Tag Archive for P G Wodehouse

A Gentleman of Leisure

A Gentleman of Leisure by P. G. Wodehouse (Alston Rivers, 1910); audiobook read by Frederick Davidson (Blackstone, 2012) An early example of the comings-and-goings type novel that Wodehouse would bring to perfection in his Blandings Castle series. While the plot in this instance is a twist or two short, the prose is fresh and the characterisation typically Wodehouseian. Audiobook recommended.…

The Adventures of Sally

The Adventures of Sally by P G Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1922); audiobook read by Frederick Davidson (Blackstone, 1997) Wodehouse’s American stories tend to be a little more staid than those set in England. The plot here is clever and the prose witty. Sally is a winning protagonist. But Davidson’s audiobook reading plays no small role in enlivening the whole shebang.…

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.…