- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Penguin UK; UK ed. edition (2 February 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140188371
- ISBN-13: 978-0140188370
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,71,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Labels: A Mediterranean Journal (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 2 Feb 1995
About the Author
Evelyn Waugh was born in 1903 and was educated at Hertford College, Oxford. In 1928 he published his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). In 1945 he published Brideshead Revisited and he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1952 for Men at Arms. Evelyn Waugh died in 1966.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
"the new book that interests me most this week is Labels ... less for any outstanding merits it may possess than from the fact that I wrote it myself" as the author himself wrote in review!
Full of that marvelous inherited family wit, the book contains several favorite sentences, often quoted or at least partly remembered by fans of this family's writing. A gushing encounter at a tony cocktail party:
"..I love your books so much I never travel without them.. I keep them in a row by my bed."
"..by any chance you are not confusing me with my brother, Alec? He has written many more books than I.'
"Yes, of course. What's your name then?"
"But... they said you wrote!"
"Well, yes I do a little. You see I couldn't get any other sort of job".
Evelyn adds ruefully that he wondered if she would add Labels to the row by her bed.
Another gem, perhaps the most famous paragraph written in the entire genre of travel...
"I do not think I shall ever forget the sight of Etna at sunset; the mountains almost invisible in a blur of pastel grey, glowing on the top ... the whole horizon behind radiant with pink light, fading gently into a grey pastel sky." Then the final sentence: "Nothing I have seen in Art or Nature was quite so revolting."
A wonderful romping read.
These travels take place in 1929 and so this book is fascinating as an account of a long vanished world as much as being a record of Waugh’s trips. He is a young man here, having published only one biography and one novel. At this time, his brother Alec was a far more successful writer than he was – indeed, he makes light of being mistaken for his brother by a woman he meets, but it surely rankled. His sharp humour is very much in evidence in this wonderful volume and he is full of sly observations. In Cairo, for instance, he is slightly overwhelmed by staying in a hotel so close to the pyramids. It is, he observes, “like having the Prince of Wales at the next table in a restaurant; one kept pretending not to notice, while all the time glancing furtively to see if they were still there.”
During this book, Waugh has a warm and chatty style; he is charming, charmed and open to new experiences. If you have enjoyed Waugh’s more famous novels, then this will show you another side to the author as he just started out on his travels. Like all his books, it is a delight.
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