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3.795 out of 53.795 out of 53.795 out of 53.795 out of 53.795 out of 5 3.80 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Evelyn Waugh Narrator: Simon Cadell Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781619693890
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Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of the Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs. Algernon Stitch, Lord Copper feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. So begins Scoop, Waugh’s exuberant comedy of mistaken identity and brilliantly irreverent satire of the hectic pursuit of hot news.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With this book England’s wittiest novelist sets a new standard for comic extravaganza…The real message about SCOOP is that it is thoroughly enjoyable, uproariously funny, and that everyone should read it at once.”

    New York Times

  • “A good deal of sharp wit—you can cut your hands on it if you’re not careful.”

    New Yorker

  • “I could not put Mr Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop down until I had finished it. He takes the reader straight through the looking glass into a modern Wonderland in which anything may, and probably does, happen.”


  • One of the Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony | 2/20/2014

    " I'm generally a fan of acerbic British fiction and satire, but haven't taken the time to go back and read any Waugh until I picked up this longtime talisman of foreign correspondents. The story concerns the efforts of rival newspapers to "scoop" each other with regards to a possible war in the fictional East African Republic of Ishmaelia (which appears to be a kind of mashup of Ethiopia and Liberia). The central player in this satire is an impoverished member of the rural gentry named Boot, who pens a soporific "Rural Notes" column for a London paper called The Daily Beast. The book starts in London, where a charismatic society lady arranges to have one her proteges, an up and coming young novelist also with the surname Boot, sent to Ishmaelia by the Beast as a special correspondent (with a commensurately special salary). Alas, through a mixup worthy of P. G. Wodehouse, the paper ends up sending the other Boot, who would prefer to be left to rot in peace in the country, but can't turn down the large salary on offer. This first part of the book is a lot of fun, with lots of great comedy, a wonderfully funny country household, and the society lady, who completely runs away with the show. Alas, she disappears from the narrative as the wrong Boot heads off by planes, trains, and automobiles to Ishmaelia. From this point on, the story is intent mainly on skewering the news business at every turn, along with businessmen, politicians, innkeepers, and pretty much any one else who comes into contact with the hapless Boot. Some readers may find the portrayal of the Africans to be offensive, although to my mind, they don't come off any worse than the European characters, and if anything, seem a great more clever. Unfortunately, like a lot of comic writing based on exaggerated behavior, the book reads a little too much like slapstick for my taste, than it does nuanced satire. Of course, humor is often a matter of taste, so others may find it vastly more amusing. On the whole, it's a book that would benefit from a nice ten page introduction to give it some context. For example, the reason Waugh is able to paint these preposterous portraits of foreign correspondents is that he was one himself. Like the first Boot in the book, he was a shiny young novelist whose lifestyle demanded a larger income stream, one which the newspapers could provide. Several times, Waugh held his nose and traveled as a foreign corresponded for the Daily Mail, despite being an apparently indifferent journalist who thought the profession mere hackery. In that context, this book might be interpreted as a work of self-loathing, in which he pillories himself -- since, by all accounts, he really indulged in all the worst behaviors that he satirizes in the novel. In fact, he had a kind of formula, whereby he would get paid to go on a trip as a correspondent, then milk that experience for both a non-fiction travelogue and a work of fiction. His first trip to Ethiopia was the impetus for his earlier novel Black Mischief, while a trip in 1938 to cover the Italian invasion led to a widely panned travelogue called Waugh in Abyssinia and this book. On the whole, if you like comic fiction it's worth the brief time it takes to read, if only for the opening and some great deadpan stuff throughout. Especially amusing are the cryptic telegrams Boot gets from the head office. But on the whole, it struck me more as a broad farce than a surgical satire, and thus was a little disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 kat | 2/18/2014

    " I felt like this was a better written draft of Black Mischief that focused on ridiculing journalism instead of colonization. The writing was crisper, more economical, funnier. Waugh has definitely gotten his sea legs under him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Cruce | 2/14/2014

