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Download Decline and Fall Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Decline and Fall Audiobook, by Evelyn Waugh Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 5 3.35 (23 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Evelyn Waugh Narrator: Michael Maloney Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781619693968
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Sent down from Oxford after a wild, drunken party, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly surprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at a boys’ private school in Wales. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, rascals, and fools, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and Captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds in Evelyn Waugh’s dazzling debut as a novelist, the young run riot and no one is safe, least of all Paul.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Irresistible...One of Waugh’s best.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A savagely comic masterpiece.”

    Times Literary Supplement

  • “A world of anarchic fantasy, floodlit with a bland, devastating brilliance...Waugh’s people were of two classes, both of whom he knew intimately: the giddy rich and adventurers of vast caddishness...The characters reeled their lunatic way, with sublime insouciance or sublime rascality, through a harlequinade ending in gruesome but hilarious calamity.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • Decline and Fall is that all-too-rare phenomenon, a good nonsense novel. Its author has had the happy inspiration to take nothing seriously, and least of all himself. The result is a book which makes more sense than most.”

    New Republic

  • “Surely one of the finest satirical novels of our time, in which uplift, religion, romance, and personal animus do not dissipate the satiric intention.”

    Nation

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brenna | 2/17/2014

    " Just couldn't get into this onee. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 PMP | 2/15/2014

    " One of Waugh's best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tortla | 2/15/2014

    " Maybe I'll reconcile myself to the racism and violence once I've digested the satirical bent of the book better...It was really funny, at least. And the prison bits reminded me of a sort of parody of The Stranger, which I'm not sure was intentional. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 1/26/2014

    " I'm not saying it's not a good book, someone on the cover says it's the funniest book they've ever read. It's just that I don't get it. I was glad it was short so I could finish it quickly. However my boyfriend did find it funny so it's probably just me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 1/24/2014

    " brilliant, biting, and funny "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn | 1/18/2014

    " Typical British male author humor but without the usual charm. Or maybe I've just grown tired of the genre. Does this mark the end of my British lit era? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 1/5/2014

    " Very funny - much about schools, institutions and society remain unchanged in Britain "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorraine | 1/1/2014

    " Witty, cynical, very,very funny and definitely NOT politically correct! Think it ought to be made into a movie or TV series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brentney | 12/17/2013

    " I suspect this would have been a laugh-riot had I known anything at all about British aristocracy or Modernist slang of the UK. Still, even for someone as ignorant as myself, Waugh is a master. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rob | 11/24/2013

    " Somewhat more bleak and cynical than Wodehouse or K. Amis, it was quite readable, at least. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Johan Martin | 11/3/2013

    " Book group discussion earned it another star. Liked the sarcasm, not always sure who it's directed against. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gillian | 10/30/2013

    " At last completed reading it. Strange, meandering book. It felt too contrived in places even though it is absurd humour. I didn't really enjoy any of the characters but found it entertaining. I think that is what it is, an entertaining read but when it is over nothing much to think about afterwards. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 10/6/2013

    " I don't think this has aged very well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 9/8/2013

    " Definitely a plot in what my friends would call my wheelhouse: the middleclass man who semi-wittingly gets into a mess of trouble. A little too much dialogue to be a beyond-easy read, but enjoyable and comedic while still biting and relevant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Taz | 9/8/2013

    " waugh hadn't hit his stride yet.... i guess i learned that you get better at being a novelist with practice. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Luc | 7/9/2013

    " Light comedy about unfortunate underdog who always ends up as the victim of people less scrupulous than himself. Ironic picture of social order in early 20th Century Britain. Waugh's English is a treat, as usual, full of irony and tongue-in-cheek. Very amusing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Mcintire | 6/29/2013

    " Amusing, but definitely Waugh as a more novice writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natasha | 6/2/2013

    " A good read although a bit too much of a farce at times. Had some incredibly funny sections in it and is short enough to read in an afternoon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 RC and Moon Pie | 5/24/2013

    " Three stars is low, but it's because I didn't get as much out of it as I should have. I was looking for something different at the start and by the time I hit the proper rhythm, I had half of it read. Definitely going to reread this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennpetes | 5/15/2013

    " This was my third or fourth reading - one of my favorite books. Funnier and sharper each time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Borah | 3/4/2013

    " I had... complicated feelings about this one. The whole review is here, at MyEntertainmentWorld.ca. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron Terpening | 3/1/2013

    " So good I didn't want it to end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 12/9/2012

    " A clever and wicked satire with an uncertain ending. The first half made me laugh out loud but the plot got a little more plodding toward the end. Convinced me to read more Waugh because he's definitely not just Brideshead. "

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About the Author
Author Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966) was born October 28, 1903 in London, England. After short periods as an art student and schoolmaster, he devoted himself to travel and to the writing of novels. His novels are unusually highly wrought and precisely written. Those written before 1939 may be described as satirical. During World War II his writing took a more serious and ambitious turn. Waugh also wrote travel books. 

About the Narrator

Michael Maloney is an actor who has appeared in numerous television productions, including as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Prince Hal in Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, for which he won Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor awards. His theater credits include Sleuth, Peer Gynt, and All My Sons, and his film credits include The Young Victoria and Notes on a Scandal. He has narrated numerous audiobooks, earning seven AudioFile Earphones Awards.