This month, the Lausanne book club was reading Scoop by Evelyn Waugh. A slightly smaller group than normal which was probably a good thing considering how hot it was!
We were joined by another new member this month (welcome Murali!) and by a selection of our old favourites (old as in length of time with book club, not age, of course!)
Continuing our new tradition of scoring, this book scored a fairly dismal 4.4 (scores ranged from 0 to 7). When asked to describe the book, most people felt that the book hadn’t aged well. It was variously described as “dated”, “boring”, and “unrelatable”. On the plus side, the journalists in the group enjoyed the book’s cynical look at the profession and its people.
Waugh said of his work: “I regard writing not as an investigation of character but as an exercise in the use of language, and with this I am obsessed.” The group certainly agreed with this analysis. And not in a positive way! The language used in the book was one of the major stumbling blocks for the group. Aside from the racist language used throughout, our group thought that Waugh used 184 words when 10 would have sufficed.
However, despite the hatred, the book did allow for a number of incredibly interesting discussions around class, the media, racism, politics, fact checking, travelling, Africa, India, and many more things. In fact, the conversation was so varied, that I stopped taking notes!
Next month we’re onto pure trash. I, for one, am really looking forward to it!
Until then bookclubbers.