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Jeune encore, John Courtenay Boot s était acquis, selon son éditeur, «une situation solide et enviable dans les lettres contemporaines». Chacun de ses romans tirait à quinze mille exemplaires, enlevés bon an mal an par des lecteurs fidèles dont il avait tout sujet de respecter le goût et le jugement. Entre deux romans, il soignait sa cote auprès des intellectuels en confectionnant, sans presque se soucier du profit, quelque ouvrage d'histoire ou récit de voyage parfumé à la dernière mode. L'exemplaire dédicacé de ses éditions originales se revendait parfois jusqu'à trente pour cent au-dessus du prix payé au libraire. Ayant débuté à dix-huit ans par une Vie de Rimbaud, il en était, avec Temps perdu, récit de ses aventures chez les Indiens de Patagonie où l'abus délibéré de la litote laissait entendre des choses épouvantables, à son huitième livre, dont la plupart des commensaux habituels de Lady Metroland étaient capables de citer trois ou quatre titres. Très répandu dans ce monde charmant, il faisait le plus grand cas de la belle Mrs Algernon Stitch qui en était l'un des fleurons et, comme tous ceux qui la fréquentaient, lui apportait volontiers l'ordinaire de ses ennuis pour en recevoir la solution.
Ce fut avec cette intention que, par un matin frisquet de juin, il traversa le parc pour aller sonner à sa porte, celle d'un merveilleux petit hôtel particulier de Nicholas Hawksmoor dissimulé au fond d'une impasse, non loin du palais de Saint-James.
Algernon Stitch était debout dans le hall, coiffé d'un chapeau melon, serrant de sa main droite passée dans la manche de son pardessus une valise cramoisie aux armes royales, la gauche farfouillant dans la poche intérieure et gênée par un parapluie glissé sous le bras. Comme il avait aussi, plié entre les dents, un journal du matin, les paroles qu'il émettait étaient confuses :
- B'sang, m'en sortirai jamais ! reconnut cependant John Boot.
Mais le domestique qui avait ouvert la porte arrivait à la rescousse.
Il se saisit d'abord du parapluie et de la valise et les déposa prestement sur la table, puis dégagea le pardessus qu'il présenta en pied à son maître, tandis que John Boot délestait le ministre de son journal.
- Merci. Merci infiniment. Bien aimable. Venu voir Julia, eh ?
D'en haut, de très haut, le long des spirales majestueuses du grand escalier, descendit un filet de voix étonnamment sonore pour son volume :
- Tâchez de ne pas être en retard pour le dîner, Algy. Nous avons les Kent. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

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, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia.



Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 240 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Classics; Édition : New Ed (7 décembre 2000)
  • Collection : MC FICTION (ENG
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0141184027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141184029
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,7 x 1,5 x 20,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 42.679 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par Phil-Don TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS le 27 juillet 2015
Format: Broché
'Scoop' relate les aventures de William Boot qui, suite à une erreur d'homonymie, est promu envoyé spécial pour aller commenter une pseudo-guerre dans un obscur pays d'Afrique. Son journal lui demande avant tout des scoops - sans trop se fier à la validité des informations.

Je ne connaissais d'Evelyn Waugh que le magnifique 'Brideshead Revisited' et découvre ici un auteur très amusant qui m'a fait parfois penser à Tom Sharpe - mais plus sage et sans grivoiserie aucune. L'humour s'accompagne d'une satire de la presse écrite qui reste d'actualité aujourd'hui.

'Scoop' a été une agréable découverte, je ne m'attendais pas à tant d'humour chez Waugh. J'attribue 4/5 étoiles car j'ai trouvé un peu longue la partie se déroulant en Afrique - or, les passages les plus drôles se passent en Angleterre.
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
cette critique du monde journalistique anglais des années 1930 n'a pas pris une ride. C'est drole et mordant. On passe un très bon moment!
