BooksOfTheMoon

Full Moon (Blandings Castle, #7)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 4 stars

The ninth Earl of Emsworth wants a portrait painted. Of his prize pig. His niece Prudence is whisked away from her wedding, to purgatory back at Blandings, because her mother and her aunt don’t approve of her intended, and his other niece Veronica wants to marry an American millionaire who keeps seeing a hideous face every time he takes a drink.

Wodehouse mixes up all this and more with glee, plonks it down in the picturesque setting of Blandings castle. The hon Galahad may not be Jeeves, but he’s still got what it takes to sort things out and ensure that nothing stands in the way of true love. I loved the characters, their Wodehousian antics and the whole shebang. Maybe not classic Wodehouse (I generally prefer the stuff that’s set pre-war) but still gloriously silly.

Book details

ISBN: 9781585678365
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Year of publication: 1947

Cocktail Time

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 5 stars

The fifth Earl of Ickenham is easily bored. And he has taken it upon himself to spread sweetness and light amongst all those of his acquaintance, or as some of those acquaintances might put it: meddle and interfere in others’ business. This book starts with Lord Ickenham shooting a brazil nut at his half brother-in-law ‘Beefy’ Bastable with a catapult. From then, a long, improbably Wodehousian chain of events is set in motion with, as they say, hilarious consequences.

This book is what happens when an actually clever upper class person gets to be the hero of the story. You get all the wit and madness of a Jeeves book, but with someone who doesn’t have to be prodded along.

Freddie Ickenham is a likeable character, sharp, but not so sharp that he doesn’t let tenuous and improbable chains of events build up before they are neatly untangled and all set straight, with the usual Wodehousian flair.

This is the first of Wodehouse’s ‘Uncle Fred’ books that I’ve read, but on the strength of this one, I’ll certainly be searching out others. Marvellous stuff.

Book details

ISBN: 035230197X
Publisher: Star
Year of publication: 1958

The Girl in Blue

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 4 stars

The Girl in Blue is a pretty typical Wodehouse farce. Young Jerry West has a poor uncle with a big house, a rich uncle who is withholding his inheritance, a gold-digging fiancé and has just fallen in love. Combine this with a missing miniature portrait, a dodgy butler, a policeman and a stream, leave to settle and you have one very entertaining novel.

While maybe not vintage Wodehouse, this novel still has all elements of a good, entertaining light read. You can polish it off in a few hours, and be thoroughly entertained during those hours. Marvellous to read while the weather outside is throwing its worst at you, while you’re curled up with a nice cup of tea and a blanket.

Book details

ISBN: 9780099514190
Publisher: Arrow
Year of publication: 1970

Right Ho, Jeeves (Jeeves, #6)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 5 stars

You know what they say about the best laid plans of Bertie Wooster [1:]? So when Madeline Basset ends up accidentally engaged to Bertie instead of Gussie Fink-Nottle, his cousin Angela breaks up with Tuppy Glossop and the finest chef in England threatens to leave his Aunt Dahlia, it’s up to Jeeves to untangle the knots and ensure that everything gets sorted out.

A couple of episodes of the Jeeves and Wooster TV series were based on this book but it’s nice to see it in its full unabridged glory. I find Wodehouse eminently readable and great fun to come back to. His characters are obviously parodies but they capture the upper classes of the early 20th century so well. I love this stuff.

[1:] If not, here’s a hint

Book details

ISBN: 9780099513742
Publisher: Arrow Random House
Year of publication: 1934

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen (Jeeves, #15)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 5 stars

Following doctor’s orders, Bertie Wooster decides to spend some time in the country, taking lots of country air and fewer martinis. Unfortunately, he doesn’t reckon on the machinations of his Aunt Dahlia nor the amount of trouble that a cat could cause for him. Throw in a pair of antagonistic racehorse owners, a slightly loopy colonial explorer and the usual star-crossed lovers and you’ve got the makings of a classic Jeeves and Wooster novel.

I’ve not found a bad word to say about any Jeeves and Wooster novel I’ve read to date, and this one certainly doesn’t break that track record. Perhaps it’s a little more predictable, being one of the later novels, or maybe it’s just that I’m not familiar with how a Jeeves novel works, but it’s no less delightful for that. Bertie is as dopey as ever and can’t seem to shake his bad habit of finding himself getting engaged to unsuitable girls, leaving it up to Jeeves to rescue him from the predicament.

