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Remote People

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Paperback. Pub Date: 2010 08 Pages: 192 Publisher: Penguin Classics Perhaps the funniest travel book ever written Remote People begins with a vivid account of the Coronation of Emperor Ras Tafari - Haile Selassie I. King of Kings - an event Covered by Evelyn Waugh in 1930 as special correspondent for The Times. It continues with subsequent travels throughout Africa. where ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 28th 2002 by Penguin Classics (first published 1930)
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M. D.  Hudson
Evelyn Waugh goes to Ethiopia for the coronation of Hailie Salassie -- great stuff. Not particularly PC, however, so do not read if you are offended by early 20th century western attitudes towards other cultures. Fine book.
I wanted to kick this guy.
I know, 1930s, different view, different ways. Blah, blah, blah.
But Waugh is condescending - both towards Africans and Europeans. Ironic, mostly towards others, rarely towards himself. Completely insensitive when it comes to African peoples.
And, of course, colonialists are awesome and they are doing locals a favor by messing with their affairs. Light of civilization and other stuff - not a single critique word is articulated by Waugh.
Summary of this book is, basical
Waugh is, as usual, rather acid and condescending. He doesn't take anybody seriously, himself included. That being said, I didn't start this expecting sensitive portrayals of cultures and people. However, IMO, if anybody ever needed a little historical cutting down to size (sorry, bad phrasing considering his height) it is Haile Selassie, and so far Waugh's description of Selassie's coronation is really funny.

After finishing the entire book, I would say that if you are really interested in the r
This is a typically unsympathetic view of Africa and Africans from the 1930s. The most readable part is the chapter on the Coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie.

The other half of the book is a journal of a tour through other East African countries -- mostly devoted to the goodness of the colonizers, complaints about the heat and food etc.

Quite enjoyable. Not one word in excess. Precise and funny descriptions (we should remember that Waugh made this trip in 1930). And above all, he never tries to show off - it's always the country or the rest of the people who are the leading characters. So far, Evelyn Waugh has never disappointed me.
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Evelyn Waugh's father Arthur was a noted editor and publisher. His only sibling Alec also became a writer of note. In fact, his book “The Loom of Youth” (1917) a novel about his old boarding school Sherborne caused Evelyn to be expelled from there and placed at Lancing College. He said of his time there, “…the whole of English education when I was brought up was to produce prose writers; it was al ...more
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