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78 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Satirical Tour de Force 10 août 2002
Par oh_pete - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
It's London in the 1930s and novelist John Boot thinks he'd be the best writer for a special correspondent's job in Ishmaelia, East Africa, where revolution is in the air. He very well may be, but no one will find out because the powers that be at the great London newspaper, "The Beast" (heated rival of "The Brute"), mistakenly send his distant cousin William Boot instead. Poor William, who works for the paper already and was perfectly happy sending in his two essays a month on "Lush Places," is pulled out of his comfortable country lifestyle and thrust toward a greatness so great he could only stumble upon it by accident.
"Scoop" is an unrelenting satire of the tabloid press of Waugh's day. While it's arguably the most clever and well structured of the six of his novels I have read, imagine how much funnier it would be today if the general public didn't know so much about how journalists (even at the most respectable, unjaundiced papers) gather their stories. William quickly learns how the Special Correspondents submit their "eyewitness accounts" of battle from cushy hotel rooms fifty miles from the fighting, how a telegram of ten words will get turned into three hundred and splashed on the front page. And if the paper isn't happy with one writer, they can't send another because the journey from England to Africa takes three weeks!
As he does in "Decline and Fall" and "A Handful of Dust," Waugh once again shows us an Englishman thrown into absurd circumstances beyond his control who won't or can't speak up to save himself the trouble. Where "Scoop" improves, or at least differs, from the earlier works, is that William Boot does speak up for himself and it still doesn't help. He's no fool, however, and at least ends up in a better place than several of Waugh's earlier protagonists.
It's probable that "Scoop" doesn't get read much by students anymore because of it's racist undertones (and epithets) and seemingly casual treatment of revolutions in post-colonial Africa. Racist or not, what Waugh is really doing is making fun of the human race in all its varied colors and idiosyncrasies. As always, he saves his most biting satire for his fellow English.
An extremely well constructed book, "Scoop" displays layer upon layer of absurd characters and situations that Waugh pulls expertly together in a most satisfying manner. I thought he had really outdone himself with "A Handful of Dust," but I find that "Scoop" is now my favorite. Enjoy!
37 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Waugh's Comic Assault on Wartime Journalism 25 novembre 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In October 1935, Italy invaded the independent African nation of Ethiopia. The Italo-Ethiopian War lasted less than eight months, Emperor Haile Selassie's kingdom falling quickly before Italy's modern weaponry. It was a little war that, nonetheless, implicated the great powers of Europe and foreshadowed the much bigger war to follow.
Evelyn Waugh was in his early 30s, already the author of four remarkable comic novels, when he accepted an assignment to cover the Italo-Ethiopian War for a London newspaper. The enduring result of that assignment was Waugh's fifth novel, "Scoop," a scathing satirical assault on the ethos of Fleet Street and its war correspondents, as well as on Waugh's usual suspects, the British upper classes.
The time is the 1930s. There is a civil war in the obscure country of Ishmaelia and Lord Copper, the publisher of the Beast newspaper, a newspaper that "stands for strong, mutually antagonistic governments everywhere," believes coverage of the war is imperative:
"I am in consultation with my editors on the subject. We think it a very promising little war. A microcosm you might say of world drama. We propose to give it fullest publicity. We shall have our naval, military and air experts, our squad of photographers, our colour reporters, covering the war from every angle and on every front."
Through the influence of Mrs. Algernon Stitch, Lord Copper soon identifies John Courteney Booth, a best selling popular author, as the right man to cover the war in Ishmaelia. Neither Lord Copper nor his inscrutable editorial staff, however, is especially well read or familiar with the current socially respectable literati. Amidst the confusion, Mr. Salter, the foreign editor, mistakenly identifies William Booth, country bumpkin and staff writer for the Beast, as the "Booth" to whom Lord Copper was referring:
"At the back of the paper, ignominiously sandwiched between Pip and Pop, the Bedtime Pets, and the recipe for a dish named `Waffle Scramble,' lay the bi-weekly column devoted to nature: --
Lush Places. Edited by William Boot, Countryman.
