Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

Decline and Fall By Evelyn Waugh
London: Chapman and Hall. Pp xii. 288. 7s 6d. net.

In a little foreword to this novel the author entreats us to bear in mind throughout that his book is meant to be funny, and we have, though at times somewhat strenuously, to take him at his word. And Mr. Waugh is funny, with that mingling of worldly wisdom and bunkum which is the ne plus ultra of your masterly undergraduate.

He affects to tell the story of a varsity man who was sent down, but the story is, as it is intended to be, so very silly that he has had merely to interest himself in its superficial presentation, and he manages this so extremely well that one is occasionally reminded of P. G. Wodehouse, though it must be added that Mr. Wodehouse has a far greater knowledge of human nature than appears to reside at present in Mr. Waugh's consciousness. But anyway "Decline and Fall" is a great lark; its author has an agreeable sense of comedy and characterisation, and the gift of writing smart and telling conversation, while his drawings are quite in tune with the spirit of the tale.


The GuardianTramp

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