Will This Do?: The First Fifty Years of Auberon Waugh An Autobiography
ISBN 13: 9780786705191
Publisher: Carroll & Graf Pub
Publication Date: 1998
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Evelyn Waugh uncharitably once characterized his seven-year-old eldest son as "without intellectual, aesthetic, or spiritual interest", none of which holds true about this long-awaited and well-received autobiography. A self-confessed "product of the bourgeois cultural elite" and guerrilla campaigner against both sides in Britain's class war, Waugh is now comfortably established as his country's best-loved practitioner of what he calls "the vituperative arts". How he achieved this prominence is an unceasingly entertaining narrative: his difficult relationship with his father; his education first at a public school with the Dickensian name of Downside and then at post-Brideshead Oxford; his National Service in the army, during which he severely wounded himself with a machine gun; and his early career as a novelist and then as a Fleet Street journalist and columnist for the notorious, libelous Private Eye. Waugh's matchless intellect, trenchant irony, and dry wit make Will This Do? as enjoyable and outrageous an autobiography as the best of his father's fiction.
"Mr. Waugh the younger has produced a lengthy bulletin that his father would have undoubtedly liked--a modest but terrifically entertaining book that's funny, acerbic and a little sad, a book that demonstrates just what a fine informant the author grew up to be."
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times Book Review, 06/23/1998
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