Wodehouse misremembered

Bestsellers: Popular Fiction Since 1900 (2002) by Clive Bloom In many respects, Clive Bloom’s ‘Bestsellers’ is an excellent book that I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the history of publishing, reading, and the emergence of ‘the bestseller’ in the twentieth century. And Bloom chooses some of my favourite authors, including P.G. Wodehouse  to illustrate his points. Bloom tracks the development of ‘the bestseller’ alongside increasing literacy levels in Britain, showing how new literature classifications emerged (high-brow and low-brow) to keep class distinctions alive in literature, once the lower classes were no longer illiterate. He exposes ‘literary fiction’ … Continue reading Wodehouse misremembered

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The Inimitable Jeeves (1923)

I’m not much of a ladies’ man, but on this particular morning it seemed to me that what I really wanted was some charming girl to buzz up and ask me to save her from assassins or something. So that it was a bit of an anti-climax when I merely ran into young Bingo Little, looking perfectly foul in a crimson satin tie decorated with horseshoes. The Inimitable Jeeves is a great place for new Wodehouse readers to discover Wodehouse’s best known characters, Bertie Wooster and his valet (or gentleman’s gentleman) Jeeves. Although it doesn’t include the first Jeeves and … Continue reading The Inimitable Jeeves (1923)

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Cover Story: 5 people share their ideas about Classic Novels they’ve never read

I wrote this a few years ago at my personal blog, which I am now decommissioning. I thought I’d save this piece to share here with fellow Wodehouse lovers. This week, I enjoyed a piece called ‘Judging a Book by Its Cover: A 6-year-old guesses what classic novels are all about. It inspired me to conduct a similar exercise of my own. I showed the covers of 7 classic novels – one from each category of  ‘The Guardian’s list of 1000 novels everyone must read) – to five people, of different ages, who had not read these books. I asked … Continue reading Cover Story: 5 people share their ideas about Classic Novels they’ve never read

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Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

Originally posted on In a Merry Hour: Caitlin E McDonald:
Repost: with One Stop Arts closing, I migrated this review here. In Perfect Nonsense Matthew Macfadyen, Stephen Mangan and Mark Hadfield serve up – on a silver platter – an evening of dulcet-toned, dinner-jacketed fun. Robert and David Goodale provide a fresh and lively take on the much beloved Wodehouse characters Jeeves and Wooster. At the Duke of York’s Theatre. Gentle reader, you may already realise how difficult a thing it must be to successfully adapt Wodehouse. Though a successful lyricist and playwright, his novels are largely narrative-driven, with dialogue taking… Continue reading Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

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Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: A Review

Don the sponge-bag trousers and keep a customary fish slice at the ready. Bertie Wooster, it seems, is finally getting married. Last month, as you may know if you follow the goings-on at Plumtopia, I purchased a copy of Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastain Faulks. Finally, after two abortive attempts, which degenerated into rants on other matters, I have finally set about reviewing it. Or at least, it’s a review of sorts. I’m very much a novice reviewer, and although I ‘read as a writer’, it’s as an unpublished writer whose bottom drawer is full of bilge that … Continue reading Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: A Review

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The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Originally posted on novelreading:
As it happens, right now my wife and I are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our second child. In fact, the little chap / lady was due on Tuesday, so is already three days late as I write this. Anyway, the reason I mention this personal detail is that after finishing Pride and Prejudice and considering what to read next, I decided that a short, light-hearted yarn was in order; something to help me relax and take my mind off the seemingly endless waiting. (My wife, having similar thoughts, is currently enjoying the latest Bridget Jones… Continue reading The Inimitable Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

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Meet Mr. Mulliner

Originally posted on The Grand Reviewer:
Meet Mr. Mulliner, a local fisherman and popular visitor of the pub, the Angler’s Rest, where he shares the almost unbelievable escapades of various members of the Mulliner family tree. From George the stammerer, who overcomes his stammer so he can marry the crossword-loving love of his life, to Augustine the curate, who after drinking some Buck-U-Uppo becomes a fearless aid to a bishop, to James the author, who finds his bachelorhood threatened by the sappy romance of his aunt’s novels, each tale in the collection shows how the Mulliners face adversity in the… Continue reading Meet Mr. Mulliner

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I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

Whenever I begin something new from (Bollinger Wodehouse prize-winner) Terry Pratchett  these days, I prepare myself for the possibility that it might not sparkle quite so much as old favourites, like Carpe Jugulum. I remind myself that Pratchett has given us so much already, and that he’s entitled to ‘slip’ a little since being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007. But Pratchett isn’t slipping. Each new book is as fresh, engaging, and bloody marvellous as the last, and I consider recent works such as Dodger (2012) and I Shall Wear Midnight[ (2010) among his best. I feel an overwhelming sense … Continue reading I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

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Ridiculous Beginnings

All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Albert Camus The world of literature is blessed with many brilliantly conceived and well-remembered beginnings, celebrated in fitting tributes across the blogoshpere. Inspired by Albert Camus’s appreciation of the ridiculous, I have been contemplating great beginnings in humorous fiction. Terry Pratchett, the modern master of intelligent ridiculousness, begins Hogfather on a similar theme. Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree. Further thoughts on the subject are offered by Douglas Adams in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe . The story so far: In the beginning the universe … Continue reading Ridiculous Beginnings

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