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Modern Classics Scoop [Paperback]

Evelyn Waugh , Christopher Hitchens
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 28 2000 Penguin Modern Classics
Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of 'The Daily Beast', has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs. Algernon Stitch, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia.

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Modern Classics Scoop + Modern Classics Vile Bodies + Modern Classics Brideshead Revisited Centennial Edition
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Evelyn Waugh was one of literature's great curmudgeons and a scathingly funny satirist. Scoop is a comedy of England's newspaper business of the 1930s and the story of William Boot, a innocent hick from the country who writes careful essays about the habits of the badger. Through a series of accidents and mistaken identity, Boot is hired as a war correspondent for a Fleet Street newspaper. The uncomprehending Boot is sent to the fictional African country of Ishmaelia to cover an expected revolution. Although he has no idea what he is doing and he can't understand the incomprehensible telegrams from his London editors, Boot eventually gets the big story. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was born in London and educated at Oxford. He quickly established a reputation with such social satirical novels as DECLINE AND FALL, VILE BODIES and SCOOP. Waugh became a Catholic in 1930, and his later books display a more serious attitude, as seen in the religious theme of BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, a nostalgic evocation of student days at Oxford. His diaries were published in 1976, and his letters in 1980.

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First Sentence
While still a young man, John Courteney Boot had, as his publisher proclaimed, 'achieved an assured and enviable position in contemporary letters.' Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Heather
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a classic, but the publication I received did not have the introduction by Christopher Hitchens as advertised.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scooper Dooper March 12 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Waughs insight and wit keep you smiling and reading more . This book has appeared in top 100 books ever written lists .
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun romp through the newspaper business Aug. 25 2002
By Penhoet
Having come to Scoop right after reading a collection of Waugh's stories and within six months of reading Brideshead Revisited, I was rather surprised by this very funny book. It is nothing like Brideshead in that regard, much lighter in tone and content, and a quicker read. Compared to Charles Ryder's Schooldays, a collection of short stories from the '30s, it instilled a renewed belief in Waugh's literary powers in this reader. This is a novel revolving around mistaken identity and a failed revolution in an obscure African nation. Into this plot are thrown a number of colourful characters and hilarious situations that make for a completely enjoyable read. Don't expect anything deep here; this is more along the lines of a literary confection but one of high quality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scoop May 10 2002
A truly funny satire of the newspaper business. Waugh's wit, unlike other so called British humorists, is funny even to a colonial like me.
Through a wonderfully hilarious mistaken identity, William Boot is sent to Africa by the daily newspaper The Beast on rumors that the country of Ishmalea is on the verge of revolution. Waugh's portrayal of Lord Copper, the newspaper magnate, Lady Stitch, and Slater,the newspaper's foreign editor, is very funny.
Boot is the newspaper's reporter of farm news and is flabergasted at Cooper and Slater's insistence that he go to Ishmalea to cover the revolution. He reluctantly agrees to go only because of the opportunity it presents to fly in an airplane.
Upon arriving in Ishmalea, Boot is united with foreign correspondents of other European and American newspapers. He quickly discovers that there really is no news to report and that for the most part the other reporters are making thier own news. Most of the stories are genrated by the infamous Lord Hitchcock who rarely leaves his hotel room.
While in Ishmalea, Boot meets a mysterious German girl, who he falls madly in love with. Boot reports on a mini-revolution that lasts about a day. For his good work, Boot is recalled home to a hero's welcome by The Beast.
Boot desires to return to his agrarian lifestyle much to the dismay of Lord Cooper who sends Slater to the country to persuade Boot to stay on at the Beast and to attend a banquet in his honor. Slater's visit to the Boot homestead is truly hillarious.
In a wonderful irony John Boot, the novelist that Lord Cooper intended to send to Ishmalea, is knighted for his work at the bequest of Lord Cooper and then sent to Antartica as a foreign correspondent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Waugh's Comic Assault on Wartime Journalism April 16 2002
In October 1935, Italy invaded the independent African nation of Ethiopia. The Italo-Ethiopian War lasted less than eight months, Emperor Haile Selassie's kingdom falling quickly before Italy's modern weaponry. It was a little war that, nonetheless, implicated the great powers of Europe and foreshadowed the much bigger war to follow.
Evelyn Waugh was in his early 30s, already the author of four remarkable comic novels, when he accepted an assignment to cover the Italo-Ethiopian War for a London newspaper. The enduring result of that assignment was Waugh's fifth novel, "Scoop," a scathing satirical assault on the ethos of Fleet Street and its war correspondents, as well as on Waugh's usual suspects, the British upper classes.
The time is the 1930s. There is a civil war in the obscure country of Ishmaelia and Lord Copper, the publisher of the Beast newspaper, a newspaper that "stands for strong, mutually antagonistic governments everywhere," believes coverage of the war is imperative:
"I am in consultation with my editors on the subject. We think it a very promising little war. A microcosm you might say of world drama. We propose to give it fullest publicity. We shall have our naval, military and air experts, our squad of photographers, our colour reporters, covering the war from every angle and on every front."
Through the influence of Mrs. Algernon Stitch, Lord Copper soon identifies John Courteney Booth, a best selling popular author, as the right man to cover the war in Ishmaelia. Neither Lord Copper nor his inscrutable editorial staff, however, is especially well read or familiar with the current socially respectable literati. Amidst the confusion, Mr.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More brilliant Waugh April 5 2002
By Westley
Waugh is one of my favorite authors and his work is consistently funny and scathing. Scoop is among his best novels. It relates the story of William Boot, who is mistaken for another person and sent to the country of Ishmael by a London newspaper to cover a possible insurgence. Waugh frequently writes about characters who accidentally bumble into situations, but this setup is one of the funniest. Unlike most of his protoganists, William Boot actually succeeds (for the most part) and how he does so is hilarious. As usual, Waugh has included a fool's gallery of supporting characters that add to the humor. Highly recommended for Waugh fans. People unfamiliar with Waugh might want to consider starting with the slightly more serious (and darker) "Handful of Dust."
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Waugh's Comic Assault on Wartime Journalism
In October 1935, Italy invaded the independent African nation of Ethiopia. The Italo-Ethiopian War lasted less than eight months, Emperor Haile Selassie's kingdom falling quickly... Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Dated Satire
Few would dispute that Waugh is a great writer with a memorable style. However, this book has a rather weak plot, and thin character development. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2001 by Stan Eissinger
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of laugh !
Evelyn Waugh signs, with "Scoop", quite a masterpiece in humour. He is able to create fun with the serious journalist job, giving to think about what those people are... Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2001 by Fattore Daniel
This book is set just 54 years before CNN redefined the role of war correspondents during the Gulf War of 1990. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2001 by "hurburgh"
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great novels of the 20th Century
During his lifetime, Waugh was seldom considered a major writer, but since then his reputation has soared, especially among rightwingers. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2001 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Scoop - A letdown
I was eager to read Scoop, it has great adjectives attached to it: Intriguing, ebullient, witty, etc. I did not find it to be so.
This book is in no way a classic. Read more
Published on May 29 2001 by "st_gordito"
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of comic writing
A lot of books complain about the world, but here's a book that knows that there's a difference between what actually goes on in the world and what gets reported as news, and that... Read more
Published on May 21 2001 by A.J.
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