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July 14, 2017



by N@ncy


  1. One of Evelyn Waugh’s most popular novels is Scoop.
  2. It is a comedy of mistaken identity.
  3. The story of what  really went wrong is more
  4. …factually told in Waugh in Abyssinia (1936)
  5. Scoop is a slightly strange and in  fanciful form of that book.


  1. Scoop tells the story of William Boot, a nature journalist,
  2. dispatched to cover a foreign war in a fictitious African country.
  3. He finds himself deep in the middle of danger and intrigue.
  4. The story is based on the true exploits of one Bill Deedes.
  5. He was a minister in Harold Macmillan’s administration and
  6. …later became Editor of the Daily Telegraph.


  1. Expose the pretensions of foreign journalists
  2. Journalist’s ideal goal: search for the truth.
  3. Journalist’s real goal: produce a story the newspapers will print


  1. Waugh ridicules ignorance beyond imagination:
  2. Foreign editor, Mr. Salter, cannot find Reykjavik on a map
  3. …nor can anyone else in his office.


  1. Irony: William Boot is called to the editor’s office.
  2. He thinks he is getting fired for mistakes in his nature column.
  3. Instead he is hired as a war correspondent!
  4. The least talented man gets the  coveted job!
  5. Irony: Foreign correspondents who received most praise
  6. are those who ignore the facts of the situation!


  1. This book is comedy pure and simple.
  2. It is designed to make you laugh.
  3. But is also designed to make you think.
  4. It is a social satire in which…
  5. Waugh shows us that upper-class members of society
  6.  – Lord Copper and Lord Zinc, editors of newspapers –
  7. – well respected foreign journalists
  8. Sir Jocelyn Hitchcock and Wenlock Jakes –
  9. are no better than the average person
  10. sometimes they are worse!

Last thoughts:

  1. Part 1 is good
  2. push through part 2 and
  3. the best laughs are in part 3 !
  4. There is no one better than Waugh
  5. …who can poke fun at British society.
  6. Before reading…
  7. ..know who’s who:
  8. Mystery man Mr Baldwin
  9. Femme fatale Kätchen
  10. Reporters; Pigge, Shumble, Corker, Boot, Hitchcock (UK)
  11. Jakes (US), Olafson (Sweden), Pappenhacker (Russia)
  12. Ishmaelia is a confusing  African nation whirling with
  13. revolution, spies, a bevy of journalists all asking
  14. “What is the news from Laku?”
  15. …joke you will understand when you read the book!








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