Subtitled "A Novel of Many Manners", Evelyn Waugh's notorious first novel lays waste the "heathen idol" of British sportsmanship, the cultured perfection of Oxford, and the inviolable honor codes of the English gentleman.
Sent down from Oxford after a wild, drunken party, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly surprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at a boys' private school in Wales. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, rascals and fools, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and Captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds in Evelyn Waugh's dazzling debut as a novelist, the young run riot and no one is safe, least of all Paul.
©1956 Evelyn Waugh (P)2012 Hachette Audio
Evelyn Waugh is a bit of an acquired taste. This was a great social farce along the lines of Scoop. It is not Brideshead Revisited but a good comic romp.
Lover of fiction and beautiful, powerful prose ...
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Waugh's cast of characters may be from the 1920's but their behaviours and foibles are still recognisable in people today.
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