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4.1 out of 5 stars
76
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 3 July 2015
Book was a bit worn but arrived promptly
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on 14 June 2012
The first chapter didn't impel me to read on but, due to references to this book during a television programme, I continued. It was the term 'bright young things', the period of history, and the Buckinghamshire setting of Colonel Blount's home that intrigued me. Waugh introduced new terms to the English language, delved deeper into the social concerns of this sector of society and all on my doorstep!
The characters are typecast; a device that develops the reader's view of the society. There are humerous moments which shroud more serious events. But then a society that is light and frivolous would overlook the serious and there is comedy in that. Well worth a read.
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on 1 April 2017
Excellent
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on 19 April 1999
Vile Bodies is an the personification of all that Waugh perceived to be inherent in the 1920's; a decade when double standards and the pure oppulence of the Jazz age was open to all who desired it. In many ways, the comparison between Vile Bodies and 'This Side of Paradise' by Scott Fitzgerald is welcomed. Both manage to give a true picture through unfettered eyes of the roaring '20s. Waugh has the ability to make you laugh whilst making a point, and is more subtle than his American contemporary. An excellent book, worth the money it costs and the time it takes to read. Extremely useful for students and all people who wish to understand history but do not desire reading dusty volumes of archaic literature.
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on 10 August 2015
Personally found it very dated
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on 17 November 2015
not for me
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on 18 May 2000
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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on 27 July 2016
I find his style rather wierd and dated.
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on 29 January 2003
Waugh's ramshackle satire of "the younger generation" is nothing but hilarious. Though written as a book of its time, the satire hasn't staled. The situations are blissfully absurd (I shall never ever forget the happenings at the motor race), the characters varied and a joy to read and the plot slim and small enough to let a good amount of wit shine through. There are dark, ponderous undertones to the book, and these help to make one feel less guilty about reading an entirely whimsical book. As I'm studying English Lit, I strive to find books that allow my teachers to go "Aaah good" whilst still entertaining me. Waugh is perfect at doing that, as my teachers seem to think it's all Brideshead Revisited (yawns). Anyway, a marvellous, wonderful, wonderfully marvellous and upsettingly brief read. Oh, and it might be good to read Decline and Fall first if you haven't. There's a few character crossovers and so on. Can't wait for Stephen Fry's film version...
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on 12 July 2008
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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