Monday, 11 January 2016

Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (2.5/5)

First published: 1937
Page count: 222
The back says: Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of the "Daily Beast", has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner-party tip from Mrs Algernon Smith, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia.
One of Waugh's most exuberant comedies, "Scoop" is a brilliantly irreverent satire of "Fleet Street" and its hectic pursuit of hot news.

I say: Yet another book I never would have touched were it not that for the insipid 100 Classics Challenge, even though I did vow to read more of Waugh’s work after finishing both A Handful of Dust and Vile Bodies.

This time, however, I think I’m done.

Mr Boot, mistaken for another journalist with that name, is sent to cover the war in Ishmaelia where he, not being a proper correspondence journalist, encounters quite a few predicaments. One of them being that when one journalist makes up news, all the others send similar reports and Boots is told to do the same, knowing very well that it’s all a lie. Another being that he is too naïve to know when he is being take advantage of until it’s too late.

Of course...

Satire.

With Waugh I have come to expect nothing but satire, and I am, quite frankly, no longer interested. Few things in this novel grabbed my attention long enough and where I'd previously considered his work somewhat entertaining, I found Scoop tiresome and self-important.

2.5/5 because at the end of the day this was nothing more than a tired meh.

2 comments:

  1. It's been a while since I read this... I seem to remember really enjoying it at first then suddenly it went downhill...

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    1. It did start out better than it ended... unfortunately. It just wasn't for me.

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