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The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  641 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Evelyn Waugh's short fiction reveals in miniaturized perfection the elements that made him the greatest satirist of the twentieth century. The stories collected here range from delightfully barbed portraits of the British upper classes to an alternative ending to Waugh's novel A Handful of Dust; from a "missing chapter" in the life of Charles Ryder, the nostalgic hero of B ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published September 20th 2000 by Back Bay Books (first published 1953)
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Carol
Waugh's work is shocking and hilarious. I only wish he could return briefly and leave us something on the politically correct. But as that will surely not come to pass, I must say, that this volume is a great footnote, to the god of caustic disdain, to be read in bits and pieces – and again and again. I began reading these short stories months and months ago, then the book got packed for moving and I just recently unpacked it and began reading it again. Of course, I had to reread the stories I h ...more
Sweetman Sweetman
I love Evelyn Waugh's novels, I wallow in his satiric novels: "Scoop", "Vile Bodies", "A Handful of Dust" and in my search for more of the above, I came across this collection and what a lucky find! He is sharp and stinging and hilarious! I don't think I would ever want him as a relative or wish him as a father upon my worst enemy (quote Mr. Waugh: "My stories are more dear to me than my children. If a child dies, I can just have another."), but his biting edge and insight to the frailties of hu ...more
Paul
Well - now I've finished -- better than I had expected, and a very wide range: from surprisingly poignant and sad to quite "out-there" (Love Among the Ruins is an amazing story!). Quite good and I recommend it.



just trying this out - Waugh's work in this form isn't as well as the novella/novels - about 1/2 way through - I'm finding these wry and intelligent, gently pointing out foibles and the ridiculous in the upper-class's attitudes about all others - very nicely wrought and efficient, compact
...more
Rambling Reader
it's interesting how novelists aren't historically successful with short stories. case in point.
Jackie
"It seems to me sometimes that Nature, like a lazy author, will round off abruptly into a short story what she obviously intended to be the opening of a novel."

So writes Evelyn Waugh at the start of part 4 of "A House of Gentlefolks", one of many short stories in this wonderful book that do just that, finishing the story but leaving the reader knowing there could be much much more. Clearly Waugh had many many ideas and as this is the first writing of his that I've read I've no experience to say
...more
Marie E.
Loved a Handful of Dust and Evelyn Waugh delivers the same biting wit through these stories. I love the juxtaposition of serious story line with awkward British humor. Of note are "The Man Who Liked Dickens" an alternative and darker ending to a Handful of Dust; the two stories comprising the unfinished novel Work Suspended (interesting because the main character of both is an author who has writers block, so I wonder if the unfinished novel is intensional); the sad "Bella Fleace Gives a Party"; ...more
Arwen Downs
While I am loving Evelyn Waugh's short stories almost almost almost as much as Edith Wharton's (same initials - coincidence?), there is something to the despairing nature of them that hits me a little lower below the belt. Perhaps it is the fact that it has been raining incessantly here in Boston, but after some of the stories I just set the book aside and stare into space for a couple of minutes before I go on. Other than that, Waugh is delightful in every way. His characters are alternately va ...more
Bronwyn
4.5
I enjoyed most of the stories. The school ones were probably my least favorite just because I don't understand the English school system, but that's not Waugh's fault. The juvenilia was okay, the Oxford stories better. The adult stories were the best, but with a few misses. I really enjoyed "Bella Fleace", "Winner Takes All", "Cruise", and the one about the dog (I'm blanking on the title). I also really enjoyed all the ones with married couples, just because he does them so amusingly. Great
...more
Ero
Most of the complete stories are brilliant, of course. It's amazing how well he mingled deep misery and hilarity: most of these pieces make you laugh while you're reading, then afterwards you feel extremely sad. I'm rating it only three stars simply because at least half of the book is unfinished work or juvenilia, and as a result it was a bit of a chore to finish.
Daniel Polansky
Tremendously funny, very mean, as good a prose writer as the 20th century produced. It made me laugh awkwardly at bars.
Michael
There’s certainly no need for me to expound upon Evelyn Waugh’s greatness as a writer here. The reputation of the author of “Brideshead Revisited”, “Put Out More Flags” and “The Loved One” is quite secure—for the moment. And who else would be drawn to a book of his short stories but a fan? Still, there’s plenty to recommend “The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh.” His original take on the short story (“The Balance”), his jarring surprises (“The Man Who Liked Dickens”, Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing” ...more
Kristy
Hmm I should have started with his novels. I didn't get a couple of the short stories as you needed to have read the novels to appreciate them. However there were a few stories in there that made me laugh out loud, my favourite being 'Cruise' which was a series of letters written by a 'young lady of leisure'. I also particularly enjoyed 'Mr Loveday's Little Outing' and 'Love Among the Ruins.'
Esonja
Well written, enjoyable stories. Evocative without violence or too too much frivolity. Little twisted twists, and not strenuous. But, the thing is, though some stories were quite effective (and disturbing) it didn't grab me on the whole, and I won't soon be looking for more from this author - just OK on the whole.
Pa
Witty and at times wicked, Waugh's short stories are unforgettable in their power to depict the human mischief, folly and failures. The opening of each story is sharp and strong, and the stories progress with entertaining and comical details. Waugh is definitely one of my favorite authors of the short form.
Carly
I didn't read all of these short stories. As is evidence by how long this has been on my currently-reading list, it wasn't a page turner. I initially picked up this book because I wanted to read "The Man Who Loves Dickens", which I really liked. I only read one or two more. They were okay, but not my favorite.
Sarah
Another one for the Modernist in me.
Aptly described by the guy who reads to me in bed as "England's Fitzgerald," Waugh's short stories skip lightly to a usually grim end.
Coki
Just a little quick something for the break room - although the first one was kinda depressing. but I hear that hoity-toity accent in my head and it makes me giggle!
Daniel
Jul 08, 2008 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who know Evelyn is a man.
Recommended to Daniel by: Me.
What can you say about Evelyn Waugh except, except....there are always going to be people who think he's a woman.

