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The Satiric Worlds of William Boyd

A Case Study


Juan Francisco Elices Agudo

This study explores five major narratives of Ghanian-born novelist William Boyd from a satiric point of view. Boyd’s novels and short stories take up some of the particular traits of satire, a genre which has gradually lost the impact it had in the eighteenth century. This book analyses the satiric spirit of four novels and one short story: A Good Man in Africa, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, Armadillo and «The Destiny of Nathalie ‘X’». It looks at the way Boyd approaches crucial events in twentieth-century history and how he unmasks the follies that underlay most of them. It also deals with issues such as the effects of British colonialism in Africa, the superficiality of Hollywood’s film industry and the shortcomings of modern urban civilisation. The theoretical framework of this study is based on the analysis of recent satire criticism.
Contents: William Boyd’s Narrative Production – A Good Man in Africa as Political and Anti-Colonial Satire – Anti-War Satire in An Ice-Cream War Stars and Bars: Great Britain and the United States at Boyd’s Satiric Stake – The Relationship between Satire and Cinema: «The Destiny of Nathalie ‘X’» – Conflicts of Identity: Armadillo’s Satiric Approaches to City Life.