Monday, March 8, 1999

Decline And Fall

by Evelyn Waugh

The hapless Paul Pennyfeather is sent down from Oxford through no fault of his own, loses his fortune, becomes a school teacher, falls in love with a wealthy widow, is framed for heading a prostitution ring, and so forth.  A wildly funny rollercoaster ride of a story; its satire of English manners both upper and lower class is deadly.  It’s compulsively readable and laugh-out-loud funny on just about every page.  Pennyfeather is a ninny, but he’s wholly sympathetic, as are all the other characters, blackguards or fools though they may be.  A highly enjoyable novel.

four stars

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