" `Do you suppose that's the right one?' "
" `Sure of it. The Prime Minister is nuts on rural England.' "
" `He's supposed to have a particularly high-class style: `Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole' . . . would that be it?' "
" `Yes,' said the Managing Editor. That must be good style. At least it doesn't sound like anything else to me.' "
Thus, William Boot, Countryman, soon finds himself on his way to Ishmaelia to cover the civil war for the Beast. Boot hooks up with an experienced wire reporter named Corker along the way. Corker teachers Boot the ins and outs of covering the war, a war in which reportage comes from little more than the imagination of the journalists sent to cover it and the editorial policies of their papers. The real nature of the war correspondent's profession is suggested when Boot and Corker go to the Ishmaelia Press Bureau to obtain their credentials: "Dr. Benito, the director, was away but his clerk entered their names in his ledger and gave them cards of identity. They were small orange documents, originally printed for the registration of prostitutes. The space for thumb-print was now filled with a passport photograph and at the head the word `journalist' substituted in neat Ishmaelite characters."
Boot, despite his naivety and ignorance of the war correspondent's trade, inadvertently succeeds in trumping his more experienced journalistic competitors in reporting the war. Along the way, his adventures in Ishmaelia provide the perfect Waugh vehicle for a satiric dissection of the journalistic trade and of what passes as governance in the less developed parts of the world, where tribalism and nepotism more often than not underlie the veneer of ostensibly functioning political systems.
Boot, of course, returns to England, where he is now a household name. But one Boot is just as good as another, or so it seems. In the confusion of Boots, William, the real war correspondent, thankfully returns to his country home while his doddering, half-senile Uncle Theodore fulfills his role as the center of attention at the Beast and the prominent author John Courteney Booth (the man who started all this) mistakenly ends up with a knighthood intended for William.
"Scoop" is another brilliant Waugh comic send-up based on real-life experience, in this case his experience as a war correspondent in Ethiopia. It also is one of his best works, a little comic novel that will keep you in stitches from beginning to end.
27 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A masterpiece of comic writing 21 mai 2001
Par A.J. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
A lot of books complain about the world, but here's a book that knows that there's a difference between what actually goes on in the world and what gets reported as news, and that the news is only as good as the people that report it. Inspired by his own experience as a foreign correspondent, Evelyn Waugh's "Scoop" is partly a satire of journalism, partly a spy story with a well-crafted plot, and totally a masterpiece of comic writing.
Civil war is brewing in a fictitious African country called Ishmaelia. In England, a successful novelist named John Courteney Boot would like to be sent there as a foreign correspondent/spy, so he gets a friend to pull some strings with the owner of a London newspaper called the Beast, a paper which "stands for strong mutually antagonistic governments everywhere." The paper's owner, Lord Copper, has never heard of Boot, but accedes to the request and has his Foreign Editor, Mr. Salter, set up the engagement. Salter mistakenly taps John's less famous, less talented cousin William Boot, who writes a dippy nature column for the Beast, to be the foreign correspondent in Ishmaelia. So off William goes, a large assortment of emergency equipment for the tropics in tow, including a collapsible canoe.
When William gets to Ishmaelia, he encounters several journalists from newspapers all over the world who also are looking for the big scoop on the war. The problem is that nobody knows what's going on, as there is no palpable unrest, and the country's government is an institution of buffoonery. The events in Ishmaelia are reminiscent of the circus-like atmosphere of Joseph Heller's "Catch-22." While the rest of the journalists take off to the country's interior on a red herring, William stays behind in the capital and meets a man who is at the center of the country's political intrigue and lets William in on exclusive information. William manages to turn in the big story and becomes a journalistic hero back in England.
Lovers of good prose will find much to savor in "Scoop"; practically every sentence is a gem of dry British wit. Waugh is comparable with P.G. Wodehouse in his flair for comic invention, and indeed William Boot is a protagonist worthy of Wodehouse -- a hapless but likeable dim bulb who triumphs through dumb luck.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Waugh's Comic Assault on Wartime Journalism 16 avril 2002
Par "botatoe" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In October 1935, Italy invaded the independent African nation of Ethiopia. The Italo-Ethiopian War lasted less than eight months, Emperor Haile Selassie's kingdom falling quickly before Italy's modern weaponry. It was a little war that, nonetheless, implicated the great powers of Europe and foreshadowed the much bigger war to follow.
