Ira Bespalova's Reviews > The Loved One

The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
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's review
Feb 04, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: didn-t-enjoy, expected-it-to-be-better, had-to-read
Read in February, 2012

** spoiler alert ** The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy (1948) is a short satirical novel by British novelist Evelyn Waugh about the funeral business in Los Angeles, the British expatriate community in Hollywood, and the film industry.(wiki source)
blah-blah-blah. A world-renowned name, a piece of classical literature but it all didn't make me like this book.
The book was written as the result of Waugh's visit to Hollywood, and since the writer was not quite positive about Americans his book turned out pretty ironic, which annoyed me in the process of reading a bit. Another thing that is not very pleasant is reading non-stop about the dead and how those guys from the funeral agencies clean and wipe their wretched bodies and put make-up on them, thinking as if it's some sort of an art. It's a vital issue for sure but could Evelyn reduce all that creepy stuff? It's not scary or irrelevant, it's just annoying and boring.
Also the two folks Mr.Joyboy and Dennis Barlow are just as creepy as those dead men themselves. The first is a hilarious emasculated Willy-boy, the best embalmer in the town by the way, the second is a self-affected British poet. The only person that doesn't let you close the book is Aimée Thanatogenos. She is a nice sensible lady who's looking for something real in this life, she doesn't pretend or act wrongly. And those two bastards started to spoil her life which finally went down the drain. She was nice, innocent and pure, how could fate possibly bring them into her life!?
The loved one is undoubtedly written in the finest and most delicate language. The speech of protagonists is flowing. Yet I was waiting for a good final that didn't come round. The absurd death that didn't prove anything wasn't worth reading that book. At least I hoped for a paroemiac sense in the end but didn't find any. Certainly, life is not perfect. Well, neither are people. Still those two male protagonists were just run-of-the-mill.
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