- Paperback: 832 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Putnam~trade (April 26, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014004647X
- ISBN-13: 978-0140046472
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,547,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Diaries of Evelyn Waugh Paperback – April 26, 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
However, if I actually toted up the writers who were more or less horrible human beings, I wonder if they would outnumber those who seem to have been gentlepersons? I certainly wouldn't have wanted to have lunch with the following great writers who were arguably mean swine in life: Ernest Hemingway, Wyndham Lewis, Jonathan Swift, Kingsley Amis, de Sade, Genet, Philip Larkin ... and likely at the top of this list of unspeakable people would be Evelyn Waugh, with V.S. Naipaul a shadowy second.
Sadly, Waugh is probably the writer I like most of those I've mentioned, although Amis is certainly very entertaining at his best, even enlightening at times (THE GREEN MAN, e.g.).
Waugh was a snob in both the ordinary and religious senses, a boor in all senses of the word (someone once mentioned that he looked like a stuck pig). Reading the biography by Christopher Sykes, a close friend and fellow Catholic, makes you wonder if Sykes intended to damn Waugh with very faint praise.
He wasn't even kind to his family, treating his children in such a heavy-handed way that even Auberon, the most successful of them in worldly terms, never overcame his father's mistreatment. Laura, his wife, appears to have been his automoton and baby factory, even though those who knew her testified to her intelligence.
His bad nature permeates the book under review, as well as a capacity for boredom and depression that was likely organic.Read more ›
1. If you love his novels, you should read his diaries.
2. You will realize where A Handful of Dust came from.
3. This book could knock a grown man out, both figuratively and literally.
4. if you love his novels, maybe you shouldn't read where his brilliance came from.
5. Read Scoop afterward to wash away the bittersweetness.