Evelyn Waugh was in his early 30s, already the author of four remarkable comic novels, when he accepted an assignment to cover the Italo-Ethiopian War for a London newspaper. The enduring result of that assignment was Waugh's fifth novel, "Scoop," a scathing satirical assault on the ethos of Fleet Street and its war correspondents, as well as on Waugh's usual suspects, the British upper classes.
The time is the 1930s. There is a civil war in the obscure country of Ishmaelia and Lord Copper, the publisher of the Beast newspaper, a newspaper that "stands for strong, mutually antagonistic governments everywhere," believes coverage of the war is imperative:
"I am in consultation with my editors on the subject. We think it a very promising little war. A microcosm you might say of world drama. We propose to give it fullest publicity. We shall have our naval, military and air experts, our squad of photographers, our colour reporters, covering the war from every angle and on every front."
Through the influence of Mrs. Algernon Stitch, Lord Copper soon identifies John Courteney Booth, a best selling popular author, as the right man to cover the war in Ishmaelia. Neither Lord Copper nor his inscrutable editorial staff, however, is especially well read or familiar with the current socially respectable literati. Amidst the confusion, Mr. Salter, the foreign editor, mistakenly identifies William Booth, country bumpkin and staff writer for the Beast, as the "Booth" to whom Lord Copper was referring:
"At the back of the paper, ignominiously sandwiched between Pip and Pop, the Bedtime Pets, and the recipe for a dish named 'Waffle Scramble,' lay the bi-weekly column devoted to nature: --
Lush Places. Edited by William Boot, Countryman.
" 'Do you suppose that's the right one?' "
" 'Sure of it. The Prime Minister is nuts on rural England.' "
" 'He's supposed to have a particularly high-class style: 'Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole' . . . would that be it?' "
" 'Yes,' said the Managing Editor. That must be good style. At least it doesn't sound like anything else to me.' "
Thus, William Boot, Countryman, soon finds himself on his way to Ishmaelia to cover the civil war for the Beast. Boot hooks up with an experienced wire reporter named Corker along the way. Corker teachers Boot the ins and outs of covering the war, a war in which reportage comes from little more than the imagination of the journalists sent to cover it and the editorial policies of their papers. The real nature of the war correspondent's profession is suggested when Boot and Corker go to the Ishmaelia Press Bureau to obtain their credentials: "Dr. Benito, the director, was away but his clerk entered their names in his ledger and gave them cards of identity. They were small orange documents, originally printed for the registration of prostitutes. The space for thumb-print was now filled with a passport photograph and at the head the word 'journalist' substituted in neat Ishmaelite characters."
Boot, despite his naivety and ignorance of the war correspondent's trade, inadvertently succeeds in trumping his more experienced journalistic competitors in reporting the war. Along the way, his adventures in Ishmaelia provide the perfect Waugh vehicle for a satiric dissection of the journalistic trade and of what passes as governance in the less developed parts of the world, where tribalism and nepotism more often than not underlie the veneer of ostensibly functioning political systems.
Boot, of course, returns to England, where he is now a household name. But one Boot is just as good as another, or so it seems. In the confusion of Boots, William, the real war correspondent, thankfully returns to his country home while his doddering, half-senile Uncle Theodore fulfills his role as the center of attention at the Beast and the prominent author John Courteney Booth (the man who started all this) mistakenly ends up with a knighthood intended for William.
"Scoop" is another brilliant Waugh comic send-up based on real-life experience, in this case his experience as a war correspondent in Ethiopia. It also is one of his best works, a little comic novel that will keep you in stitches from beginning to end.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Too Broad a Farce 11 juin 2010
Par A. Ross - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
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.
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