful sketches by the author, added to his own copy of the first edition. I suppose a...
Published on 16 Mar. 2006 by S. J. Williams

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars zuleika dobson
It is a lampoon on the oxford privileged students of the Edwardian era. If you think of this context it is quite funny BUT it is now dated and instead of good farce it just becomes a bit silly. It has not aged well. Beerbohm's humour has not stood the test of time.
Published on 29 July 2010 by Mr. E. G. Coia


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivatingly silly read., 16 Mar. 2006
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S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a book which will not appeal to all tastes. Its verbosity and self-consciousness are all part of its satiric/parodistic purpose: I imagine one finds it absurd and overblown or great fun. The latter is my assessment. The edition here (Yale Nota Bene) is hugely aided by the wonderful sketches by the author, added to his own copy of the first edition. I suppose a little like Cold Comfort Farm, but mock effete as opposed to mock romantic and rustic. Light and amusing. A real pleasure.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Max�s incomparable masterpiece, 13 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Zuleika Dobson (Paperback)
"Zuleika Dobson", subtitled "An Oxford Love Story" was written by Max Beerbohm in 1911. Though Beerbohm was a prolific caricaturist and essayist, it is his only novel, and in some ways represents a distillate of his highly idiosyncratic talent.

Zuleika, the dazzling offspring of a curate and a circus-rider (Beerbohm took great trouble to contrive appropriate names for all his characters) is the granddaughter of the Warden of Judas College, Oxford. On her first - and possibly only - visit to the city, during Eights Week, her beauty wreaks havoc among the undergraduates, not least the Duke of Dorset, a youth of (even in 1911) anachronistically godlike perfection. Though the novel has been variously interpreted as a satire on snobbery, the herd instinct, war & so forth, the author has said that he only ever intended it as fantasy; & it is in such a spirit that it ought to be approached.
Though a great part of the novel's charm lies in its evocation of a world now vanished - the pre-Great War Oxford of aesthetes and hearties, Max's own fascination with the demi-monde and the music hall - its great genius, and the greatest delight for the reader, lies in the author's own inimitable narrative voice. Beerbohm, as he tells us in an early aside, has been selected by the muse Clio for the purpose of relating the lovely Zuleika's story as fact, and thereafter we see him wholly (even uneasily) aware of the Olympian task that has been laid upon him, trying to reconcile the appropriate flights of Homeric eloquence with the crashing, inarticulate bathos of Edwardian undergraduate idiom, of which he unerringly manages to seek out and present, with a sort of apologetic helplessness, the worst possible examples. Re-reading "Zuleika Dobson" I suddenly saw for the first time exactly what Donna Tartt means in "The Secret History", when she writes that English is, in some ways, just not suited to Greek translation. But has anyone but Beerbohm ever exploited the disparity to such precise comic effect? And yet "Zuleika Dobson" is a profoundly beautiful piece of art as well. "I am never quite certain," says the author at one point, "whether I be or be not quite a gentleman." And the answer, of course, is that he is not, quite - any more than the wild fauns in Saki's drawing-rooms can be made quite respectable by putting them in starched collars and patent shoes - and for the same reason; that Beerbohm is at heart a Pagan, and that despite a few cursory nods in the text to Heaven, and Hell, and the startling number of Old Judasians who become clergymen, Zuleika Dobson is, au fond, a Pagan book, a book in which beauty and art and youth are not mere worldly gauds but ideals in themselves. And it is because of this intrinsic Paganism that in the end the bathos rises above farce to become something of real pity and art in its own right. If you have been an undergraduate, the chances are that you will have been at least half a young Pagan yourself, and Zuleika Dobson will ravish your heart. I genuinely cannot understand how any reviewer can possibly have awarded it fewer than five stars. I'd give it more, if I could.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sublime novel, 21 July 2005
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This review is from: Zuleika Dobson (Paperback)
Anyone with an appreciation of the gentle humour and satire in Evelyn Waugh's novels will thoroughly enjoy this warm and enchanting tale set in Oxford.
Zuleika, as the student population soon finds, is utterly captivating and her suitor, the Duke of Dorset, has a wonderful pomposity that Beerbohm pricks with witty cleverness. The supporting characters are just as credibly drawn, all contributing to a very amusing, thoughtful and entertaining story.
Those who would dismiss it as full of preening self-regard and snobbishness have clearly overlooked Beerbohm's subtle self-deprecation. I'm surprised the book's treacle-treading detractors haven't also pointed out two rather glaring geographical errors in the first few pages (you'll have to find them yourselves).
But, those aside, this novel is rightly a classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully written satire, 6 Jan. 2009
An enchanting story that was both tragic and comic at the same time and exquisitely written. One cannot help feeling sorrow for the poor Duke who throws his life away in order to keep a promise to a woman that he soon realises is utterly unworthy of such a gesture but also one feels extreme irritation at his futile pride. It was one of those novels where I found myself almost pleading with the poor young man not to do it and hoping that some twist of fate would prevent him from throwing his life away for a shallow and worthless woman.
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5.0 out of 5 stars pleasure to read, 3 Oct. 2011
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I enjoyed reading this novel. Would recommend it to anyone who likes English satyre. Elegant, delightful prose, fine depiction of Oxford of the 19th century and the life as a student of one of its colleges. The main character is the true "heroine of her times". A very clever, entertaining book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars zuleika dobson, 29 July 2010
By 
It is a lampoon on the oxford privileged students of the Edwardian era. If you think of this context it is quite funny BUT it is now dated and instead of good farce it just becomes a bit silly. It has not aged well. Beerbohm's humour has not stood the test of time.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderfully satirical tale of the elite, 11 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
Zuleika Dobson is brimming with perfectly balanced emotion, magic and satire. It is full of bizarre twists and unexpected events, providing a captivating and humorous piece of entertainment for any connoisseur of the British class system.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The 'heroine'/ femme fatale, Zuleika, does not inspire ..., 2 Dec. 2014
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The 'heroine'/ femme fatale , Zuleika, does not inspire any sympathy!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black comedy that will keep you laughing, 29 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This is one of the greatest black comedies ever written. It should make you laugh out loud ... even if you're British. But be careful before giving it to your girlfriend ... she may start asking more of you than you'd expected.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gentle escapism !, 25 Sept. 2010
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A very enjoyable read, so far !! will take in on holiday as I'm sure it will absorb me during the endless wait at airports !!
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Zuleika Dobson
Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm (Paperback - 19 Aug. 2004)
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