I began my journey into Evelyn Waugh’s fiction in 2010 with his 1934 novel, A Handful of Dust, and very much enjoyed the two novels of his which I read in the following couple of years (Scoop and Vile Bodies). I then began the Sword of Honour trilogy, which I didn’t really like; despite the evidently good writing, I just didn’t connect with the story or its characters. I have recently had to read Decline and Fall for my Turn of the Century Representations of Sexuality class at University, and enjoyed it on the whole, but something about it felt a little juvenile to me, and I couldn’t quite get past that element to really like the whole story. I have therefore begun to feel as though my relationship with Waugh’s writing is a mixed one, and will only become more so if I read more of his work.
I have spoken to several people in my cohort about Waugh thus far, and have only had unfavourable responses. I was therefore wondering about the thoughts of others about his work. Do you enjoy his writing style? Which has been your favourite of his books to date? If you have read the Sword of Honour trilogy (Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen, and Unconditional Surrender), what did you think? Which other authors remind you of Waugh?