Friday, January 5, 2024

The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


Welcome to the first Book Beginnings of the new year! Please share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, or just a book that caught your fancy.

Hopefully my late post this week does not set the course for the rest of the year! My New Year's resolution is to get Book Beginnings up and running by Thursday at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. Let's see if I can keep it.

All day the heat had been barely supportable but at evening a breeze arose in the west, blowing from the heart of the setting sun and from the ocean, which lay unseen, unheard behind the scrubby foothills. 
-- from The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh.

Evelyn Waugh went to Hollywood in the 1940s to consult with movie studios about a movie version of his famous novel, Brideshead Revisited. The movie deal fell through, but the trip inspired his novel, The Loved One (1948), a satire about Hollywood and the funeral business in America. 

The Loved One is very funny, in a dark and often harsh way. Waugh is one of my favorite authors because he is so snarky and irreverent. I just finished this book and thought it was hilarious, but it is not for the faint of heart. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I had not recently read After Many a Summer Dies the Swan (1939) by Aldous Huxley, which also pillories the funeral industry and is even more outrageous.  


Please add the link to your Book Beginnings post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings so we can find each other.

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The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head if Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.


From The Loved One:
A young lady rose from a group of her fellows to welcome him, one of that new race of exquisite, amiable, efficient young ladies whom he had met everywhere in the United States. She wore a white smock and over her sharply supported left breast was embroidered the words, Mortuary Hostess.

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