Buy Used
$3.89
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold Paperback – March 30, 1979


See all 38 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, March 30, 1979
$24.76 $0.01
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$45.00
Best%20Books%20of%202014

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books (March 30, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780316926225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316926225
  • ASIN: 0316926221
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,119,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

5 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), whom Time called "one of the century's great masters of English prose," wrote several widely acclaimed novels as well as volumes of biography, memoir, travel writing, and journalism. Three of his novels, A Handful of Dust, Scoop, and Brideshead Revisited, were selected by the Modern Library as among the 100 best novels of the twentieth century.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
5
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 11 customer reviews
It is very short and can be read in a day.
Alan OBrien
This is about the 7th or 8th book written by Evelyn Waugh that I have read.
Randy Keehn
His solution is cunning and the novella is a fine piece of writing indeed.
Constant Weeder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alan OBrien on December 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If there are any aspiring writers of comic novels out there then I earnestly entreat you to have a quick read of this book. Writing humour is never easy but here is the great Evelyn Waugh showing how to do it. Not a word out of place, the mot juste on every occasion, prose stripped down to the bare minimum.
I read this book about twice a year. It is very short and can be read in a day. And, heavens!, how hilarious it is!
It is based on a true life cruise that Waugh went on in which he really did start to hear voices.
It is not one of his most well-known so it can be hard to obtain; it's well worth it though!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Catspec on April 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Mr. Pinfold has become ill from his use of drugs, food and alcohol, and is in general dried up as far as writing goes. In order to "take the sea air" and follow his doctor's orders he embarks upon a cruise. He does not, however, stop the sleeping medications, and is probably seriously clinically depressed as well. the combination becomes the conduit for a series of hallucinations which become a nightmare and a reality for Gilbert Pinfold. Although humerous, the book is crafted in such a way that we see the suffering that losing touch with reality causes, and when Gilbert finally arrives at port and at peace, we are glad we read the book, and glad the author recovered his muse.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Constant Weeder on November 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Waugh, Evelyn, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1957.

A middle-aged novelist, somewhat corpulent and partial to his toddy, almost a mirror of Waugh at the time, books steamer passage to Ceylon for a solo vacation to settle his nerves. What he gets instead is incessant noise, voices, music and criticism directed at himself through the walls and floors of his cabin. How he deals with these disturbances makes for a troubling but sometimes hilarious and often moving novella. Are these noises hallucinations or cleverly designed tricks played over the BBC? Who is directing them? How would the reader react to them in Gilbert's place? His solution is cunning and the novella is a fine piece of writing indeed. Five stars.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph C. Sweeney on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
As someone who has suffered from psychotic delusions periodically over a good deal of my adult life, it can be said with certainty that I have never read a more realistic account of this type of mental illness than Evelyn Waugh's classic 1957 novel "The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold."

In the Note preceeding the text it is explained that author Waugh suffered "a brief bout of hallucination closely resembling what is here described" three years prior to writing the book. It is my view that only someone who has suffered from auditory hallucinations could have possibly led the reader on this excruciatingly painful yet revealing journey through the darker parts of the mind. Waugh knows of what he writes.

Highly recommended
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Randy Keehn VINE VOICE on October 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is about the 7th or 8th book written by Evelyn Waugh that I have read. Some are better than others and this is one of the better ones. In searching for the proper adjective to describe "The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold", I settled on "delightful". A writer (this is very autobiographical from what I understand) is suffering hallucinations for a variety of reasons; too much alcohol, too much medication, too many wrong combinations of each, etc. To recover up he sets out on a cruise to Ceylon on a modest-sized ship. His intention was to sober up but he kept putting that off and what we get is an hilarious account, through his eyes, of the various plots and subplots of persons real and imagined. The novel works best because it is told with sincerity through the eyes of the person having these paranoid hallucinations.

Mental illness is somewhat of a taboo these days so some may find the book offensive. If you're such a person then I don't recommend this book. I admit, I found similarities with Mr. Pinfold's experience and those of some clients of mine but I don't hold that against Mr. Waugh. Indeed, Mr. Waugh probably found it therapudical to write this book. I took it with that perspective and chuckled frequently throughout the book.

This is a rather short book and will probably be read from start to finish in the same day for most readers. After all, it is hard to put down primarily because it moves along so smoothly and you never know what will happen next. It wraps itself up very neatly and quickly at the end. Too bad it doesn't work that way for most people in the same boat (sorry).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on June 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This novel was apparently written at the suggestion of a psychiatrist who had treated Waugh for hallucinations he had experienced, as a way to "face his demons" and to move beyond them. It, therefore, is the most autobiographical novel he ever wrote. Gilbert Pinfold (Waugh) is a writer who lives a somewhat isolated existence. When he becomes ill ("allergies" his doctor tells him), he books passage aboard a ship (The Caliban) for Ceylon. After the ship sails he begins hearing voices, and the voices often have associations with past Waugh novels (he hears a revival sermon, for example, that seems to mirror a similar scene in VILE BODIES). At one point he hears what appears to be the captain of the ship committing a murder; at another he imagines he's being seduced by a character named Margaret. The voices continue all the way to Ceylon, but rather than recoiling from them or going mad, Pinfold learns to live with them. In that seems to lie his victory, for by the time he gets back to England, the voices have stopped. Although the writing of the book was a sort of exercise in bettering his mental health, Waugh still hoped "this record may amuse" his readers. Not as satirical as many of his novels were, nor as farcical as some others, the book is amusing in its own way.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?