When Dennis had to arrange the obsequies of his room-mate, an elderly English writer who “strangulated” himself, he fell under the fatal spell of Whispering Glades and he fell also for the allure of Aimée Thanatogenos, a beautiful girl with “a rich glint of lunacy” in her eyes, whose pride and pleasure it was to paint the faces of the dead. He has omitted no revolting detail, from the self-expression of the chief embalmer, who put jubilant smiles or pitiful frowns upon the subjects of his art according to his mood, to the fatuous precepts of the revered founder, known as The Dreamer. “The Loved One” derives its title from the only word used to describe the dead at Whispering Glades.
It is a macabre frolic filled with laughter and ingenious devices. Although it is short, it could have been shorter to advantage.
At times the joke wears thin, the continued attack seems a little too much like beating a demonstrably dead dog.
Meanwhile, Dennis is approached by Sir Ambrose, who is so appalled at Dennis's pet cemetery job that he pays him to go back to England. Joyboy to help him cart Aimée's body to the pet cemetery for a secret cremation.
The plan is that everyone will think Aimée ran away with Dennis, who will move back to England. Joyboy for the financing of this plan, adding it to the payoff from Sir Ambrose.
Other novelists have found it in England and various other nations. Waugh, with the artist’s privilege of concentrating his attention on one part of a complicated whole and ignoring the rest, has blasted the Whispering Glades mentality with the lightning of his wrath.
“The Loved One” is not only satire at its most ferocious.Evelyn Waugh's novel, The Loved One, is a pitiless satire on the shallowness and pretensions of British expatriates and Americans in post-World War II Los Angeles.The action is set principally in two funeral parlors, one for humans and the other for pets.At the same time, she learns Dennis's other secret, that he works at the pet cemetery, which the employees of Whispering Glades consider to be a degraded establishment.Aimée breaks off her private engagement to Dennis and quickly becomes publicly engaged to Mr. When Dennis reminds her that she made a promise to marry him, from which he refuses to release her, Aimée becomes distraught and commits suicide. Joyboy, afraid that the scandal of his fiancee's suicide will ruin him professionally, goes to Dennis for help.Even Evelyn Waugh, accomplished writer that he is, doesn’t always know when to stop.After a brief, apparently unpleasant, stay in Hollywood--he had been commissioned to adapt his novel Brideshead Revisited for the screen--Evelyn Waugh wrote this wonderfully wicked satire of the movie business, the funeral industry, lowbrow Americans and whatever other hapless targets wandered within range of his savage pen.At a well-known funeral home called Whispering Glades, Dennis meets a young woman named Aimée Thanatogenos, who is a cosmetician in the embalming rooms. Joyboy, the chief embalmer at Whispering Glades, who is widely considered to be a stylish and cultivated man, although he actually is a rather perverse momma's boy.Aimée, a thoroughgoing product of Los Angeles, is empty-headed yet yearns for higher things, although she cannot really say what this means to her. Dennis, a dishonorable fellow, initially wins the contest for Aimée's heart, in part because of love poems he filches from famous writers and leads her to think are his own. Joyboy discovers this fraud, he exposes Dennis to Aimée.He takes a job at a pet cemetery, scandalizing his fellow Englishmen in Hollywood, particularly an actor named Sir Ambrose Abercrombie, who believes the expatriate British have a reputation and an image to uphold.When an old screenwriter and fellow Brit named Sir Francis Hinsley is fired from the film studio and commits suicide, Sir Ambrose enlists Dennis to take care of funeral arrangements.