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Publisher's Summary

Subtitled "A Novel of Many Manners", Evelyn Waugh's notorious first novel lays waste the "heathen idol" of British sportsmanship, the cultured perfection of Oxford, and the inviolable honor codes of the English gentleman.
Sent down from Oxford after a wild, drunken party, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly surprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at a boys' private school in Wales. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, rascals and fools, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and Captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds in Evelyn Waugh's dazzling debut as a novelist, the young run riot and no one is safe, least of all Paul.
©1956 Evelyn Waugh (P)2012 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Christo on 11-22-16

Breathing life into Waugh's stylish comedy

Michael Maloney does a brilliant job of bringing this witty text to life. All his character impressions are spot on and his rendering of Lady Circumference is excellent and really funny. Waugh's black comedy is relevant today. So much depends on who you know, how much money you've got and what particular circumstances happen to befall you. Paul Pennyfeather is a kind of Everyman that listeners and readers can easily identify with. A brilliant performance of a great book.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Gypsi on 06-09-18

Black Humor, Satire, and the Absurd

Paul Pennyfeather is, by no fault of his own, sent down from Oxford for indecent behavior. His only recourse is to get a job teaching at a less-than-prestigious boarding school. While there, he meets the widowed mother of a student, Margot Beste-Chetwynde, with whom he falls in love. This starts a chain of events leading to his decline and fall.

This, Waugh's first published novel, shows him already a master of black humor, satire, and the absurd. The plot is unpredictable, the prose excellent, and the entire book truly funny. While it's not perfection, it is a great, quick read that will have the reader laughing out loud.

Mr. Maloney does excellent voices, narrates well, and the singing episode was hysterically funny. He does tend to read too quickly at times, though, making it a four star performance instead of five.

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