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Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
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Scoop (1938)

by Evelyn Waugh

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English (45)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
The 1938 book [Scoop] by [[Evelyn Waugh]] satirically trashes "Fleet Street" journalism. It starts with an identity mix-up: the owner of The Daily Beast is persuaded to send hot novelist and travel writer John Courteney Boot to report on “a very promising little war” in the East African country Ishmaelia. Instead the newspaper mistakenly sends its mild-mannered and clueless staff writer William Boot, a nature writer who likes to compose sentences like, “Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole."

Boot is joined by other journalistic Brits, Americans, French, Swedes and so on, all competing to outsplash the others. As it turns out, there's no war going on, so they need to get creative to please their editors. Rumors fly and quickly become stories, and the truth doesn't even merit secondary consideration. "News is what a chap who doesn't care much about anything wants to read. And it's only news until he's read it." The humor continues to have bite today, and it's easy enough to substitute "Rupert Murdoch" for "Lord Copper", the always-right owner of the Daily Beast, or to recognize the pressure newscaster Brian Williams felt to make up entertaining stories.

Sure enough, by resisting the herd mentality, in the end Boot scoops all the others. But the consequent honors bestowed disconcert him, and there is yet another case of mistaken identity that will have its effect.. All Boot wants to do is resume his musings on nature, writing about "maternal rodents [who] pilot their furry brood through the stubble."

This one is full of laughs. More than once it made me think of [[P.G. Wodehouse]] and his Jeeves and Bertie Wooster stories. Sure enough, toward the end of [Scoop], two characters bond over their mutual friendship with someone named "Bertie Wodehouse-Bonner".
( )
  jnwelch | Feb 18, 2015 |
Brilliant, elegant satire that includes all levels of English society, focusing particularly on the crumbling landed gentry at their estates, but also on working journalists in the city. Satirical observations as well once our hero is sent abroad to Africa, where in the fictional country of Ishmaelia the citizens care less than the Communists and the Europeans who wins or loses in the latest manufactured war. Excellent observations of the follies of foreign correspondence, still applicable today. The newspapers all have their agendas, the editors are clueless and the correspondents themselves are put into the ridiculous position of trying to create the news the public wants to hear. Sound familiar? Waugh's style and ability to create the most perfect sentences and bits of dialogue between two obtuse participants are unparalleled. This is one of the finest satires you will find…and modern readers will find many familiar elements in his depiction of both contemporary global political machinations…and the maneuvers of big business at home. ( )
  kishields | Jan 21, 2015 |
A satire on the motivations and manipulations of the Press. Funny. Well written. If only Waugh were alive today he would be appalled by the public's naivete and the overwhelming power of the media. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Very funny; still relevant (written in 1937). Send-up of sensationalist journalism. Spoof of journalism, capitalism, emerging countries. Certainly not politically correct today, but spot on for much of it. Laughed a lot throughout... Haven't read Waugh since college or shortly after... will read more now, I think. ( )
  DavidO1103 | Feb 20, 2014 |
A satire, this novel is dated in its language and prejudice, but not in its essence. Through a case of mistaken identity, William Boot is sent by the newspaper the Beast to an African nation to report on the civil war there, only to find that it is almost entirely made up by the journalists he meets there. Waugh skewers journalists, newspapers, capitalism and government corruption, all applicable to our current world, but the combination of his own bigotry and the general bigotry of the 1930s combine to make parts of this book rather uncomfortable. ( )
  ffortsa | Jan 1, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Waugh, Evelynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duzijn-van Zeelst, M.E.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hitchens, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ràfols Gesa, FerranTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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While still a young man, John Courteney Boot had, as his publisher proclaimed, 'achieved an assured and enviable position in contemporary letters'.
Quotations
Why, once Jakes went out to cover a revolution in one of the Balkan capitals. He overslept in his carriage, woke up at the wrong station, didn't know any different, got out, went straight to a hotel, and cabled off a thousand-word story about barricades in the streets, flaming churches, machine guns answering the rattle of his typewriter as he wrote, a dead child, like a broken doll, spreadeagled in the deserted roadway before his window - you know.
There was something un-English and not quite right about 'the country', with its solitude and self-sufficiency, its bloody recreations, its darkness and silence and sudden, inexplicable noises; the kind of place where you never know from one minute to the next that you may not be tossed by a bull or pitchforked by a yokel or rolled over and broken up by a pack of hounds.
'Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole...'
'Up to a point, Lord Copper.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316926108, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:30 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"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 Smith, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. One of Waugh's most exuberant comedies, "Scoop" is a brilliantly irreverent satire of "Fleet Street" and its hectic pursuit of hot news."--Back cover.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141187492, 0141195126, 0141193468

 

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