Two Different Worlds

I discovered English author Evelyn Waugh in graduate school. I don’t think I’ve read any of his books since then…even though I own a few! So I was delighted to find that a few of his books are on the Modern Library’s top 100 novels list.

I recently read A Handful of Dust. What I enjoy most about Waugh’s writing is the way that he subtly mocks upperclass Brits. This particular novel is about Tony Last, who has inherited a large country estate. He is married with a child and his life pretty much falls apart. He ends up accompanying a kooky explorer on an exotic exhibition to Brazil and…well, I won’t spoil it for you.

So I left the world of 1930s England for 1970s New York City when I watched Goodfellas soon after finishing Waugh’s novel. Goodfellas is #92 on the AFI top 100 films list and was nominated for six Academy awards.

The cast is top-notch: Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Robert DeNiro, and Joe Pesci play the leads. It is an immersive look into the world of the mob. Robberies, homicides, drugs, infidelity, more homicides. Ray Liotta’s character grows up in the “family” and when he is caught running drugs in the late ’70s…well, I won’t spoil it for you. I liked that it is based on a true story. Truth is often stranger than fiction, as they say…

It’s April 1, which means I have two months left to accomplish 12 things. Let the games begin!

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