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Scoop (1938)

by Evelyn Waugh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,787833,224 (3.79)254
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 Stitch, Lord Copper feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. So begins "Scoop, "Waugh's exuberant comedy of mistaken identity and brilliantly irreverent satire of the hectic pursuit of hot news.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, jwhenderson, schibboleth46, CCRLibraryAZ, sha1maneser, margitc, CatMos
Legacy LibrariesEvelyn Waugh , Ernest Hemingway
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» See also 254 mentions

English (75)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Scoop (London, 1938) by Evelyn Waugh is a satire on journalism. It is based on Waugh's 1935 assignment to cover the conflict between Abyssinia and Italy while working as a war correspondent for the London Daily Mail in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia). Waugh acknowledged that he was not very good at covering wars, but he did keep a close eye on what his fellow reporters were doing. The outcome was a comedic and satirical novel that mocks the newspaper industry and the journalism profession with a playful yet decidedly deadly tone.

The story centers upon a few humorous turns of events. Lord Copper, the conceited and uneducated proprietor of the Daily Beast, inadvertently dispatches William Boot, a naive nature columnist, to cover the conflict in the made-up nation of Ishmaelia in East Africa. At least geographically speaking, Ishmaelia and Abyssinia are identical. William learns a few fast lessons on the crafty methods used by journalists, who are constantly attempting to outsmart their peers and break a story. William returns to London as a well-known reporter after receiving many significant scoops on his own thanks to a string of fortunate events. However, all of it is meaningless to him, and he is glad to be going back to his remote and run-down country house, Boot Magna Hall, where his numerous eccentric relatives reside. Overall this is still an entertaining comedic read. ( )
  jwhenderson | Mar 1, 2024 |
I've been wanting to read this book for ages - Evelyn Waugh's famous satire on journalism. While still very enjoyable, its bite is now a lot less incisive than it might once have been.

The plot is a rollicking good comedy of errors, displaying a lot of the fatigued disenchantment of mid-20th century Britain so evident in (particularly) comedies of that period. There are plenty of beautifully timed comic moments (particularly in the first half of the book), and grotesque characters.

The casual racism and total disinterest in anyone below the very upper middle-classes is perhaps to be expected, but less to be celebrated. Well, there may be a case that this is just Waugh's misanthropy, rather than actual basic bigotry, but nonetheless renders the book rather two-dimensional (just like most of the foreign and working class characters).

The depiction of the journlist's trade is more affectionate than would be expected these days - they are mostly feckless rather than ruthless and incompetent not outright dishonest. If they influence the news it is more accident than design.

For me, Scoop is more interesting as a period piece than a vital piece of satire.
( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
Droll, Barney, very droll.(26) ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
Enjoyed the 2nd time. Quirky Waugh English humour. ( )
  SteveMcI | Apr 28, 2023 |
out
  BegoMano | Mar 5, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Waugh, Evelynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blewitt, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cameron, JamesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duzijn-van Zeelst, M.E.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Evans, HenriTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hitchens, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ràfols Gesa, FerranTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schnack, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiler, JanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weyergans, FranzTranslatorsecondary 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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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 Stitch, Lord Copper feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. So begins "Scoop, "Waugh's exuberant comedy of mistaken identity and brilliantly irreverent satire of the hectic pursuit of hot news.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141187492, 0141195126, 0141193468

Hachette Book Group

An edition of this book was published by Hachette Book Group.

» Publisher information page

 

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