Next on to "The Loved One."
Dan
I read "Mr. Loveday's Little Outing" when I need a lift or when I have had to grade too many bad student essays.
Annette
I do enjoy the humour... couldn't relate to the British schoolboy stuff. Do like his novels...
Erica
Evelyn Waugh remains one of my favorite authors. His stories are so funny, so bitter, and so sad.
Joel
Jan 21, 2008 Joel marked it as read-some
Recommended to Joel by: Sarah
Wodehouse with a heavy heart or Fitzgerald with a light one?
Stacia
these little, brown anthologies are fancy-looking.
Lexi
Slightly disillusioned yet light and fun.
Tim
Oh my Evelyn
Daniel
She’d always reminded me of Jeff Archer’s wife, Lady Archer. Every time she entered a wine bar heads would turn. Or alternatively, the bourgeoisie and grandiloquent people would just swivel their stools round so they didn’t have to strain their necks. Her views were pretty trenchant, described by one university scientist as “...a facile by-product of a facile product.” Wikipedia has made her university education all but pointless. In her right hand, she had a calling card. And in her left, she d ...more
Miles Rind
This volume contains not only all the pieces of fiction of less than book length that Evelyn Waugh published commercially but also those that he wrote as a boy in school and those that he published as a young man at the University of Oxford. The commercially published pieces include such grim gems as "Bella Fleace Gave a Party," "Winner Takes All," the horrifying "The Man Who Loved Dickens," and the late pieces "Scott-King's Modern Europe" and "Basil Seal Rides Again." The juvenilia begin with " ...more
Joseph
I'm glad I previously finished Waugh's first novel, Decline and Fall, before tackling this collection of short stories - particularly because of its inclusion of fragments, juvenilia, and early unpublished works. Maybe that's just the way I'm wired, but it was easier for me to pick up on the author's acerbic wit after having become a little more familiar with his writing.

Well worth the time for lovers of all things Britishly funny.
angela
It was recommended to me that I read Vile Bodies, but it wasn't immediately available at my library so I opted for Waugh's collection of short stories. Having not done any research, I was really surprised to find that a man would be called Evelyn. That's really neither here nor there though. I loved several of those short stories, liked others, and detested a handful. Some were just too long and the language was irritating to me, especially the few written in a 19th century vernacular. However, ...more
S.L. Dixon
I've read this collection a few stories at a time for the last month.
Evelyn Waugh was fantastic with humor, irony and with the outright ridiculous. It is obvious in many cases that he made his mark on authors as time has moved into the present.
Many of these stories I'd read or heard before, but some I hadn't, worthwhile revisit anyway. At times I cackled while I read.
My favorites of this collection were The Manager of the Kremlin, Bella Fleace Gave a Party, Cruise, The Man Who Liked Dickens, P
...more
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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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