A Spy in the Family

A Spy in the Family

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

First published in 1970, Alec Waugh described his novel as an erotic comedy. It is the story of a respectable Treasury official, Victor Trail, and his wife Myra, whose marriage has lost its flavour, owing to Victor's clock-work schedule and Myra's bland acceptance of it. The unexpected revelation that Victor has suspiciously altered his routine rouses Myra out of her complacency, and her jealousy rapidly changes the shape of their lives. It leads her into a series of quite extraordinary adventures and demimonde activities which are altogether astonishing in a respectable married woman.Her discomfiture is made all the more excruciating by her new-found intimacy with Victor, who apparently knows nothing about her illegal actions and amazing amatory diversions-or does he?The reader of this novel of sex and international intrigue is in for a number of surprises. The only unsurprising thing about it is that it is a marvellous piece of entertainment by a past master of the art.
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Wheels within Wheels

Wheels within Wheels

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Events that take place in an obscure oil-surveyor's camp in the French West Indies act as the link and the catalyst for three desperate groups of people thousands of miles apart – in London, New York and the picturesque old quarter of New Orleans.Upon often trivial acts depends matters of life and love and death, and as always Alec Waugh has distilled the drama and the truth from a wide spectrum of characters and situations. The fascination of this novel is that it is, in effect, a game of global consequences.
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Kept

Kept

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

A rich tale centred around the lives of Marjorie Fairfield, a beautiful and penniless young woman who is the mistress of a wealthy business man; and the symbolically named Ransom Heritage, one of the many young men who were cast adrift after the First World War ended and who has been abruptly deprived of a sense of purpose, ambition and hope.Around these young people and their circle whirls the carefree society of fashionable post-war London - a raucous, glamorous and perhaps slightly shrill world of cocktails and nightclubs, tea dances and illicit tête-à-têtes.Waugh depicts a frenetic society where all too many people are 'kept' in some way – financially, by a well-off lover, inherited capital, an unwanted husband; or more figuratively, by a reputation, a title – a relationship, even.
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Fuel for the Flame

Fuel for the Flame

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

An imaginary island on the Equator has suddenly achieved importance through the discovery of oil – what will happen to the men and women living under the tensions of life on this island?At one end of this island is the oil refinery where the members of the staff live in constant proximity to one another, and where emotions are heightened by the lack of privacy. The men are goaded by ambitions for power, while the women are drawn into affairs of love and passion. At the other end of the island is a hotbed of politics where a British diplomat is attempting to retain the island under Britain's sphere of influence; where an ailing king is fearful of what will happen when he is succeeded by a young and untrained prince; where a nationalist group is plotting to overthrow the monarchy and seize the oil fields.Waugh handles brilliantly his political plots, but always interwoven with them are the personal dramas of love and fear, of cowardice and courage. Rich in detail and...
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The Balliols

The Balliols

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

This book tells the story of the Balliol family as they exist through the suffrage movement and the end of the Edwardian era to the Great War.The Balliol children are subject to the effects of the war – the harsh discipline and the subsequent laxness, the breakup of family loyalties, the post-war cynicism and, in the youngest child, the ultimate trend back to a sounder pattern of life.The action of this book, which is swift, continuous and dramatic, develops side by side with the plot of its theme that "to build a sanctuary, you must destroy a sanctuary"; that the destruction to which these thirty years have been witness was an inevitable and necessary part of progress.Vigorously pursuing the fortunes of an English family during the most turbulently shifting period in history, The Balliols combines the feeling of Cavalcade with the powerful narrative flow of the Forsythe Saga.
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Thirteen Such Years

Thirteen Such Years

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

In the manner and method of Hot Countries and Most Women, in which personal narrative and opinion are woven together with fiction, Mr. Waugh travels through a period and brilliantly pictures the post-war times and tries to explain what has happened to the war generation. He shows a topsy-turvy world. He tells anecdotes and stories with his unfailing charm. He has been courageous in his deductions and provocative in his suggestions as he turns from physical travel to spiritual interpretation.
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Brief Encounter

Brief Encounter

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

First published in 1975, this story tells of how a chance meeting in a café, a piece of grit delicately removed by a gentleman from a lady's eye give birth to an affair... a brief yet unrelenting emotional tug-of-war between two people whose spontaneous desire clashes head-on with the 'facts' of their existence.There is Anna, married to Graham and happily content with her home life and two children. There is Alec, trapped in a loveless marriage to cool, uninvolved Melanie, looking to his work as a doctor for fulfillment. Between them a flame is kindled that splendidly ignites a passion way beyond the well-constructed limits of their imaginations. Then comes the test. Can they transform their dream into a lasting love or must it founder on the hard rocks of reality?Brief Encounter is also a major film starring Sophia Loren and Richard Burton
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A Family of Islands

