From sleepy rural England to decadent London and the jungles of Brazil, Waugh describes the fortunes of Lady Brenda Last and her husband Tony, as her infatuation with the man-about-town John Beaver leads to the break-up of her marriage.
©2009 The Beneficiaries of the Waugh Settlement (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
trying to see the world with my ears
I was ready to pick out Waugh's undercurrents of misogyny and racism, but he satirizes everybody equally here. A very strange but compelling listen - captivating, dark humour, really good prose that's well narrated. I haven't seen the film version, but now I can't wait to see what Hollywood did with this stange brew. Later satires on the decline of Brit aristocracy echo much of this, but Waugh is darker, deeper --- and welll, he was THERE.
"Heartbreaking social satire"
This novel should rate in the top 10 of any list of 20th century fiction - what starts as apparently brittle social satire ends as a universal comment on the values of decency [and perhaps dullness] in a society of selfishness and avarice. It also manages to express a lacerating perspective on the consequences of egotism with both humour and wisdom.
"One of Waugh's best"
I cannot recommend this audiobook of A Handful of Dust enthusiastically enough. The novel is sufficiently canonical for it to be unnecessary to say anything in its praise. Andrew Sachs reads it very well indeed. He doesn't have Michael Maloney's smooth way with the satirical passages, but Tony's decency and Brenda's more compromised morality both come across beautifully. He is particularly good in the penultimate chapter set in Brazil, and renders it in exactly the tragicomically sinister fashion it demands.
Great book read beautifully by Andrew Sachs. My favourite audible book by far ! 5 star
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