2009: 76. Decline and Fall

“Mr. Sniggs, the Junior Dean, and Mr. Postlewaite, the Domestic Bursar, sat alone in Mr. Snigg’s room overlooking the garden quad at Scone College.”

Decline and Fall, Evelyn Waugh

Now, this Waugh, I really enjoyed.  It’s a light and fluffy satire, and unlike A Handful of Dust, doesn’t have any all-too real characters to break my heart and ruin the fun.  It tells the story of Paul Pennyfather, a student at Scone College, Oxford, who is expelled for indecency when a group of rich students steal his pants.  He loses his inheritance on account of his behavior and is set loose on the world, where he has a series of comic adventures, ranging from teaching at a third rate school, to almost marrying the most beautiful and glamorous woman in London, to a spending time in prison after taking the fall for a white slavery ring!  And it all turns out ok (or at least where it started), and the bits in the middle are a hoot.  In fact, the fact that I have given away the plot is irrelevant, because the book isn’t about the plot, but rather the ridiculous machinations to get there, and the crazy characters we meet on our way.  So much fun.


Date/Place Completed:  June 2009; D.C.

Categories: Fiction, Book Resolutions, The Evelyn Waugh Project , Re-Read

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017