Saving the bacon

"Jerry Vail loves Penny Donaldson...who is engaged to Orlo Vosper who pines for Gloria Salt who is engaged to Sir Gregory who rediscovers Maudie Stubbs who has charmed Lord Emsworth, who is Jerry's employer" reads the blurb on the back cover of P.G. Wodehouse's Pigs have wings. As you can see it's a complicated plot, and that's even before you learn of the porcine skullduggery that is at the heart of the novel.

When Lord Emsworth enters the world's best (and fattest) pig, Empress of Blandings, for the county show, you know that she's bound to win; but his near neighbour and arch-enemy, Sir Gregory Parsloe, is determined to go to any lengths and get any pig to ensure success. Enter disappointed lover, Jerry Vail, trying to win back his love, Penny Donaldson, and £2000. When Jerry finds himself trapped in the middle of a pig-stealing controversy, it's going to take the cunning of Lord Emsworth's wicked brother, Galahad, and the diligence of Jeeves-contender, Beech the butler, to extricate him from a nasty mess.

Pigs have wings has the fast pace of a French farce with the linguistic mellifluousness for which P.G. Wodehouse is famed. As ever with Wodehouse it is deliciously funny, not least when it pokes a wonderfully sardonic finger at classic American detective fiction, and although it doesn't rank among my personal Wodehouse favourites it's still guaranteed to while away a rib-ticklingly funny hour or two.

Best served with a long cool Pims and some British summer sunshine. Cheers!


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