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Scoop

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  16,998 ratings  ·  928 reviews
Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of the "Daily Beast", has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner-party tip from Mrs Algernon Smith, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promis ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published 2003 by Penguin Books UK (first published 1938)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  16,998 ratings  ·  928 reviews


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Petra-X
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Evelyn Waugh was a snob, a racist, an anti-semite and a fascist sympathiser whose attitude was, in the words of his biographer David Wykes, "[Waugh's racism was] "an illogical extension of his views on the naturalness and rightness of hierarchy as the (main) principle of social organisation".

He was also jealous, personally nasty and malicious, had been a bully at school, and as James Lees-Milne said, "the nastiest-tempered man in England".

Waugh was, however, absolutely devoted to his adopted r
...more
Paul Bryant
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
There’s a song on Tusk by Fleetwood Mac where the chorus is “not that funny, is it” repeated over & over, & this did spring into my mind as I was a-reading Scoop but I opposed Lindsey Buckingham’s punkish sneer with an urbane “no, but it is amusing” as in it kind of makes you nearly smile inwardly almost the whole time except when of course as you must expect (this being Evelyn Waugh talking about a fictionalized Ethiopia in 1938) you hit the old colonial casual racism so be warned that there ar ...more
Richard Derus
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Biting and cruel and ever so Waugh, this read aged well enough in its characters and mostly well in the events that illuminate them. I read this about 35 years ago, alongside Waugh in Abyssinia, for a journalism course. I am sure that's the reason I liked the book as well as I did, since I disliked William Boot with vigorous and vitriolic epithetry.

Lord Copper, the vile capitalist, was Falstaffian fun, but I suspect I'd find him less so in my own old-manhood. All in all, a slightly-too-small arm
...more
Paul
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: waugh
2.5 stars
I’ve read little Waugh apart from Brideshead Revisited, which I loved; Waugh is writing there about the decline of the upper classes and writing about people he knew.
This is a comic novel about Journalism and the newspaper industry and is a very effective satire. Lord Copper, the tyrannical and megalomaniac newspaper boss was said to be based on Lord Northcliffe, but was probably also part Beaverbrook and Hearst. The story is based on Waugh’s experiences working for the Daily Mail as a
...more
Karl Steel
Sep 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Second time reading.

File this under guilty pleasures. I'm, well outraged isn't the right word, made weary by the dreariness of the other reviews of this book: plot summaries, gestures towards its transhistorical narratives (or towards its capturing that peculiar moment before the Nazis invaded Poland), and hamfisted comparisons to P. G. Wodehouse (different sort of writer entirely, although, hilariously, Wodehouse does get a shoutout as the plot winds down). And then, well, there's the fact that
...more
BrokenTune
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Review was first posted on BookLikes:
http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/...


For nearly two weeks now, the bent and creased copy of Scoop sitting on my desk has been staring at me. Patiently. Waiting whether I was going to write a review or not.

On finishing the book I had exactly two feelings about it:

1. As far as satire of the press goes, Waugh created the most delicious and entertaining spoof I could have imagined. However,

2. This book contained so many openly racist and chauvinist remar
...more
Daniel
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me laugh out loud, something that books rarely do. Then again, I don't read comical fiction. Still, I suspect that, were I to look into the genre, Waugh would stand out in the crowd.

This is the third book that I've read from Waugh's work, and of the three it is the clear favorite. Along with his usual talent for razzing British societal mannerisms, Waugh adds his satirical take on foreign policy in a small, developing country that is, ostensibly, under threat of civil war. What st
...more
Fabian
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We know that there will be general confusion by the people employed to keep it together. Newspaper novel: where are the machines, the news, the excitement? Plot? Character? The main character gets confused--a true staple of Waugh--but it really doesn't matter at the end, with these White Britons being interchangeable anyway. This is my first wah-wah-wah experience by Waugh. Handful of Dust, Decline & Fall, Brideshead Revisited, Vile Bodies--these are superb in a way that this one just isn't. ...more
Howard Olsen
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waugh followed the near-perfect "Handful of Dust," with "Scoop," an absolutely perfect "Newspaper Adventure" that satirizes journalism, especially as practiced by foreign correspondents. This was the perfect topic for Waugh; not only did he work throughout a career as a foreign correspondent, journalists are a recurring stock character in his fiction. Inevitably, Waugh portrays journalists as drunk, fast talking adventurers, who are not above making up a story in their pursuit of fame and fortun ...more
Elizabeth
Jan 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Journalists/people who like Wilde
Shelves: fiction, england
Journalists seem to love this guy. He's awfully snarky for a writer from the 1930s--but oh so good.

