by Evelyn Waugh
A book group choice – one suspects, partly because of its length (under 200 pages).
It was a very enjoyable read. Full of dark humour, satire, brilliantly drawn characters and a tacky but quite satisfying plot. OK, the love story was hardly convincing – but necessary to the plot.
It’s hard to know what to write, really. Waugh shows the US at its overblown worst, in his depiction of ageing Hollywood writers who are no longer flavour of the month, a funeral business in which the dead are invariably referred to as ‘loved ones’, and a cynical, drunken agony column journalist who inadvertently adds another ‘loved one’ to the collection.
The denouement is dark and very comical: the rivals Dennis Barlow and Mr Joyboy contrive to dispose of Aimée’s body together.