Saturday, October 3, 2009
Book 40: Life at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse
Title: Life at Blandings (Omnibus) by P.G. Wodehouse. This omnibus contains the books Something Fresh, Summer Lightning, and Heavy Weather.
How it was obtained: Susan and I bought this at a Borders a few years ago.
Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 5 years.
Days spent reading it: 1 month.
Why I read it: I enjoy P.G. Wodehouse, I think he's a comic genius. So we bought this book thinking, "Hey, three-in-one, that's got to be good."
Brief review: Wodehouse is a fantastic comic writer. His characters are fun and light-hearted, and even his characters are out shined by the incredible comic plots that Wodehouse creates. The craziest things happen at Blandings Castle. I've noticed that Wodehouse likes to write about two things: stolen goods and engagements. Random objects, like pigs and scarab beetles, are stolen. Then returned. Then stolen again. And Wodehouse makes the romantic plots of Shakespeare seem simple and straightforward by comparison. Wodehouse must think people in love are literally crazy. And maybe it's true.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good solid chuckle. Wodehouse is a master wordsmith. But you have to get used to the pace and tempo of the writing. It's quick and witty.
I would say this volume is a great place to be introduced to the Blandings characters, but the size would probably put most people off. Instead, pick up the single volume copies of Something Fresh or Summer Lightning which are both contained in this edition. If you enjoy British humor, you won't be disappointed.
"When one considers how keenly London, like all large cities, resents physical exercise...if you run because you wish to develop your lungs or jump because jumping is good for the liver, London punishes you with its mockery. It rallies round and points the finger of scorn." -from Something Fresh
"A certain critic--for such men, I regret to say, do exist--made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.' He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have outgeneralled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy." -from intro to Summer Lightning
"This," said the Hon. Galahad, "is the hour of the day that searches a man out. It makes him examine his soul. And I don't want to examine my soul. I expect the thing looks like an old boot. So, as I say, amuse me, child. Sing to me. Dance before me. Ask me riddles."-from Heavy Weather
Stars: 4 out of 5.
Final Word: Hilarious.