A quick read, "Scoop" is about a man "named" John Boot gets accidentally sent to Ishmaila as a foreign correspondent. The fellow manages to report some news after blazing through his budget and falling in love with a married gold digger named Katchen. Meanwhile Waugh paints a hilarious portrait of foreign correspondent idiots creating fake news and running around chasing ridiculous leads. It's not
...more
Phrynne
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Delightful, old fashioned, smart , funny, not at all politically correct. In fact Evelyn Waugh at his best. It is a very short book but I enjoyed every minute of it. The main character fumbles his way through outrageous situations but always has the fates on his side and he always comes up a winner. I loved it! ...more
Chris Chapman
Orwell said Waugh was almost as good a novelist as it is possible to be while holding untenable opinions. “Outside the owls hunted maternal rodents and their furry brood”; funny how he mercilessly speared sentimentality, given that it’s such a fundamental part of the fascism that he seemed quite partial to. But then internal logic was never the strong suit of bigots.
Anni
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Excerpt (Newspaper magnate Lord Copper to his employee William Boot who dare not contradict him):-

"Let me see, what's the name of the place I mean? Capital of Japan? Yokohama, isn't it?"

"Up to a point, Lord Copper"

- this sublime obfuscation of the truth has entered our family treasure-trove of useful retorts.

Scoop is utterly non-PC satire at its best - i.e. a wickedly funny skewering of British pre-war colonial snobbery at its worst.
Paula Bardell-Hedley
“News is what a chap who doesn’t care much about anything wants to read.”
Scoop is a much-admired satirical novel by Evelyn Waugh, widely held to be a comedic literary classic. It was first published in 1938 and recounts the tale of British foreign correspondents reporting on a civil war from the fictional East African country of Ishmaelia.

Waugh had himself worked as a special correspondent in Ethiopia during the 1930s, reporting for the Daily Mail on Mussolini's invasion. His experience
...more
Cheryl
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
It is an old Penguin book, the orange and white one, a reprint from 1951. This book, these musty papers are 8 years older than i am!
It was a 50c find, among boxes of old books for sale at the school fair last month. Maybe it was even just a quarter. Cheap as anyway. And still in good enough condition for reading; the pages arent falling out, there’s no water damage etc. And it has that marvelous musty old book smell. Aaah.
And what a surprise of a treat to read. Having read only Brideshead Revisi
...more
Nooilforpacifists
Add me to the list: hilarious. Sort of a British "salt-of-the-earth" comedy, where the common man is wiser than his supposed betters.
Zoeb
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What makes 'Scoop' such delicious, tongue-in-cheek reading even today, more than 80 years after it was first published? Obviously, it is more fashionable among the recent clout of readers to treat it as a quaint, albeit enjoyable, relic of those days when racial and gender stereotypes could be tossed up not so casually in English literature. Quaint, Evelyn Waugh's book is for sure, but I think that like all great satires which endure for generations, Waugh's hilarious farce of sensationalist tab ...more
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
There is a story that has long since entered into the mythology of journalism. It concerns William Randolph Hearst, among the most unscrupulous of the press barons, for whom newspapers were not so much a source of information but an expression of his personal power. After the beginning of the Cuban struggle for independence against Spain in the mid1890s he was active among those pushing for American intervention, seeing war as a way of selling even more newspapers.

