e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “Evelyn Waugh”

‘Scoop’ by Evelyn Waugh

I’ve just finished reading this 1938 novel. I’ve not read much of Waugh’s work and I don’t think this book will change that.

Up to now, the only one of his novels I could remember having read was The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. As a study of what it’s like to suffer hallucinations I had found it brilliant, and I felt it really deepened my understanding.

So it was with high expectations that I picked up Scoop.

The prose style flows well and the story is short and light, but I found it hard to get into.

I think this is largely because the satire on journalism and the newspaper business, although still relevant, seems now so obvious that the author’s points are not worth making. Post-hacking I’m too cynical to see any revelations in it.

Setting up a central character who falls into situations rather than acting on them, was also, I think, a mistake. I found it difficult to be really concerned about his fate.

I’ve no doubt that what Waugh had to say was true then and is probably even truer now – but my main reaction is ‘so what’.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: