- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 December 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141185058
- ISBN-13: 978-0141185057
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Waugh in Abyssinia (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 7 Dec 2000
About the Author
Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903 and educated at Hertford College, Oxford. In 1928 he published his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies, Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). During these years he also travelled extensively and converted to Catholicism. In 1939 Waugh was commissioned in the Royal Marines and later transferred to the Royal Horse Guards, experiences which informed his Sword of Honour trilogy (1952-61). His most famous novel, Brideshead Revisited (1945), was written while on leave from the army. Waugh died in 1966.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
He himself says that he is irritated by the average Ethiopian person who thinks he is equal to anyone in the world. Even if one considers that this was written during World War II, I find it difficult to forgive this guy for thinking so blatantly in a racist manner. The book is just a reflection of his frustration. I find it difficult that European readers continue to admire this guy.
Frankly, I consider the money I spent on the book as a total waste.
Secondly it works as a discussion of the information industry in times of conflict. Much of the book is taken up with the description of the reporting of events that did not happen. Of sorties and actions that didn't occur and the dearth of information on those engagements that did. It says much about the issue of propaganda and the lethargy of a dying administration.
And lastly it gives a window into a lot of the social mores of the time and they manner in which someone in Waughs position saw the world and interacted with it. Certainly some later readers will pounce with glee upon some of the phraseology which would not be tolerated now, taking it as proof that their own holy cows were pure as the driven snow. But that would be to miss the point in a very self serving manner. Better to take it as an insightful work that speaks its mind unapologetically.
Very interesting if you have an interest in the interwar years of the 20th century. The prose is flowing enough while still being formal - a masterful way of hiding many of the more blunt observations. The book is hardly a tome, though it is sad that there are no photographs to accompany the text and a map would have been a useful adjunct. I printed a small one out and kept it in the back of the book.
The super justly famous Evelyn Waugh created, in this book, a tremendously educational outline and insight into a whole period, and parts of it are so witty that tears of laughter were running down my face several times.
Interestingly, to me at least, the original purchaser of the copy I got evidently did so in 1986, in Nairobi. I have a feeling it is not available at your local newsstand, but if I knew how good it is and didn't already have it.. I'd sure be looking for it.
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