    " I re-read this book (which I've always loved, although its 1930's racism is admittedly jarring) recently and I'm trying to find more of Evelyn Waugh to read at the library. Other than "Brideshead Revisited," I've only been able to find a couple. Reading "Decline and Fall" next. I'm alternating Waugh and McEwan - I don't know why. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 2/7/2014

    " Funny digs at English press that probably would have been even funnier if I understood all the references and wasn't already so cynical about how the media operates. Still some hilarious lines. The stumbling bumbling insanity read to me like P.G. Wodehouse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sophie | 1/22/2014

    " I am such a huge fan of Evelyn Waugh. I absolutely adore his work. This book is perhaps one of his more recognized novels, so I was eager to read it. Unfortunately I was left a little disappointed, but perhaps only due to the hype. It is a lovely book, but just isn't as brilliant as some of his other novels, such as Decline & Fall, and Vile Bodies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 1/19/2014

    " Great book! Funny and a bit bizarre but really entertaining. Had me laughing out loud at times. Well written of course as it is by Evelyn Waugh. Highly recommended to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 1/4/2014

    " As my second exposure to the wonders of Waugh, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. However, when compared to The Loved One, it falls a bit short. It's also rife with post-colonial racism towards Africans. But otherwise it's pretty funny, and I look forward to reading more Waugh in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie Gunderson | 12/30/2013

    " Sort of a trifle but a lot of fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Gibbon | 12/30/2013

    " Can't be beat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 katy | 12/14/2013

    " LOL One of the funniest books I ever read! The foreign correspondents make up the news. Everyone in the novel has everything backwards. I read a 1977 version. I don't know if newer editions have cleaned up the racial epithets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbie | 12/11/2013

    " The Great Fire "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matte | 12/11/2013

    " god, journalists suck. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 12/11/2013

    " Wodehouse meets "Absurdistan." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary C. Moore | 12/6/2013

    " A somewhat dated novel. Had some funny moments, and the absurdity was well placed in context of the media's role in society, especially war. However, there was a base problem with the flippancy of the prose, it stopped me from getting too deeply involved in the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 9/27/2013

    " read this years ago and really enjoyed it "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cody | 7/19/2013

    " My father LOVED this book and recently mailed me a copy. For some reason I was just not able to get into it. I'm not much for British satire in the first place, but I found the plot rather bland and uninteresting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 7/17/2013

    " My favorite Waugh so far, but no fifth star, because I can never love a satire. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arnold | 6/4/2013

    " Considered by many as his masterpiece without the glamour attached to Brideshead "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 4/19/2013

    " pretty good satire "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charity | 3/14/2013

    " Funny case of mistaken identity. William Boot literally falls by failure into the biggest story of his life as he is mistakenly sent to a war front. His ambivalence to his assignment gives him the edge to a developing story. Easy read, but funny and interesting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matthew | 2/13/2013

    " Some people claim this is funny (even "hilarious"?!), but I found it to be only mildly, situationally funny. In fact, the fun is far outweighed by the racist and imperialist attitudes all though out the book. All the satire of journalism stuff is alright, but it's not worth the ugliness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glendora | 1/20/2013

    " Classic journalism satire(?). "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/1/2013

    " I suppose this was funny when it was written--however, today it seems pathetic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tim | 12/29/2012

    " A classic comic novel in Waugh's classic comic style (but not antically comic like Wodehouse; he's a more serious writer, I think). Great British adaptation of this novel from the 1990s if you can find it on DVD. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 12/27/2012

    " I read this when I was a journalist. Laughed myself to pieces. "

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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

Simon Cadell (1950–1996) was an English actor, best remembered for his portrayal of Jeffrey Fairbrother on the BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi!. Other acting credits include regular roles in the television shows Enemy at the Door, Tales of the Unexpected, and Life without George.