Tag Archive for P G Wodehouse

Jeeves and the King of Clubs

Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott (Hutchinson, 2018); audiobook read by James Lance (Bolinda, 2018) Schott faithfully dovetails his plot threads and recaptures much of Wodehouse’s loquacity, albeit without quite the same vim of expression or uproarious knack for aperçus. The world is right but the reading seems off. It really needed Hugh Laurie and/or Stephen Fry.…

Service with a Smile

Service with a Smile by P G Wodehouse (Simon & Schuster, 1961) More pig-stealing machinations at Blandings Castle. Wodehouse as ever constructs and demolishes, re-weaves and unravels a plot thick with thwarted marriages and jovial underhandedness. Ickenham performs admirably as Galahad’s understudy, yet the prose and resolutions fall short of Wodehouse at his best.    

Blandings, Series Two

Blandings, Series Two adapted by Guy Andrews (BBC, 2014) As adaptations, these episodes can only disappoint. (Wodehouse’s narrative voice is, of course, absent, and the plot contrivances see Andrews playing overtly rather than slyly for laughs.) As a standalone production, however, there is much here to like, especially Timothy Spall’s Emsworth.    

Heavy Weather

Heavy Weather by P. G. Wodehouse (Little, Brown and Company, 1933); audiobook read by Martin Jarvis (Canongate, 2008) Less a sequel, more a direct continuation of ‘Summer Lightning’. Wodehouse takes up the strands again and concocts a book-length encore of comedic misfortunes, double-crossings and plans hatched at cross purposes. Martin Jarvis narrates with dignity but over-eggs some of the voices.…

Fish Preferred

Fish Preferred by P. G. Wodehouse (Doubleday, Doran, 1929); aka “Summer Lightning” (Herbert Jenkins, 1929); cf. “Pigs Have Wings” (Doubleday, 1952). Wodehouse duplicated this plot two decades later in writing ‘Pigs Have Wings’… but what a finely woven, artfully absurd plot it is (and what charm of prose that he could get away with it)! A bonhomous concatenation of deceptions,…

Cat’s Cradle

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1963); audiobook read by Tony Roberts (HarperAudio, 2007) To appreciate Vonnegut, one must concede to him the heightened facetiousness of Wodehouse within a satire less halcyon. Cat’s Cradle riffs on the everyday world turned sordidly askew, its protagonist forever teetering – either the only keeper or only inmate of the asylum.…

Money for Nothing

Money for Nothing by P G Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1928); audiobook read by Jonathan Cecil (BBC, 2009) More or less the quintessential Wodehouse novel, with a country manor, a romance frustrated by misunderstanding, comings, goings, comedy mishaps, and several greedy protagonists locked in a tangle of one-upmanship, all exquisitely facetious in the telling, the prose gilded in its loquacity.  …

Mulliner Nights

Mulliner Nights by P. G. Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1933); audiobook read by Jonathan Cecil (Chivers, 2011) The stories in this collection read somewhat like unused subplots from Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle and Jeeves & Wooster novels, but in their upgraded state fairly dazzle with insouciance. Wodehouse riffs masterfully on his favourite topic (thwarted engagements), his prose wild and expressive.    

Clouds of Witness

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (T. Fisher Unwin, 1926); audiobook read by Ian Carmichael (BBC, 1992/2009) An unhurried mystery from which the protagonist seems oddly removed. Lord Peter Wimsey is a character cut from the Wodehouse mould, yet the writing—despite its occasionally witty turn of phrase—leaves him untethered, a whimsy (as it were) without true purpose.