Vile Bodies

Having watched the movie Bright Young Things some weeks ago, it ends with World War II which began a good ten years after Waugh wrote Vile Bodies, so I thought the book must have a different ending and got it.   I’ve been reading it since, with many distractions, and it really does sort of end like that.   It’s not WWII exactly, but it kind of is and the movie is pretty faithful to the book until about three-quarters of the way through.  Conversations and scenes much of the way through are exactly as they are in the book,  The performances are excellent, and yet I didn’t think much of the movie and I don’t think much of the book.  Some think it the greatest comic novel ever.  Humor is such a personal thing, don’t you think, or don’t you?   It’s well written, sparkling with wit, I suppose, but it could hardly be farther from Wodehouse which is apparently what he thought he was doing at first.   Then his marriage fell apart and it got darker.   Although I thought it was rather dark from the beginning.  Lord Whatshisname’s suicide, unless inserted later, hardly the stuff of Bertie and Jeeves.  There’s so much cynicism and world weariness.  They’re running around like maniacs trying to have a good time and failing over and over again  And one by one the shattered wrecks of lives pile up — no, definitely not Wodehouse.  All too sad-making.

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I suppose I should write something more about it, but I’m not feeling it,  If memory serves, you should read Brideshead instead.  Or Wodehouse, if you want something fun.  It does work though as a 20th Century Classic for Karen’s challenge.

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