This is set in post-war California. Dennis, a British poet, has left a movie studio to work at the Happier Hunting Grounds pet cemetery. He meets and falls in love with a mortician at the much classier Whispering Glades, where they process human stiffs. Waugh lampoons the falseness of Californian sentiment from the way they paint corpses to the inscriptions on the fake church and the fake Scottish love seat in the Glades. Whispering Glades is a theme park dedicated to death.
But The Loved One is a brittle drawing room comedy poking light fun at the fake Californianisms. It is gentle humour. There seems to be no substance. One cannot believe in the reality of Dennis either when he falls in love with his mortician or when he loses her. It is all superficial and meaningless and so as fake as the cemeteries and as the movies that Waugh gently attacks.
Slightly humorous. November 2013; 127 pages
At least it was better than Black Mischief!
- I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57