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Extended Audio Sample Decline and Fall, by Evelyn Waugh Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,925 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:
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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.”


Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.