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Old 10-20-2016, 12:25 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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October 2016 Discussion: The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh (spoilers)

The time has come to discuss the October 2016 MobileRead Book Club selection, The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy by Evelyn Waugh. What did you think?
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:33 PM   #2
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Sorry, folks, I need to bow out this month. I simply haven't had time. "Life" has intruded, and I've been only listening to books while sitting on buses or the Canada Line train.

Will try for next month.
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Old 10-20-2016, 03:38 PM   #3
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I did not find The Loved One to be funny at all. It was a chore to get though it. I rated it 1 star on Goodreads. The only saving grace is the length. By the time I got to a point where I would normally have given up, I didn't have too much left to go so I persevered in case it got any better. It didn't.

Dennie Barlow was a momma's boy type. If his mother was living with him in the US and she owned a house, Dennis would be living in her basement.

Aimée Thanatogenos was a confused girl who had no idea what she wanted.

Mr. Joyboy was a mamma's boy and not all that nice.

The advice column team were worthless. They couldn't give advice on how to get out of a wet paper bag.

The rest were just fluff.

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Old 10-20-2016, 04:29 PM   #4
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I'm afraid Jon speaks for me on this one. After the first couple of chapters the book at least became more coherent, but not in the least more humorous. I couldn't even understand why the advice columnist team were even in the book.
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:03 PM   #5
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I'm afraid Jon speaks for me on this one. After the first couple of chapters the book at least became more coherent, but not in the least more humorous. I couldn't even understand why the advice columnist team were even in the book.
The advice columnist team were in the book Aimée could have a reason to kill herself. It was all a lot far-fetched.

The book had no redeeming quality. The first chapter was confusing. The rest boring.
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:06 PM   #6
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Sorry, folks, I need to bow out this month. I simply haven't had time. "Life" has intruded, and I've been only listening to books while sitting on buses or the Canada Line train.

Will try for next month.
Please read The Loved One. Misery loves company.
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Old 10-20-2016, 05:11 PM   #7
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The advice columnist team were in the book Aimée could have a reason to kill herself. It was all a lot far-fetched.

The book had no redeeming quality. The first chapter was confusing. The rest boring.
Perhaps the clumsiest plot device in history, and one of the most unnecessary.
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Old 10-20-2016, 06:42 PM   #8
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Perhaps the clumsiest plot device in history, and one of the most unnecessary.
The entire book was a clumsy plot device.
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Old 10-20-2016, 07:12 PM   #9
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This is one of my favoritest, funniest books ever, going back for decades. I remember making a pilgrimage to Forest Lawn cemetery with a college friend who also loved it, and we kept quoting all the verses to rack other and laughing our heads off as we discovered that it was exactly as Waugh portrayed.

When I read Jon's first post, I thought I might have misrembered it and that it was slow to get going. Instead, I was charmed, again, from the earliest pages and it rapidly proceeded to outright hilarity. How can you help laughing at the Happier Hunting Ground?

It's bad timing for me this evening, but I'll post at more length tomorrow. I just don't want people to be discouraged from giving it a try.

ETA: It's on the Telegraph's list of 15 best comedy novels and the Guardian's list of 1000 must reads.
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Old 10-20-2016, 09:47 PM   #10
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i wish there were an Audible version. I would try it. But right now, if it isn't audible, I haven't got time...

I would also point out that humour is a very difficult subject just because it works differently for different people coming from different shared experiences and cultures and is absolutely the hardest to get to cross that cultural divide. Some of us, for example, find Midnight Riot/Rivers of London funny. Others do NOT. Clearly, there's a difference here with this book. Makes me want to read it if only to see where it hits me.

ETA: And suddenly, there IS an Audible version of it. OK, mouth make promises...

I'll start on it over the weekend.

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Old 10-21-2016, 12:49 PM   #11
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Started, about an hour into it. Actually quite enjoying it. It's amusing, but not funny yet, if you know what I mean. The narration is by Simon Prebble and it's a good fit.
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Old 10-21-2016, 01:48 PM   #12
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This is one of my favoritest, funniest books ever, going back for decades. I remember making a pilgrimage to Forest Lawn cemetery with a college friend who also loved it, and we kept quoting all the verses to rack other and laughing our heads off as we discovered that it was exactly as Waugh portrayed.

When I read Jon's first post, I thought I might have misrembered it and that it was slow to get going. Instead, I was charmed, again, from the earliest pages and it rapidly proceeded to outright hilarity. How can you help laughing at the Happier Hunting Ground?

It's bad timing for me this evening, but I'll post at more length tomorrow. I just don't want people to be discouraged from giving it a try.

ETA: It's on the Telegraph's list of 15 best comedy novels and the Guardian's list of 1000 must reads.
I would like to know just what bits you found funny. I didn't find any of it funny. It read as a strained attempt to be funny that fell flat. The fact that some of the characters are British didn't help. It's got none of the British humor that makes some British comedy funny. I didn't see what was funny about the pet cemetery. All I took from it was that pet cemeteries are the low end of the death business.
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Old 10-21-2016, 02:51 PM   #13
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I read this a number of years ago. While I did find a few scenes modestly "funny", it is not in any way a comedy. This is written as rather biting satire on "the American way of death" and of Forest Lawn in particular. If you are not familiar with Forest Lawn, either from visiting it or reading about it in detail (I have a "brochure" from The Loved One's time period thats around 11"x14", bound, and around 20 pages) you'll miss much of the book's point. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:05 PM   #14
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I read this a number of years ago. While I did find a few scenes modestly "funny", it is not in any way a comedy. This is written as rather biting satire on "the American way of death" and of Forest Lawn in particular. If you are not familiar with Forest Lawn, either from visiting it or reading about it in detail (I have a "brochure" from The Loved One's time period thats around 11"x14", bound, and around 20 pages) you'll miss much of the book's point. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
Excellent analysis. And from Evelyn Waugh's British perspective. To me loaded with British dry humor. Obviously not for everyone.

I find myself agreeing with the mixed reviews as far as concluding that humor is a difficult category to make most happy.
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Old 10-21-2016, 03:52 PM   #15
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Other than issybird, does anyone find this funny with real laughs?
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