Book details

ISBN: 9780140041927
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year of publication: 1974

Something Fresh (Blandings Castle, #1)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 4 stars

This book provided my first visit to Blandings Castle and, having read it, it certainly won’t be my last. Filled with the sort of eccentric cast that I’ve come to expect from Wodehouse, Blandings is led by the sort of absent-minded English peer who gave the House of Lords a bad name. In his extreme absent-mindedness, he pockets a priceless scarab from the collection of his future daughter-in-law’s father, while the latter is distracted. Hilarity, as they say, ensues as not one but two different people are determined to retrieve it.

What I thought was somewhat interesting about this novel was that we see beyond the upper classes and get a glimpse into the the lives of those who serve them and, what do you know, they are just as strange, neurotic and downright odd as those they serve. Well, what else should one expect from Wodehouse?

His touch is as light as ever, his characters engaging (or at least ridiculous, which is sometimes the same thing). I enjoyed meeting the absent-minded Lord Elmsworth and the entire Blandings clan and I shall certainly look forward to reading more about them.

Book details

ISBN: 9780099513780
Publisher: Arrow Books
Year of publication: 1915

Thank You, Jeeves (Jeeves, #5)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 5 stars

This is a novel (Thank You, Jeeves) with some short stories tagged on the end. It has, gasp, Jeeves handing in his notice, as he can’t stand Bertie’s banjo playing and the ridiculous, yet really funny, things that follow from that and Bertie’s stay in the country with an ex-fiancĂ©e, and the requisite supporting characters.

I also enjoyed the short stories, and actually recognised one of them from a Radio 4 adaptation that I had forgotten about. Now that I’ve had a pretty good introduction to Wodehouse I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for more, not to mention the Granada TV series of Jeeves and Wooster which I never saw first time round but have been told many good things about.

Its upper-class antics may not be in line with modern PC thinking, but if you’ve not read any, give Wodehouse a go, he’s really entertaining.

Book details

ISBN: 9781585674343
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Year of publication: 1933

Ring for Jeeves (Jeeves, #10)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 3 stars

I must say that I was somewhat disappointed with this novel. For a Jeeves and Wooster book it was missing a very important element – Wooster. Bertie is mentioned a few times but remains off the page, with Jeeves temporarily ensconced with Lord Rowcester of Rowcester Abbey and his attempts to make enough money to marry his love, with the usual Wodehousian mishaps.

The humour in this book felt a little forced to me. For a start it is set in the 1950s, and talk of the War, the atom bomb and the Social Revolution sits uneasily with Jeeves’ world as we have come to know it. I can see what Wodehouse was trying to do, but it didn’t quite pull off for me, however, now that I know what to expect, it’s probably worth a re-read. The book really did feel the poorer for its lack of Wooster, who is the perfect foil to Jeeves – himself, I feel, in this book becoming a parody of himself, I fear – and his lack is felt.

Book details

ISBN: 9781585675241
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Year of publication: 1953

Joy in the Morning (Jeeves, #8)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 5 stars

There’s another enjoyable dose of young Bertie Wooster and his faithful valet in this volume in which Bertie is forced, through some subterfuge on Jeeves’s part (so that he can go fishing) to visit his Uncle Percy in the hamlet of Steeple Bumpleigh. Before he knows it, he’s getting trapped in plans of his old friend Boko Fiddleworth to persuade Uncle Percy to allow his ward Nobby to marry him; getting on the wrong side of village bobby and old companion Stilton Cheesewright; and, worst of all, ends up engaged to the Lady Florence who will try and Improve him. It takes some of Jeeves’s finest plans to straighten the mess.

Fluffy, fun, and making me want to put on a suit and hat before hopping into the two-seater for a drive, I really enjoyed this. What ho!

Book details

ISBN: 9780099513766
Publisher: Arrow
Year of publication: 1947

The Mating Season (Jeeves, #9)

By P.G. Wodehouse

Rating: 5 stars

Bertie Wooster is going to Deverill Hall to star in a local entertainment at the behest of his old friend Corky, except he has to pretend to be newt-fancier and teetotaller Gussie Fink-Nottle and eventually finds a house full of heartache and crossed lovers. It’s up to Bertie, ably assisted by the indefatigable Jeeves to sort the whole mess out — with the spur that if he fails, he’ll have to marry Madeline Bassett, who thinks that the stars are God’s daisy chain.

Typical Wodehousian mania, with lots of eccentric characters, bumbling policemen and twisty plots. The characters are as likeable as ever and Wodehouse’s writing just hits a sweet spot for me of being eminently readable. Jolly good stuff, what ho!

Book details

ISBN: 9781585672318
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Year of publication: 1949

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