One response to “The Loved One”

  1. Barbara Cooke

    I adore this novel. There’s so much to love about it, I don’t know where to begin. There’s a vein of pure rage that runs under the humour, a disgust at ‘Whispering Glades’ total denial of death manifested in sentiment and sanitisation. For Waugh, this denial was the ultimate sacrilege. Dennis’ cold behaviour in the end reminds me of other Waugh protagonists- at the end of Decline and Fall, for example, Paul Pennyfeather comes across as judgemental and totally unempathetic. The grotesquerie is beautifully pitched, with the idea of massaging away the signs of hanging to leave a corpse (sorry, ‘Loved One’) with a huge grin encapsulating the message of the whole.

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