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on August 31, 2016
The second book of Waugh's trilogy is an outstanding, realistic account of the Second World War's interaction with British upper classes. The underlying thread is now more visible, the narrative is no longer a bit like a series of gags. In fact it becomes arresting. Some characters, namely Virginia's, do not sound human. The trilogy is far from possessing the unity and breath of "Brideshead", but it is very much worth reading.
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2005
I just finished "Officer and Gentlemen" after having read "Men at Arms" last year. I must admit that I began asking myself what the point of the story was through the first two thirds of the book. Waugh has an enjoyable style of writing that has carried me through others of his books. I remember thinking what a wonderful book "Brideshead Revisited" was after I finished it. However, to this day I'm not sure why the author wrote it. Evelyn Waugh has a reputation as a humorist but that, for me, is misleading. I can see his satire and spoofing of the upper class and there is much of that in "Officers and Gentlemen". However, Waugh is no Mark Twain. My favorite book by Waugh is "A Handful of Dust" which touched me very deeply. Reading that this, too, is a work of humor (as well as tragedy) confuses me.

"Officers and Gentlemen", as I mentioned, starts out slowly but reaches a point of real insight when the men of Hookforce enter the reality of war. The theater of war is Crete and the personalized images of war were, for me, the real value of the book. I realized that the first two thirds was to acquaint us with the different characters so we were better able to see the effects that war had on them. Along the way we do get a lot of "humorous" satire on the military and its bureacracy. One scene has the main Character, Guy, contemplating all that he has witnessed and experienced. His deep thoughts end when called for cocktails.

This is the sixth book by Evelyn Waugh that I have read. I'll read more because he writes well. I mentioned that ther are times that I wondered what his point was in writing a particular book. However, there are also times, such as I experienced in "Officers and Gentlemen" where I am very glad that I read the book.
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on December 16, 2016
Another paean to a lost order
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on June 5, 2013
An excellent second book of the trilogy, with the same keen eye for detail, irony and the ridiculous as Men at Arms. It is probably very realistic in its depiction of how very inefficient military life is, and how seldom the fight is taken to the enemy with any kind of effectiveness.
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on August 28, 2009
I only regret that I am so late in discovering the joys of Evelyn Waugh. Having read Men at Arms, I could not wait to get to Officers and Gentlemen, which is equally gripping and amusing. I look forward eagerly to the final volume in the war trilogy, End of the Battle. I will order it through Amazon, of course.
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on December 5, 2012
This novel is the continuation of Men at Arms of Mr. Waugh. If you have not recently read it, you will not understand the present one which makes fun of certain aspects of the English Armed Forces. Anyway it is an interesting book
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on October 24, 2014
subtle, understated, and in it's own way brutally honest and entertaining.
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on November 15, 2014
Classic. Buit WHERE IS THE FINAL VOLUME?
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on March 24, 2013
I have been meanig to buy E Waugh books and am finally doing so But has it come?
March 18: I was asked to say I still wanted it.
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on April 5, 2013
Got 15 books as a Christmas gift -all Evelyn Waugh. Trying to collect them all.. What can I say but a good read!!!!
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