Scoop

Scoop

by Evelyn Waugh

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Overview

In SCOOP, surreptitiously dubbed a "newspaper adventure," Evelyn Waugh flays Fleet Street and the social pastimes of its war correspondents. He tells how William Boot became the star of British super-journalism and how, leaving the part of his shirt in the claws of the lovely Katchen, he returned from Ishmaeilia to London as the Daily Beast's most accoladed overseas reporter.

"With this book England's wittiest novelist sets a new standard for comic extravaganza...the real message about SCOOP is that it is thoroughly enjoyable, uproariously funny and that everyone should read it at once." (The New York Times)

"...a good deal of sharp wit--you can cut your hands on it if you're not careful." (The New Yorker)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316216371
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 12/11/2012
Pages: 275
Sales rank: 257,086
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), whom Time called "one of the century's great masters of English prose," wrote several widely acclaimed novels as well as volumes of biography, memoir, travel writing, and journalism. Three of his novels, A Handful of Dust, Scoop, and Brideshead Revisited, were selected by the Modern Library as among the 100 best novels of the twentieth century.

Date of Birth:

October 28, 1903

Date of Death:

April 10, 1966

Place of Birth:

West Hampstead, London

Education:

Hertford College, Oxford University, 1921-1924; Heatherley's Art School, 1924

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Scoop 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
out of all the evelyn waugh books ive read this is probably the funniest and most enjoyable one. it's a great introduction to waugh's novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Waugh's look at the witty follies of journalism is without a doubt one of the zeniths of satire in British literature. The characters are sharp, as is the dialogue, and the irony of William Boot's ordeal is beyond hilarious.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was a continuous poke at journalists and British people in general. I recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Waugh's satire of the press sixty years ago is as true as ever with the explosion in 24 hour cable news networks. Rumor becomes fact in the hands of 'jounalists' looking to break news that does not exist.
annbury on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This classic British novel raises the issue of "presentism" in crystal clear focus -- it is a wonderfully written and scathingly funny novel, but it is also racist. In 1938, when the book was written, British racism didn't bother to be covert (it was after all only 30 years earlier that Kipling referred to "lesser breeds without the law") and this book is full of racist opinions, and racist language. Should we judge the views and language of 1938 by the standards of 2011? To do so is to commit "presentism". That's an attitude that would cut one off from a lot of the great and enjoyable literature of the past, and one that I generally try to avoid. I did so with "Scoop", and enjoyed it a lot, despite fairly frequent cringes. BUT I can't always suspend the will to be offended, especially when it's my identity group that's getting dumped on -- as soon as I read what Mencken had to say about women, for example, I gave up on Mencken. I think a lot of readers may not be able to avoid being offended by this novel. Essentially, I'd have to put a caution lable on a positive recommendation -- "A Riot, but Racist"
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Evelyn Waugh was one of those authors that I had somehow considered difficult for some reason. I mean, Brideshead Revisited and all that. But the description of this wicked little story sounded so tempting that I had to give it a try. I will definitely be reading more.Scoop is the story about a modern war. Or rather, about modern journalism and how they report on a war. The war is in the fictional African country of Ismaelia, and our intrepid reporter is sent off to get the story. The Megalopolitan News Agency wants to be the first to break the story. Lady Stitch recommends her good friend, Mr. Boots. But a hapless editor hires the wrong Mr. Boots, and William is sent off quite unwillingly to cover a war he knows nothing about and which, in fact, hasn't really started yet. (But the paper still wants news of a victory around the first of July.)Naive country gentleman William is soon mixing with a crowd of veteran news reporters, barnyard animals, a somewhat faithful German wife, a Scandinavian missionary, and a crowd of politicians as eager to avoid him as he is to speak to them. Only when events take a strange and sudden turn does William find his chance to get the story and get back home to England.I have to add that this book is full of racial slurs. My impression is that they are mostly used to describe the close minded, bigoted attitude of the Europeans in the story, but it was still pretty shocking in parts. I really don't remember the last time I read anything quite this offensive, so take a warning from that.My favorite quote from the story is when William is discussing the situation with his editor, Mr. Salter, just before leaving England."I don't read the papers very much. Can you tell me who is fighting who in Ishmaelia?""I think it's the Patriots and the Traitors.""Yes, but which is which?""Oh, I don't know that. That's Policy, you see. It's nothing to do with me."Very cynical, but very funny. Now I want to give that Brideshead Revisited book or whatever it is a try.
IreneSM on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is very funny, full of ridiculous and eccentric characters with ludicrous names, and a quick succession of farcical situations which somehow Waugh makes believable. Some reviewers describe the language as dated, but this is its charm. If only more modern authors could write with such wit!
cyberoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The most enjoyable book I've ever read. Had me in giggling like a schoolgirl from beginning to end.
jddunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A savagely hilarious satire of the intersecting worlds of sensationalistic journalism, politics, and high society. Possibly even more relevant today than when it was written.
arubabookwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book starts laugh-out-loud funny, as through a series of misunderstandings and blunders a mild-mannered nature columnist is sent by a newspaper to be its ace reporter covering a bloody civil war in Africa. It's also kind of funny at the end, as the nature reporter seeks to avoid the limelight, and the newspaper seeks to honor him with a banquet and a knighthood. It's the in-between part I have big problems with.Sometimes literature from certain eras will use negative, racist terms and words to describe a person, peoples or practices. And sometimes in the context of such books we can read around this, as simply being chronologically representative of the way things were then. These terms and words are used in profusion in Scoop. Here, however, the attempted humor of the book too frequently depends on the reader's acceptance of the negative characteristics implied by the racist terms. In other words, if the reader doesn't accept the blatant racism of some of the 'humor,' it's not easy to find anything to laugh about. There are a few zingers about the way the press sometimes manufactures news, but not enough to ignore the cringe-inducing remainder of the reporter's African adventures. Not recommended.
P_S_Patrick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like some of Waugh's other comic novels, Scoop is based loosely on Waugh's personal experiences, and amuses the reader with its clever satirisation of virtually every aspect on which the book is based. In this case, we have a story about a rural journalist, who writes on countryside matters, who is by pure bad luck signed up as a foreign correspondent and sent out of the country to report on a civil war in a small country in Africa. He is clueless of course, but as an Englishman he blunders through and manages to do his best, even going as far (mainly by luck) as to get the eponymous Scoop.Scoop is of a similar quality to Waugh's Decline and Fall, and nearly as good as Black Mischief, which is probably the funniest book I've read. This is definitely one for fans of Waugh, and a good place to start for those who have not before experienced his brilliant humour.
wendyrey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A satire of newspaper life in the inter war years, a comedy of manners and full absurdist humour. Entertaining and fun.
xinyi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
as ever, Waugh's mastery of English sense of humour is super! love it!
gemilyinterrupted on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book had me cracking up laughing. waugh was a master of satire.
Xiguli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Slow hilarity. That's the best description I can come up with for Waugh's particular brand of gradually crescendoing absurdity. Scoop isn't the kind of book you can open to just any page and find a gem of a passage, but it's not for lack of authorial mastery. It's really just that Waugh's humor is very dry, and he tells his jokes little by little, revealing details judiciously and developing connections between his many characters in a seemingly offhand manner.And it is the characters who really make this novel what it is--a motley cast of misfits, each trying to get by, mostly without ambition or understanding and certainly without any real sense of connection to the rest of the human race.At the center of it all is bewildered William Boot, yanked inexplicably from his life of genteel semi-poverty in the English countryside and dispatched to the northeastern African nation of Ishmaelia as a war correspondent for the Beast. With only a bottomless expense account to guide him, our confuddled young hero doggedly attempts to do what's expected of him. But since he's actually not even the journalist the paper meant to send, he blunders continuously and pathetically.Ishmaelia, once he finally reaches it, presents an object lesson in the "art" of journalism. Hordes of correspondents have converged on Ishmaelia because its highly unstable political situation has captured the interest of Europe and England--except that no one in Ishmaelia seems to be aware of, or care about, or even acknowledge, a political situation of any kind. So the journalists lounge around drinking, playing ping pong, getting insanely overcharged, and occasionally firing off dutiful wireless cables to their editors. The cables, which are filled with nonsense of the most improbable kind, generally conveyed in 10 words or less, are worked over and splashed onto front pages as thrilling, dire headlines. And William, who probably never told a lie in his whole life (because he never even thought of it), simply cannot wrap his mind around the business. Even when he lucks into some real news, it doesn't matter, because What Really Took Place just happens to be something the newspapers have already denied. And how could a paper maintain the trust of the people if were to be retracting what it had reported as fact?But Boot triumphs. Sort of. In this ridiculous world Waugh has created--one which contains more than a kernel of truth--only the most ridiculous person, who has the least possible interest in (let alone understanding of) what he's supposed to be doing, through the most unlikely series of coincidences, can come upon the Holy Grail of Ishmaelite news and bring glory to himself and his paper.Waugh's dryness and convoluted vocabulary and product-of-his-times racism mean he's not for everybody. But if you like a novel that falls into place bit by bit in a decidedly satisfying way, and can appreciate the artful decimation of naive ideas like "journalistic integrity" and "governmental competence," then give this unusual book a chance.
stacyinthecity on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
London newspaper satire. This book is filled with mistaken identies, satirical political intrigue, and don't forget, the big scoop on the story!
wenestvedt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A satire on the British journalism trade of the time. The books includes some characters met in earlier Waugh books, though it stands on its own as funny, a little aggressive, and unsparing to the point of maybe wanting a little charity.
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The least interesting book I have read in a long time. A waste of money and time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bye!*walks out*