maandag 19 januari 2015

Evelyn Waugh: Vile Bodies


This review is about Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh. I bought it in a second-handshop in Brighton for only 3£.
The novel has 189 pages plus 47 pages introduction and notes.

“In the years following the First World War a new generation emerged, wistful and vulnerable beneath the glitter. The Bright Young Things of 1920s London, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercised their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade. In these pages a vivid assortment of characters, among them the struggling writer Adam Fenwick-Symes and the glamorous, aristocratic Nina Blount, hunt fast and furiously for ever greater sensations and the hedonistic fulfillment of their desires. Evelyn Waugh's acidly funny satire reveals the darkness and vulnerability beneath the sparkling surface of the high life.”

It took me quite some time to get used to Waugh's style of the novel and the absurdity. It’s not a laugh-out-loud story but I did smile a lot reading it.
It’s not purely a comic novel but rather a dark comic novel and a satire. The novel is pessimistic and desolate, the characters are hollow and alone and surrounded by a brittle, imagined reality.
Vile Bodies moves from gaiety to bitterness, especially in the last, grimmer few pages. It doesn’t end well for the BYT.

The novel is full of eccentric characters. The relationship between Nina and Adam is ridiculous and hilarious. The Bright Young Things are empty, frivolous and superficial.
Although the novel is about 85 years old, the story and the absurd situations become relevant again when seen in the light of our celebrities and the gossiping surrounding them.

Happy reading.