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The Loved One
by Evelyn Waugh
ISBN 0316926086 / 9780316926089 / 0-316-92608-6
Publisher Back Bay Books
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The prolific Waugh--an English novelist and satirist perhaps best known for Brideshead Revisited--described this slim, vicious comedy as "a little nightmare produced by the unaccustomed high living of a brief visit to Hollywood." The setting is the L.A. funeral industry, where Whispering Glades provides deluxe service to deceased stars and their families, and the Happier Hunting Ground does the same for dead pets. (At Whispering Glades, staff must refer to the corpses only as "Loved Ones.") The industry provides a perfect foil for Waugh's deadpan wit--and an apt metaphor for the movie business. [via]