A Handful of Dust Evelyn Waugh


Let's start by saying that I enjoyed this novel tremendously. The writing is superb, the story interesting, and I'm left with the intriguing aftertaste/feeling that I didn't really take full advantage of it while I was there.

Perhaps what I didn't get most of all are the various cover and jacket blurbs that proclaimed this bitingly funny satire. Perhaps the world has changed so much that I see nothing funny in it any more, but rather a kind of weary mirror of the self-love that so permeates modern society. Yes, the story is set in between-the wars England. Nevertheless, what might have been wildly funny at the time strikes me as all-too-real today.

The story itself is a depressing tale of self-love and obsession. The ending even more depressing because the only character with any character (and that admittedly little) ends up in limbo while people who have been horrid to one another end blissfully happy.

However, the whole thing is so well told and so compellingly interesting that it still merits high praise. And as I said, I obviously didn't "get it" this time around. Which is odd because I did find The Loved One amusing at times and right on target.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 17, 2004 11:56 AM.

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