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Vile Bodies
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1001 book reviews > Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

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Chinook | 282 comments 4 stars (maybe more like 3.5)

At first I wasn’t particularly enjoying this and it seemed it would be a bit of a slog. I thought perhaps not being of the English interwar years or knowing about the “it” people of the time, I was basically missing all the jokes and there wasn’t any more to it. But then I hit a few parts were the boredom with all the parties and shenanigans started to show and it suddenly struck me that it was awfully similar to the expats in Korea lifestyle. And then the plot itself got a bit grimmer and, I think, more interesting towards the end as well. This was my first Waugh but it won’t be my last.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments 4 stars

Clever. Comic. Smart. Quick. I listened to a beautifully produced audiobook which made me laugh more than once and which I hated to push the stop button on in order to listen to my husband. It was charming and surprising. It felt quite modern despite its time and setting. I highly recommend this one.


Kristel (kristelh) | 4259 comments Mod
Read this for 1001, TBR takedown. Audio. This book, the second of Evelyn Waugh's books published 1930 is about the Bright Young Things or young aristocrats of the twenties in prewar London. It also features the tabloid press, following the crowd and trying to make news. Interestingly, authors writing about the "bright young things" included Nancy Mitford (Highland Fling), Henry Green (Party Going), Anthony Powell (Dance to the Music of Time) as well as Evelyn Waugh.

Vile Bodies is a follow-up to his first novel, which I have not read and did not realize this was a follow-up but I don't think that was a problem. We have the anti-hero, Adam Fenwich Synes in his quest to marry Nina and parodies the conventions of romantic comedy.

Yes, there really is nothing new in this generation that hasn't been commented in other generations. Therefore it is timeless. Also said to be the first book in which most of the dialogue occurs over the telephone.


Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount) (ravenmount) | 481 comments I found a bunch of Waugh audiobooks on youtube recently, so I've been listening to them while crocheting (blankets, worked from the center, so that the outer rows take FOREVER and require something interesting to listen to while stitching). I think this was my 4th Evelyn Waugh novel so far, so I have started to get a better feel for Waugh's style, especially his approach to humor. I may have to go back and listen to the first one(s) again to see if I like them better now. In any case, this was my favorite so far. In this novel a young man keeps trying to find some way to obtain enough money to be able to marry his sweetheart Nina, and by chance lands himself a job as a gossip column journalist. His adventures reminded me quite a lot of what Wodehouse's characters get up to.
In this novel The Great War had happened, and the 'older generation' is baffled about the decadent, immoral lifestyle of the younger generation. Hints of the new war yet to come seem to be invisible to many of the older generation, while the young folks seem to be frenetically squeezing as much out of life as they can, as if sensing an end to their world not far off. So, while the bulk of this story is about a bunch of well-dressed people who party a lot and seem to have very little concern for the future, it has undertones of more serious events going on just out of view.
I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.


message 5: by Book (last edited Mar 27, 2022 08:03AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Book Wormy | 2082 comments Mod
3 Stars

I actually really enjoyed this little book it was funny and irreverent and the characters were relatable and amusing. The situations they get themselves into are extreme but there is something about this people that means that most of the time they will come out the other side intact. By the end of the novel the impact of WWII is being felt in the lives of our bright young things and it is this looming conflict that may be the thing to finally sober this high flying group.


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