Spring in the air

I love P.G. Wodehouse. There can be nothing much nicer than sitting outside on a beautiful spring morning (even if your car is in car casualty at the time), enjoying the scenery, sniffing the spring air, and chortling loudly enough to make passersby give you a wide berth, thanks to P.G. Wodehouse.

Uncle Fred in Springtime is one of the Blandings Castle set of novels. Not a group I'm particularly familiar with, having read rather more Jeeves and Wooster, and Psmith. Downside first of all. As a story it's not one of Wodehouse's strongest. The plot is absurd (that's fine) but it's also extremely confusing (not so good). There were quite a few instances where I found myself having to flick back through the pages to work out what exactly was going on, or did X really say that to Y a few pages before.

However where Uncle Fred really shines is in the language. This is undoubtedly one of the funniest Wodehouses I've ever read. Just a few examples. This one left me laughing out loud on a damp Ely station : "Who was the chap who was such a devil with the other sex?...Donald something" "Donald Duck?" "Don Juan", and my other favourite - probably still pertinent to the Great British Aristocracy:
"Say what you will, there is something fine about our old aristocracy. I'll bet Trotsky couldn't hit a moving secretary with an egg on a dark night."

Wodehouse at his best is just so gloriously daft. I defy anyone to read this, however awful a day they may have had, and not crack a smile. He is a comic genius. This tale of besotted lovers, less than impressed parents, and imposters is as old as the hills (or at least Shakespeare). It doesn't matter a jot; it was the most fun I'd had reading in a while. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, the incomparable P.G. Wodehouse.

Comments

Clare Wartnaby said…
I love PG Wodehouse too - a complete tonic. Will have to try more of the Blandings selection. Thanks for the recommendation!
lyn said…
Love those quotes. PGW is one of my favourites. I only discovered his books a few years ago so have lots to read. His prose always cheers me up.

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