20th Century Loved One: An Anglo American Tragedy (Twentieth Century Classics)

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9780140182491: 20th Century Loved One: An Anglo American Tragedy (Twentieth Century Classics)

In Hollywood, at Whispering Glades, a full-service funeral home for departed greats, the mononymonous Mr. Joyboy and Aimee Thanatogenos fall in love...with each other and their work. He is chief embalmer, she a crematorium cosmetician. They spend their days contentedly prepping the loved ones for a final appearance.

Into this idyllic scene comes Denis Barlow, aspiring poet and funerary colleague. But Denis is downscale, his employer the Happier Hunting Ground, a pet cemetery. Denis looks to Aimee for professional reconstruction, falls in love with her instead, and sets up a triangle that is literally more than Aimee can bear.

"A fiendishly entertaining book -- Evelyn Waugh has never written more brilliantly. Devilishly, impishly amusing." (The New York Times)

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Review:

The prolific Waugh--an English novelist and satirist perhaps best known for Brideshead Revisited--described this slim, vicious comedy as "a little nightmare produced by the unaccustomed high living of a brief visit to Hollywood." The setting is the L.A. funeral industry, where Whispering Glades provides deluxe service to deceased stars and their families, and the Happier Hunting Ground does the same for dead pets. (At Whispering Glades, staff must refer to the corpses only as "Loved Ones.") The industry provides a perfect foil for Waugh's deadpan wit--and an apt metaphor for the movie business.

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4 1-hour cassettes

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