Kiss Me, Chudleigh: The World According to Auberon Waugh

William Cook

Kiss Me, Chudleigh: The World According to Auberon Waugh

Kiss Me, Chudleigh is a collection of satirist Auberon Waugh’s best writing. It is also a compact biography. It consists of excerpts from the things he wrote, drawn from every stage of his career, from the Catholic Herald to Private Eye, the Spectator, the Daily Telegraph and the Literary Review. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, marrying his main preoccupations with the main phases of his life: school (where he received a record number of beatings); university (he came down from Oxford after one year, without a degree); Fleet Street (where he cut his teeth writing captions for the Sunday Mirror’s bathing beauties); France (where he lived while writing his second novel, and returned regularly throughout his life); the House of Commons (where he won his spurs as a political correspondent); Grub Street (where he found his comic voice, writing for Private Eye); Somerset (where he made his home) and Abroad (from war reporting in Biafra to travel writing in Bangkok). 4.6 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
Kiss Me, Chudleigh: The World According to Auberon Waugh

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Humour, Biography, Essays, Journals & Letters
Format Hardback
Pages 384
RRP £19.99
Date of Publication October 2010
ISBN 978-1444711493
Publisher Coronet
 

Kiss Me, Chudleigh is a collection of satirist Auberon Waugh’s best writing. It is also a compact biography. It consists of excerpts from the things he wrote, drawn from every stage of his career, from the Catholic Herald to Private Eye, the Spectator, the Daily Telegraph and the Literary Review. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, marrying his main preoccupations with the main phases of his life: school (where he received a record number of beatings); university (he came down from Oxford after one year, without a degree); Fleet Street (where he cut his teeth writing captions for the Sunday Mirror’s bathing beauties); France (where he lived while writing his second novel, and returned regularly throughout his life); the House of Commons (where he won his spurs as a political correspondent); Grub Street (where he found his comic voice, writing for Private Eye); Somerset (where he made his home) and Abroad (from war reporting in Biafra to travel writing in Bangkok).

Reviews

The Literary Review

Christopher Hart

William Cook, rather cleverly, has compiled a collection of the best of Waugh's writings that also functions as a kind of autobiography. The result is inexhaustibly funny and often informative, and shows that Waugh was wrong on one count: his own achievement.

01/10/2010

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The Daily Mail

John Preston

One of the many delights of this book is seeing how well his stuff has stood the test of time. While the cast of characters may be a little unfamiliar — Idi Amin, Captain Mark Phillips, Sir Edward Heath, and so on — the tone, the inventiveness, are as sparkling as ever.

25/11/2010

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The Mail on Sunday

Craig Brown

William Cook, who has skilfully edited this supremely funny anthology, resurrecting wonderful pieces from such offbeat publications as The Catholic Herald and Business Traveller, writes in his introduction that he approached his task 'mindful of Waugh's waspish reputation' but completed it with an overriding impression of 'his irrepressible joie de vivre'. And so it will strike every sane reader.

07/11/2010

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The Spectator

Marcus Berkmann

Cook has read the millions of words Waugh produced, and made selections from every stage of his prolific career. There are juvenilia here, as well as bite-sized chunks from the early novels, not quite enough from the Private Eye diaries and maybe one too many slightly dull travel pieces. But this is niggling, because overall the consistency is breathtaking. Quite simply, no one else writes like this...

06/11/2010

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The Evening Standard

Melanie McDonagh

There are only a handful of writers whose journalism really survives them: Sydney Smith, George Bernard Shaw, G.K. Chesterton. Auberon Waugh withstands the test of time, in that his reflections on Edward Heath, Tito or the young Princess Anne can be relished even by readers with only a dim idea of who these people were, though the cream of some jokes will be lost.

28/10/2010

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The Independent

Jonathan Sale

Highly enjoyable… His disgraceful political-incorrectness-gone-mad had its inbuilt get-out-of-jail card. He was often parodying himself, as if he were a character in one of his early novels. Women at a Labour conference were "either hunch-backed or hairy-legged or obviously lesbian". He wondered if electrocution might be better than beatings for schoolboys. Following the invention of the "silent piano", how about "silent politicians"? He hoped that the girlfriend of whoever burgled his house would be raped by ten Sun readers.

24/11/2010

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The New Statesman

Anthony Howard

Cook seems to me to do pretty well, though there is one sizeable gap, in that nowhere is there the slightest hint of the Indian-summer romance that, over a period of nearly 20 years, Bron conducted with Susan Crosland, widow of Tony Crosland, Jim Callaghan's first foreign secretary and the author of The Future of Socialism. Maybe Cook, whose last book was a study of Morecambe and Wise, does not appear to regard that aspect of things as important. My own belief, however, remains that this relationship had a perceptible impact, softening the more Gothic corners of Bron's former attitude and outlook.

28/10/2010

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