- Author: E. Waugh
- Title: Scoop
- Published: 1938
- Genre: satire
- Trivia: Nr 75 Modern Library’s top 100 novels 20th C
- One of Evelyn Waugh’s most popular novels is Scoop.
- It is a comedy of mistaken identity.
- The story of what really went wrong is more
- …factually told in Waugh in Abyssinia (1936)
- Scoop is a slightly strange and in fanciful form of that book.
- Scoop tells the story of William Boot, a nature journalist,
- dispatched to cover a foreign war in a fictitious African country.
- He finds himself deep in the middle of danger and intrigue.
- The story is based on the true exploits of one Bill Deedes.
- He was a minister in Harold Macmillan’s administration and
- …later became Editor of the Daily Telegraph.
- Expose the pretensions of foreign journalists
- Journalist’s ideal goal: search for the truth.
- Journalist’s real goal: produce a story the newspapers will print
- Waugh ridicules ignorance beyond imagination:
- Foreign editor, Mr. Salter, cannot find Reykjavik on a map
- …nor can anyone else in his office.
- Irony: William Boot is called to the editor’s office.
- He thinks he is getting fired for mistakes in his nature column.
- Instead he is hired as a war correspondent!
- The least talented man gets the coveted job!
- Irony: Foreign correspondents who received most praise
- are those who ignore the facts of the situation!
- This book is comedy pure and simple.
- It is designed to make you laugh.
- But is also designed to make you think.
- It is a social satire in which…
- Waugh shows us that upper-class members of society
- – Lord Copper and Lord Zinc, editors of newspapers –
- – well respected foreign journalists
- Sir Jocelyn Hitchcock and Wenlock Jakes –
- are no better than the average person
- …sometimes they are worse!
- Part 1 is good
- push through part 2 and
- the best laughs are in part 3 !
- There is no one better than Waugh
- …who can poke fun at British society.
- Before reading…
- ..know who’s who:
- Mystery man Mr Baldwin
- Femme fatale Kätchen
- Reporters; Pigge, Shumble, Corker, Boot, Hitchcock (UK)
- Jakes (US), Olafson (Sweden), Pappenhacker (Russia)
- Ishmaelia is a confusing African nation whirling with
- revolution, spies, a bevy of journalists all asking
- “What is the news from Laku?”
- …joke you will understand when you read the book!