Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh is a historical contemporary novel set in 1920s post WW1 London.
This book follows a gang of ‘Bright Young People’ into a world of parties, money and gossip in a London that is still trying to make sense of itself following the ‘Great War’.
I am very nearly finished with this book and so I feel at liberty to give my opinion on it at this point.
Vile Bodies is exactly what I have needed in a book for a long time. It is refreshingly hilarious and addictive. Maybe this is because of its rich and glamorous back drop in the private mansions and opulent hotels of Mayfair. More than likely it is because of its dazzling cast of eccentric and ridiculous twenty-somethings who have no jobs, no commitments and no morals. They are both admirable and repulsive people and Waugh is very keen to constantly remind his reader of this. Stephen Fry describes this books as Britain’s ‘Great Gatsby’ and I would say that perfectly encapsulates the violently outrageous and excessive nature of this story.
Aside from the unique focus of the narrative I found that this book, unlike many books from the early 20th century was very readable and accessible. I would recommend it wholeheartedly as a read that bounces through a series of seemingly frivolous sub plots whilst all the while maintaining a political and historical commentary. This book, although not written with the genre in mind, is very much the kind of thing that a reader of YA would enjoy. Let me know how you like it!
Keep on reading!
And thanks again Beth.