Evelyn Waugh aptly begins A Handful of Dust with a quote from The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot. Published in 1934, this satirical novel takes place in the early 1930’s in England. The story revolves around a wealthy married couple and their friends, most of whom have nothing better to do than to navigate life from one dinner party to another. Infidelity in marriage is commonplace and ladies of leisure are depicted as cold-hearted and bored. The book took several turns which caught me by surprise, but I did not find it to be what I would consider one of the Top 150 books. It may be that my understanding of this type of lifestyle is limited even though it is so often depicted in movies and books of this era. I think F. Scott Fitzgerald did a better job of capturing the thinking of the jet set in The Great Gatsby. It is an interesting story and one I found very sad, but that is most likely what the author intended. There are references to other great novels in the book, in particular the work of Charles Dickens and I took that to be Waugh’s way of presenting opposing values of the common man in England during earlier times.
This is another book which has been made into a movie. If I ever come across it, I will view it with hopes of it leaving a better impression on me.