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A Handful of Dust and Decline and Fall
Waugh at his devastatingly best in two great novels: "A Handful of Dust" and "Decline and Fall," coupled together in a "Laurel Edition" from Dell Publishing.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1959 by Dell
(first published 1959)
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I picked up "Handful of Dust" expecting to read a dry, British novel. I was unexpectedly drawn in to the story of John and Brenda Last, a well-to-do couple in the 30s who hit a marital bump in the road when she takes up a lover in the city and experience a family tragedy. In order to escape from an expensive divorce and potential need to sell his family seat, John decides to tag along with an explorer to Brazil's jungles. The novel take a quiet but chilling turn and makes "Handful of Dust" one o ...more
Jan 28, 2011 Kristin rated it really liked it
An amusing look into British society during the post-modern period. While the first half of this book drags a bit for my tastes, it picks up in the second half and becomes quite entertaining. While Waugh isn't my favorite post-modern author, Decline and Fall is a quick and easy read for anyone who wants a quick taste of what that literary era was like.
Decline and Fall is the story of Paul Pennyfeather, a rather unexciting character who manages to drift through fantastic and captivating incidents and situations in 1920s England and Wales surrounded by fascinating personalities and hilarious consequences to his mild actions. A really enjoyable read, loved it.
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