Tuesday, January 13, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros--Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh




Happy Tuesday! I'm participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where readers share a bit about what they're reading or planning to read.


My selection is the satirical Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1930. I've had this book for awhile, and I wanted to read this novel about the "Bright Young Things" for Jazz Age January over at Books Speak Volumes.

From the back cover of the book:

"Vile Bodies, Waugh's second novel, is the writer's spontaneous, jazz-fevered tribute to the "Bright Young Things" of London's prewar smart set. Through the book's mad and illogical whirl of parties and strange doings runs the love story of Adam Fenwick-Symes, an impecunious young writer, and Nina Blount, daughter of a slightly insane aristocrat. Adam and Nina keep getting engaged and disengaged as the story progresses. The rest of the habitually crocked and extravagant cast boasts last week's Prime Minister, Mr. Outrage, the American evangelist, Mrs. Melrose Ape, Lord Chasm, Lady Circumference, the ever-sublime Margot Metroland, and a drunken major who wins thirty-five thousand pounds for Adam at the races but keeps disappearing just before he pays off."

Here is the opening:

"It was clearly going to be a bad crossing.

With Asiatic resignation Father Rothschild S.J. put down his suitcase in the corner of the bar and went on deck. (It was a small suitcase of imitation crocodile hide. The initials stamped on it in Gothic characters were not Father Rothschild's, for he had borrowed it that morning from the valet-de-chambre of his hotel. It contained some rudimentary underclothes, six important new books in six languages, a false beard and a school atlas and gazetteer heavily annotated.) Standing on the deck Father Rothschild leant his elbow on the rail, rested his chin in his hands and surveyed the procession of passengers coming up the gangway, each face eloquent of polite misgiving."

What do you think? Would you keep reading? My review is coming soon!



16 comments:

  1. This one does sound interesting, and I would love to know more. I'll be watching for your review.

    Here's mine: “ALL DAY AND A NIGHT”

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  2. I like the premise, but didn't love the writing in the intro. I'm just finishing West of Sunset...sort of connected to Jazz Age since it's about F. Scott Fitzgerald, but it's set later in his life, so I don't think it's gonna fly for that.

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    1. I understand what you mean about the opening because it doesn't really give a sense of how funny this book is. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. The introduction didn't especially grab me, but the blurb about the book did. You've got me curious.

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  4. I'm curious. He's waiting with Asian resignation, but since his name is Rothschild, he surely isn't Asian. And why does he have a false beard in his suitcase? And since he's staying in a hotel, why doesn't he have his own luggage but had to borrow a suitcase? I'd keep reading to find out what's going on.
    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog post today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG.

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    1. Waugh is very good at creating situations which are absurd yet end up to be really comical. Thanks for your comment!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kelley. I hope you have a great week!

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  6. I don't get funny from the intro, but I like Waugh and would definitely read more.

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  7. This sounds like an interesting teaser.

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne, for your comment and for visiting!

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  8. Yes, I would keep reading. I already like Father Rothschild. I should convert to Catholicism or Episcopalian. I love to read Catholic stories. I've read this author only one time. I read Brideshead Revisited with a book club online. I think that's the right title. The plot became very meaty, plenty for discussion. The author's name always confuses me. Male, right?

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I read Brideshead Revisited when I was in high school. A few weeks ago, I had a chance to watch the PBS miniseries that was on in the early 1980s and really enjoyed it. And you are right--the author is a man. Thanks for stopping by!

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