The artist Frederick Remington
...more
Joshie
Eh, this fairly decent satire on journalism turns out to be a One Big Meh in my headline. It is not even that funny. The humorous moments mostly pile themselves at the start and the end where it sandwiches a droll and dull war in a fictional place with a very weird unrequited romance in tow. By the time it picks up again, with its characters that almost feel like puppets instead of people, my attention is barely there. And I also find it difficult to ignore Waugh’s downplayed but still apparent ...more
Ensiform
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Due to a case of mistaken identity, a mild-mannered columnist on country life, William Boot, is sent as a war correspondent to Ishmaelia, an independent African nation where dissent is brewing between long-time ruling family the Jacksons and anarcho-communist upstarts prompted by German and Russian interests. Boot, though utterly stymied by the lackadaisical and corrupt Ishmaleian government (as well as his fellow journalists), and through no merit of his own, scoops everyone and returns to an u ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Funny and fanciful, Scoop does not really feel nearly 80 years old reading it now. The various Boots are all hilarious as is Ishmaelia and the Jacksons. Incredible that this was written before WWII but still accurately depicts what I imagine of modern Beastly vs Brute journalism as represented by CNN Domestic vs Fox News in the US,TF1 vs M6 here in France...I think that unfortunately, there are two many Jacksons still devouring Africa except that are Chinese rather than European now. In any case ...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4:
Dramatisation by Jeremy Front of Evelyn Waugh's satirical 1938 novel.


Episode 1:
Hapless journalist William Boot is mistakenly sent to report on a war in Africa.

Episode 2:
William finds life as a war correspondent somewhat tedious, but he does fall in love and find himself in the middle of a revolution.
Paul
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-read-2011
Odd book really. Very dated language and ideas. Didn't see any of the humour, but the irony was laid on in spades
Dan
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
War! What is it good for? Well newspapers it appears.

A witty, tongue in cheek look at the newspaper industry and what it will do for a scoop!

As always Waugh's use of language is dated (but it was written in 1933) but his wit and first class writing style shines through in this great read!
dianne
Jun 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A neophyte nature writer is sent, by accident, to cover an incipient war in NE Africa that no one knows anything about. Jollity prevails. The experienced journalists race each other to Nowhere, suspiciously competitive, leaving behind our open-eyed news-virgin to “scoop” them all, helped a lot by an old schoolmate serendipitously placed in Ishmaelia and deus-ex-machina acts of kindness and recompense.

”A few sharp victories, some conspicuous acts of personal bravery on the Patriot side, and a col
...more
Mark
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant ! This fast paced, light and entertaining novel is a hilarious satire on the power of the press, and shows Evelyn Waugh at his stupendous best.

An innocent abroad, the hapless but engaging would-be journalist William Boot finds himself the victim of mistaken identity, time and time again, and as a consequence is famously and inadvertently sent overseas, to cover a civil war in darkest Africa. Here he endures a series of blunders but returns, none the worse, and is feted for his incredi
...more
Travis
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Waugh is a realist. His voice in Scoop is flippant, nonchalant, and gregarious. Yet, between the lines, in the subtext, in implication—or whatever way is best to put it—the book is a hard-nosed spoof, at points verging on satire proper. I’d be embarrassed to be a journalist, were I one, after reading Scoop; the book is a caricaturization of the occupation itself. It’s funny in points, and ridiculously so (e.g., the description of the goat head-butting the officer). It’s borderline touching and m ...more
Melaszka
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Rereading this after many years, I'm less impressed than I was with it when I first read it - mainly because the racism jars more than it did then, but also because at times the plot seems too slight and to hinge too much on an improbable deus ex machina.

The character of William Boot is a delight, however, and the naif-thrown-into-a-bearpit scenario works very well. Boot Magna is drawn in an endearingly dotty fashion and the romance with the manipulative Katchen, though underwritten, is compelli
...more
Jim
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fiction
Never before has there been such a great takedown of the press, especially of foreign correspondents. William Boot, columnist for The Beast, is mistaken for another writer named Boot and sent as a foreign correspondent to Ishmaelia, an unstable country in East Africa, which has recently been inundated by journalists. All of them have more experience than poor William Boot.

One day, the journalists are sent to a place that doesn't exist (their destination, Laku, means "I don't know" in Ishmaeli).
...more
Darwin8u
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Waugh's light satire is perfectly used to lampoon the press. The absurdities of journalism have apparently not changed much since the 30s. Waugh captures what Hitchens calls ' this world of callousness and vulgarity and philistinism.' Amen.
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Goodreads Librari...: SDone - Scoop - Description in French 3 17 Oct 12, 2019 09:43AM  
Guardian Newspape...: Scoop - May 2018 19 23 Aug 17, 2019 06:27PM  
All About Books: Week 60 - Scoop by Evelyn Waugh 4 17 Nov 10, 2014 10:34AM  

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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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“News is what a chap who doesn't care much about anything wants to read.” 27 likes
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