Review: Evelyn Waugh’s “A Handful of Dust”

by writereaderly

Another one on KM’s list, and it was a good’un. It starts off as a pretty good comedy-of-manners type book – “oh look, aren’t the upper classes rippingly self-important and funny!”. Lady Brenda Last has an affair with gormless John Beaver, abandons her manor-devoted husband Tony for him, and behold, the world falls apart in nasty ways. But wow, it went so far beyond intramarital spats and invitation sponging, and ended in particularly dark place (continental pun not intended). Extreme and unexpected. Made it a much better novel. Good read.

Where it came from: KM’s Bookshelf
Time & manner of reading: Devotedly during a 12 hour road trip
Where it went to: Home
Reminds me of: The novel I can’t damned well think of, written by a British woman, minor aristocracy, comedy of manners, bisexual character called “Boy”, really quite good — Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
Who I’d recommend it to: It’s a good one, especially if you want to relish the decadence of the dying upper classes
Also reading: The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene; The Plumed Serpent by D.H. Lawrence; The Reivers by William Faulkner

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