Evelyn Waugh's acidly funny and formally daring satire, "Vile Bodies" reveals the darkness and vulnerability that lurks beneath the glittering surface of the high life. This "Penguin Modern Classics" edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Richard Jacobs. In the years following the First World War a new generation emerges, wistful and vulnerable beneath the glitter. "The Bright Young Things" of twenties' Mayfair, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercise their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade - whether promiscuity, dancing, cocktail parties or sports cars. In a quest for treasure, a favourite party occupation, a vivid assortment of characters, among them the struggling writer Adam Fenwick-Symes and the glamorous, aristocratic Nina Blount, hunt fast and furiously for ever greater sensations and the fulfilment of unconscious desires. Evelyn Waugh (1903-66) was born in Hampstead, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist.
In 1928 he published his first work, a life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, "Decline and Fall", which was soon followed by "Vile Bodies" (1930), "A Handful of Dust" (1934) and "Scoop" (1938). In 1942 he published "Put Out More Flags" and then in 1945 "Brideshead Revisited". "Men at Arms" (1952) was the first volume of "The Sword of Honour" trilogy, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; the other volumes, "Officers and Gentlemen" and "Unconditional Surrender", followed in 1955 and 1961. If you enjoyed "Vile Bodies", you might like Waugh's "A Handful of Dust", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "The high point of the experimental, original Waugh". (Malcolm Bradbury, "Sunday Times"). "This brilliantly funny, anxious and resonant novel ...the difficult edgy guide to the turn of the decade". (Richard Jacobs). "It's Britain's Great Gatsby". (Stephen Fry, director of "Vile Bodies" film adaptation "Bright Young Things").
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd