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How to read PG Wodehouse: 14 Plums of Wodehouse

“14 Plums” is a great introduction to PG Wodehouse and a great book to start with.   

Where to start with Wodehouse?  Which Jeeves book should you read first?  What is the best reading order?

I have so far read 14 of the 20 P G Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster and Blandings Castle volumes of my father’s splendid Folio Society collection (links in bold italics are to other posts on this blog).  What joy these books have brought to the world!

But greater experts than I, such as the fabulous fellow WordPress blogger Plumtopia, who specialises in the works of P G Wodehouse, have pointed out that there is much more to “Plum” than Jeeves and Wooster and Blandings, splendid as they are.

So I was delighted to discover recently another Folio Society edition, The Plums of P G Wodehouse.  

My Folio Society edition of “The Plums of P.G. Wodehouse” (more…)

Why you should read “Summer Lightning” by P G Wodehouse

“Summer Lightning” is the first of six novels set at the inimitable Blandings Castle, in Shropshire, featuring Lord Emsworth and his prize pig, the Empress of Blandings.  This series is different from the Jeeves and Wooster classics – but the 36 quotations below show why it made me laugh out loud. 

My recent blog Reading Wodehouse: a plea for help recorded that I had finished the main body of Jeeves and Wooster stories.  I sought advice on what other Wodehouse was out there, and what I should read next.  I received a host of helpful comments (at the link: feel free to take a look).  Thanks, everyone.

In the light of this advice I have started reading the Folio Society Plums of Wodehouse collection, which opens with the magnificent short story Uncle Fred Flits By.  I have also read Summer Lightning.

My Folio Society edition of “Summer Lightning”

To read these works is like discovering a delicious new wine from a much-trusted region: a whole new fountain of pleasure which recalls the original, sublime experience.  I look forward to getting to know Uncle Fred, and Blandings, better.

What struck me about Summer Lightning, (more…)

Reading Wodehouse: a plea for help

I need help.

I need help from Wodehouse experts, or Kenner as we call them here in Austria.

For years, I have been relishing my father’s Folio Society collection of Jeeves and Wooster stories.  I have so far read 14 of them, as reported in my blogs Aunts aren’t gentlemen – 10 quotations, Jeeves and the feudal spirit: 20 delicious quotations, and Right ho, Jeeves – 14 fruity quotations (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

When I started reading Wodehouse, as reported in my blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide, I received invaluable practical advice from top Wodehouse specialist Plumtopia.  I recommend her.

I have now reached the final boxed set of my father’s collection, which I find comprises six volumes set at Blandings Castle: Summer Lightning (1929); Heavy Weather (1933); Uncle Fred in the Springtime (1939); Full Moon (1947); Pigs Have Wings (1952); and Service with a Smile (1961).

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Summer Lightning”

My problems are: (more…)

Much Obliged, Jeeves – 24 wonderful quotations

For all you ardent Wodehouse fans, I have fine news.

Much Obliged, Jeeves is one of the funniest Wodehouse books I have read.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Much Obliged, Jeeves”

Why is Much Obliged, Jeeves so hilarious?  I put it down to a consistency and richness of comic language from start to finish.  In between laughing out loud and wiping the tears from my eyes, I noted so many fine lines that I had to cut the total down radically for this blog.

Here are 24 wonderful quotations from Much Obliged, Jeeves: 

  • I am always glad… to renew my acquaintance with the unbeatable eatables dished up by her superb French chef Anatole, God’s gift to the gastric juices.  I have often regretted that I have but one stomach to put at his disposal.
  • [Of Aunt Dahlia’s stentorious voice] ‘I wonder whether she ever sang lullabies to me in my cradle.  If so, it must have scared me cross-eyed, giving me the illusion that the boiler had exploded.’
  • ‘My fiancée wanted me to,’ he said, and as his lips framed the word ‘fiancée’ his voice took on a sort of tremolo like that of a male turtle dove cooing to a female turtle dove. (more…)

Right Ho, Jeeves – 14 fruity quotations

What better book to read at Christmas than Right Ho, Jeeves – a festive winter wonderland of Wodehouse, a rich Christmas pudding of Plum?

Right Ho, Jeeves opens with Bertie once more estranged from the genius of Jeeves.  This time, the offending sartorial item to which Jeeves objects is a white mess jacket with brass buttons:

He rose, holding a white object.  And at the sight of it, I realised that another of our domestic crises had arrived, another of those unfortunate clashes of will between two strong men, and that Bertram, unless he remembered his fighting ancestors, and stood up for his rights, was about to be put upon.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of Right Ho, Jeeves

When Bertie Wooster arrives to Brinkley Court without Jeeves to help him, he is beset not by one, two or three problems but by an unprecedented five, at my count.  Most atypically, Bertie causes the resignation of Aunt Dahlia’s fabulous French chef Anatole, who makes a rare appearance:

This wizard of the cooking stove is a tubby little man with a moustache of the outsize or soup-strainer type, and you can generally take a line through it as to the state of his emotions.  When all is well, it turns up at the end like a sergeant-major’s.  When the soul is bruised, it droops.  It was drooping now, striking a sinister note. (more…)

Jeeves in the Offing by P G Wodehouse: the master’s skills

A review of “Jeeves in the Offing”, the 1960 masterpiece by P G Wodehouse, featuring 15 hilarious quotations and 8 examples of peculiar Wodehouse vocabulary. 

“Jeeves in the Offing” is an exquisite contribution to the Wodehouse canon and a reminder that the master’s skills never faded in an extraordinary 72 years of novel-writing.

  

The front and back cover of my Folio Society edition of “Jeeves in the Offing”: Jeeves waits, reading Spinoza, outside the Fox & Goose, while Bertie, within, meets Bobbie Wickham

(more…)

Two-and-a-half literary quotes

At my reading this week from my Berlin thriller Blood Summit, someone asked when I found time to write.

I wrote a blog on “Where I write” recently.

A blog on finding time to write is a fine idea – I have added it to my list.

Because, it’s a bummer.  Finding time to write is hard: lots of other things I dearly want to do, dear friends, dear family, dear visitors, and a job which I dearly want to do brilliantly.

Sometimes things don’t work out.

Writing at the Wolfgangsee in Austria

Like, this week, I have been away from home all day Friday and Saturday and a bit busy and haven’t got around to writing my planned blog.

(more…)

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves: review and quotes

Those who know the code of the Pimms will know that the blogs on this site are consistently honest.  No fake news here, or indeed fake reviews.

So I have to report, sadly, that “Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves” was not my favourite P G Wodehouse book.

In fact, of the mouth-watering shelf-full of Wodehouse I have enjoyed so far since 2017, it comes some way behind Thank You, Jeeves, Ring for Jeeves, Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen or indeed Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, all of which I have reviewed on this site (click on links above) and all of which positively heaved with quotables.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves”

To say that Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves is less hilarious than some other P G Wodehouse masterpieces, however, is not to say it lacks humour.  I feel it has less of a  (more…)

“Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit”: 20 delicious quotations

I have written several times in these chronicles of my slow-burn devotion to the works of P G Wodehouse, including my induction (How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide), drawing on the excellent advice of fellow WordPress blogger and Wodehouse specialist Plumtopia – strongly recommended for all things Jeeves and Wooster and beyond.

Hence my concern, bordering on panic, at my initial perception that “Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit” was not quite such a pearl of the Wodehouse canon as, say, the wondrous Thank you, Jeeves.  Bertie Wooster’s early decision to grow a moustache, to the disapproval of Jeeves, felt a little familiar as a plot device.  The plot of the first half of the book meandered – well, I am reminded of Bertie’s description of Daphne Dolores Morehead on her first appearance in the novel as having “a figure as full of curves as a scenic railway”.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit”

That very reference to Ms Morehead, however, signals my sense of relief that I can in fact recommend “Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit”, the seventh P G Wodehouse novel to feature Jeeves and Wooster and his sixtieth book overall, wholeheartedly.  From about the half-way point, the story spreads its wings.  The subsequent flight is sublime.  The scene following the unexpected arrival of the aforementioned Daphne at Brinkley Court is amongst the funniest (more…)

Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen – the funniest Wodehouse?

Aunts aren’t gentlemen” is one of my favourite Wodehouse novels.  The the 10 quotations below are some of the funniest I have found.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen”

That’s a high bar: see eg my reviews of Thank You, Jeeves (click link for five wondrous quotations) Right Ho, Jeeves (click for 14 fruity quotes) and Ring for Jeeveswhich also teemed with quotables.

So for all you Wodehouse aficionados out there, here are ten exquisite quotations from Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen: 

  • ‘Nice girl,’ I said, for there is never any harm in giving the old salve.  ‘And, of course, radiant-beauty-wise in the top ten.’  [Orlo’s] eyes bulged, at the same time flashing, as if he were on the verge of making a fiery far-to-the-left speech. ‘You know her?’ he said, and his voice was low and guttural, like that of a bulldog which has attempted to swallow a chump chop and only got it down halfway. (more…)

P G Wodehouse: 5 wondrous quotations from “Thank You, Jeeves”

My blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide praised Plumtopiaa P G Wodehouse specialist, for its advice on precisely this subject.  I thoroughly recommend the site.

More recently, in my blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a new prescription, I savoured the fruits of recent roaming of the Plum pastures; and cited juicy quotations from the outstanding Ring for Jeeves.

Indeed, I have been struck by the poverty of many self-styled treasuries of quotations when it comes to Plum’s oeuvre.

So here, without further ado, are a few additional succulent fruit, assembled by me with pleasure from Thank You, Jeeves.

 

The cover of the Folio edition of ‘Thank You, Jeeves’

Thank You, Jeeves strikes me as one of the funniest of the Jeeves tales (quite an accolade – Ed). Jeeves himself has oiled off elsewhere for much of the action, but in his absence, Bertie Wooster’s ability to get into scrapes is exploited to outstanding effect.  Such scenes as a night in which Bertie repeatedly fails to find a place to rest his head are (more…)

How to read P G Wodehouse: a new prescription

My blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide praised Plumtopiaa P G Wodehouse specialist, for its splendidly non-prescriptive advice on precisely this subject.

In fact I have just oiled over for a further immersion in Plumtopia, notably this informative piece about P G Wodehouse societies including The P G Wodehouse Society UK.  

I can verify that the site is a veritable motherlode of P G Wodehouse-related info.  Recommended.

Meanwhile I have been continuing my own exploration of the oeuvre of the author known as “Plum” (short for “Pelham”, his first name).  I have so far completed my perusal of Carry on Jeeves, Very Good Jeeves, The Inimitable Jeeves, The Code of the Woosters, Joy in the Morning and Ring for Jeeves.  The standard is consistent, although I have taken medical advice not to binge on more than three consecutive P G Wodehouse novels, as intensive research shows this may reduce their impact.

The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Ring for Jeeves”

The efficacy of this new reading prescription has been proven by a Wodehouse abstinence (more…)

How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide

I recently inherited a splendid shelf-full of P G Wodehouse in a hand-tooled Folio edition.

My shelf of Wodehouse 

But where to begin with Wodehouse?

Pondering this problem, I was delighted to come across fellow WordPress blogger Plumtopia, who specialises in, amongst other things, how to read P G Wodehouse.  I discovered two invaluable articles:

(more…)

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