Vile Bodies

Vile Bodies

A Novel

Book - 2012
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In the years following the first World War a new generation with their mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their minds and bodies in every kind of capricious escapade.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2012
ISBN: 9780316216340
9780316216333
031621633X
0316216348
Call Number: FICTION WAUGH 2012
Characteristics: viii, 291 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

(1930)
"The bright young things of 1920's Mayfair, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade, whether it is promiscuity, dancing, cocktail parties or sports cars. A vivid assortment of char... Read More »


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dennismmiller
Mar 02, 2019

Adam wants to marry Nina. Nina wants to marry Adam. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any money. Their pursuit of happiness amidst the anarchic social swirl of 1920s London is at the center of Vile Bodies, but it is the unsettled conditions underlying the swirl itself that are the real target of Waugh's satire. So, once again, this time in prose, Prufrock wanders unaware into the wasteland.

j
jwfolk
Oct 29, 2018

This was quite amusing, but in a limited manner for current readers. I believe that it would have been far more understandable for readers of the era; names, caricatures, parties: all may have been recognizable to an informed reader of the period.

Waugh's writing is somewhat breathy and brittle, but certainly fluid. There are passages I particularly liked, such as that from which the title is taken: "'Oh, Nina, what a lot of parties.' (Masked parties, Savage parties, Victorian parties, Greek parties, Wild West parties, Russian parties, Circus parties, parties where one had to dress as somebody else, almost naked parties in St. John's Wood, parties in flats and studios and houses and ships and hotels and night clubs, in windmills and swimming baths, tea parties at school where one ate muffins and meringues and tinned crab, parties at Oxford where one drank brown sherry and smoked Turkish cigarettes, dull dances in London and comic dances in Scotland and disgusting dances in Paris–all that succession and repetition of massed humanity....Those vile bodies....)"

It ends on the battlefield of the First World War, and that makes for a sober end, but one that features a return of one of the early angels of the book, sullied and shop-worn, eager to engage. It is a grim business, however, seeped in irony.

I would read it again.

l
lReaderl
Oct 06, 2016

Wonderful satire written about the young generation of England and their outlook on life as World War II is unraveling. Straightforward read--recommended.

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