By Evelyn Waugh
Books - Just The Good Stuff
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh ranked # 75 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
Scoop is a 1938 novel by English writer Evelyn Waugh. In this satire of sensational journalism, a young man, the author of a regular column on placid country life for a London newspaper aptly named the Daily Beast, is sent by mistake to the ficticious African state of Ishmaelia where a civil war threatens to break out. There, despite his total ineptitude, he accidentally manages to get the 'scoop' of the title.
The novel is partly based on Waugh's own experience working for the Daily Mail, when he was sent to cover Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia. When he got his own scoop on the invasion he telegraphed the story back in Latin for secrecy, but they discarded it. Lord Copper, the newspaper magnate, is based on an amalgam of Lord Northcliffe and Lord Beaverbrook; a character so fearsome that his obsequious Editor, Mr Salter, can never openly disagree with any statement he makes, answering "Definitely, Lord Copper" and 'Up to a point, Lord Copper" in place of "yes" or "no". Waugh based his hapless protagonist, William Boot, on Bill Deedes, a junior reporter who arrived in Addis Ababa aged 22 with two tons of luggage.
Scoop was made into a 1987 British TV movie starring Michael Maloney and Denholm Elliott.
Top 100 Books of All Time
Search Our Site For Music, Films, and Books