donderdag 20 augustus 2015

Evelyn Waugh: The Loved One

Hi again

The Loved One is a wonderful short satirical novel by Evelyn Waugh.
It only counts 127 pages. The edition I read is owned by my dad and it’s from 1961. Amazing huh! I mean, Waugh was still alive back then! My dad must have gotten it somewhere second-hand.
And the coverart is amazing too; it’s by Quentin Blake. The Man who designed for Roald Dahl! It keeps getting better and better.

“Following the death of a friend, British poet and pets' mortician Dennis Barlow finds himself entering the artificial Hollywood paradise of the Whispering Glades Memorial Park. Within its golden gates, death, American-style, is wrapped up and sold like a package holiday. There, Dennis enters the fragile and bizarre world of Aimée, the naïve Californian corpse beautician, and Mr Joyboy, the master of the embalmer's art...
A dark and savage satire on the Anglo-American cultural divide, The Loved One depicts a world where love, reputation and death cost a very great deal.”

To be brief; I loved it.
There, it’s as simple as that.

The pure scope of it is amazing. Upper English class, Hollywood, American workmen, a wannabe poet; Waugh does it all admirably. War, marriage, work, feminism, religion; it’s all in there.
This was such a funny and clever novel!
Waugh’s portrayal of this society is dead on and you can’t help laughing about it.
In my opinion this novel is a sort of condemnation of modern society where everything and everyone has to be the same but the best at it the same time. Everyone is replaceable and no-one is really unique. The novel is one big parody of this life.
The prose is really engrossing and very, very good.
And the subject itself is so different from everything else out there!

I loved it.

On to the next one.
Helena