Just finished reading Evelyn Waugh's Scoop, the old is really the best. It's a long while since I read a book that made me laugh out loud. Of the twenty or so books I have bought recently this was the only one I didn't want to put down; it was the only classic in the bunch, and it was the only one worth reading. If the publishing industry want to find out why book sales have fallen, it's my opinion this is because there are very few good books. Most classics are entirely readable, enjoyable, memorable, timeless. Many contemporary books are entirely consumable, unmemorable, often an unsatisfying read and time limited just like the bread and other items that they sit along side, and must turn over just as quickly.
Written in 1930, and apart from the lack of modern technology, this book could be about the present. In fact it is so timeless that it reminded me of recent events in Northern Ireland towards the end of the troubles; the only time I seriously considered leaving here was one night when I turned on the TV for the news and there was Kate Adie outside the Europa Hotel in a flak jacket. Luckily after I had gotten over the initial shock, like Waugh's natives in Ismaelia, and the press had retreated into the Europa for aperitifs, everyone got back to normal as quickly as possible.