A Family of Islands

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

First published in 1964, this book tells how what Columbus started in 1492 was finished in 1898, when the red and gold flag was lowered at Havana to mark the end of four centuries of Spanish dominance in the Caribbean.For two and a half centuries after the Pope divided the world between Spain and Portugal, the navies of Britain, France, Spain and occasionally the Netherlands fought in the Caribbean. Most of the islands changed hands at least once. Europe discovered the delights of coffee, tea and cocoa; sugar boomed; fortunes were made and lost; the slave trade flourished. But after the Napoleonic Wars prosperity receded, the conscience of the world awoke and slavery was abolished, ending the halcyon days of European colonialism in the Indies.
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My Place in the Bazaar

My Place in the Bazaar

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Thirteen stories have been compiled as Alec Waugh looks back over his career as an author, and takes from his writing those which he feels are amongst his most personal creations, bringing them together into a panorama.Told in the first person, My Place in the Bazaar represents Waugh's varied experience and view of life as his enchanting stories take place in a variety of world-wide settings.
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The Sugar Islands

The Sugar Islands

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Alec Waugh first saw the West Indies on a trip round the world in 1926 when his ship called in at Guadeloupe. Fifteen months later he returned for a long stay at Martinique; it was the beginning of a lifelong interest in these fascinating islands that were to provide him with the material for many books and articles. In The Sugar Islands, a book to be dipped into at leisure, Mr. Waugh has selected pieces from his writings, with the intention of compiling both a travelogue (there is a wealth of interesting information for the would-be traveller about the ways of life and customs of each island) and a chronological commentary on the development of the islands during the last thirty years. The book is divided into four parts. In the first, the author gives an idea of the background of the West Indies by drawing a detailed picture of the colourful life of Martinique. He tells the story of a 17th-century Frenchman who joined the famous pirates of Tortugja and the history of the long...
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No Truce with Time

No Truce with Time

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Having married a man several years older than herself, Mary Montague craves love and attention to relieve the monotony of her days. Her husband, Gerald Montague, whose ill-running health is ruining his life, has little time to spare for his young wife.In Mary's lonely eyes, Barclaye Ashe is the most romantic thing happening. He fulfills Mary's need for love and it isn't long before Mary, in spite of herself, returns his love and embarks on idyllic days and balmy nights; exquisite moments of perfect ecstasy for Mary who thinks her happiness is complete.However, Mary's happy bubble is in danger of bursting when Jimmy Bruce and his daughter Kitty arrive on the island, forcing Mary to learn that time never stands still and all things must move relentlessly...Alec Waugh again brings all his powers as a novelist to unravel a densely emotional human situation.
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So Lovers Dream

So Lovers Dream

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

This is not the only one of Alec Waugh's novels in which he has described the agonies of a couple who are desperately in love but cannot marry, for it is a situation that he has himself lived through. But it is in this novel that he has drawn most specifically upon experiences he has only alluded to in other books. His protagonist is Gordon Carruthers, who was also the hero of The Loom of Youth, that then shocking and revelatory novel of public-school life. Now transformed into a globe-trotting writer, Carruthers falls in love with a beautiful American socialite, and eventually, while her husband is away, they begin an affair. For reasons that only gradually become clear, their situation seems to be a cul-de-sac, leading to a denouement that is both surprising and, paradoxically, the only possible one. So Lovers Dream is an autobiographical novel in more ways than one. Into it Waugh put not only his love affair but his home, his literary agent, the details of his...
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His Second War

His Second War

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

Alec Waugh, who served in the last war as a regular army officer, was recalled to his regiment in September 1939. After a few months of regimental duties he has filled a succession of Junior Staff appointment, with the B.E.F. in France, in London during the Blitz, with the M.E.F in Syria and Egypt and latterly with the Persia and Iraq command. This book is the narrative of his four years in khaki. It makes no attempt to be sensational, but the range and variety of those experiences have provided ample scope for that capacity to convey character, atmosphere and landscape which has made Alec Waugh so popular a novelist.
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Sir!' She Said

Sir!' She Said

Alec Waugh

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction / Biographies & Memoirs

"The man who asks a woman what she wants deserves all that's coming to him!"This was Melanie's viewpoint and she always knew exactly what she wanted. Julia was different. She worked in a dress shop and she was often disturbed about her younger sister's morals. Both head strong, their differing character traits meant that their parents didn't know what to make of either of them.Here, against a background of smart and not-so-smart London we see the business girl and the girl-about-town meeting their difficulties in sex and in the daily routine.
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