The Complete Short Stories

The Complete Short Stories

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The greatest English comic novelist of the twentieth century produced a considerable body of shorter fiction, including several master-pieces, notably Mr Loveday's Little Outing and Scott-King's Modern Europe. These stories have all Waugh's characteristically brilliant, savage wit and reproduce his unmistakeable world in miniature. They also constitute a vital supplement to the major novels, while standing up as significant works in their own right. Two chapters of Waugh's tantalizingly unfinished novel Work Suspended are also included. This edition brings back into print 17 stories that have long been unavailable in England and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 704 pages
  • 132 x 210 x 38mm | 760g
  • Everyman
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1857151909
  • 9781857151909
  • 322,029

Review Text

One of my shelves bulges with books about Waugh but none of them tells us more about him than this collection of short stories, drawn from his earliest years until almost his last. As Pasternak Slater observes in an excellent introduction, Waugh's short stories lack the uniform proficiency of Kipling or Chekhov, but it is their uneven quality that reveals so much about the man. While there is an uncharacteristic naivety about the earliest stuff, the bulk of it shows off all his gifts - the deadly ear for foolish conversation, the merciless eye for weak character. Waugh's greatest invention, Basil Seal, is present, mellowed but still wonderfully unreliable. So is Mr Loveday, whose little outing best illustrates the author's taste for black humour. Those who value the earliest works will enjoy the drawings from his undergraduate days, which decked Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies, and many more. This is a treasure trove. Review by BILL DEEDES Editor's note: Lord Deedes is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and is alleged to be the model for Boot in Waugh's Scoop. He has also written a book of memoirs, Dear Bill. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

766 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 31% (240)
4 44% (336)
3 19% (144)
2 5% (42)
1 1% (4)
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