CHARLES RYDER'S SCHOOL DAYS AND OTHER STORIES
The title piece is the only new material here: a recently discovered fragment from a novel Waugh never finished--about the pre-Oxford life of Charles Ryder of Brideshead Revisited. Devotees of Brideshead, perhaps, will find it intriguing--though, to an even greater extent than elsewhere, the Charles Ryder here (reacting to schoolboy bullying and such) is awfully bland. The remainder of the volume, however, is a welcome reprint of Mr. Loveday's Little Outing (a 1936 limited edition)--and it includes the finely black-comic title story; an alternative (lesser) ending to Handful of Dust; several society-satires in the Vile Bodies vein; and a sort-of-sequel to Black Mischief, "Incident in Azania." Minor Waugh, to be sure (especially the Ryder rediscovery), but with occasional bursts of inspired nastiness and superb prose.