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I studied A Handful of Dust for my book club. While I recognize its merit as an example of Juvenalian satire, I really didn't enjoy it. I got Waugh's pointed, cynical mockery, but found it dismal and unpleasant. I understand that this is entirely deliberate on the part of the author. However, if asked if I'd recommend it to anyone, my answer would be no. I enjoyed Brideshead Revisited a thousand times more than this novel.
About the only thing this book made me feel was revulsion, particularly for Brenda Last. What a true villain of pedestrian mundanity she is: a self-absorbed survivor whose evil seems magnified by being so commonplace. People like Brenda Last are a dime a dozen.
This work is as ugly and sharp as a stone knife, and almost every character in it bleeds. I recognize its literary credentials, but really didn't care for it.