Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Monday, July 13, 2009

evelyn waugh binge

i've been reading nothing but Evelyn Waugh lately, and yesterday i finished my fifth-in-a-row by him. I have Gabriel and Yelly to thank for the introduction. especially gabriel, who gave me not one but two hand-drawn reminders in my little notebook:

so, to date, i've read Brideshead Revisited, A Handful of Dust, Scoop, The Loved One, and Officers and Gentlemen. Of these, Brideshead is the clear winner - who knew there were not only raging homos at Oxford in the 30s, but stories about raging homos in the 40s ? It's also, classically, about the tribulations of being in the leisure class, involves the main character taking a trip to the jungle, and issues with the catholic church. It's quite good.
Scoop and The Loved One are comedies, and are pretty good. Yelly described him as sort of PG Wodehouse but more grown-up, which is pretty accurate. A Handful of Dust is a very depressing book, although i felt it was trying a little too hard. Officers and gentlemen in the second in the Sword of Honor trilogy, a series of novels following one nice guy through World War II.

sorry for the rather thin and dry reviews, but i'm packing up to move and couldn't quite bear to put five books by the same author into a box without a quick comment.

also being read lately:
On the lower Frequencies (or, "A Secret History of the City") which Kaitlin gave me, is a collection of 'zine articles written by Erick Lyle in the mid-90s to early-aughts, and is a sort of history of punk and homeless life in San Francisco during those times. Lyle's voice is aggressively "street" and he is unapologetically biased in favour of the homeless. It's a history of squatting, scamming the system, illegal concerts, activism, as well as a great portrait of community in a major urban city. I love it.