Friday, July 24, 2009

Blandings Castle

Book: Blandings Castle
Author: PG Wodehouse
Edition: Hardback, Overlook Press
Read: July 2009
301 pages
Rated: 4 out of 5

PG Wodehouse is a kick to read. But if you are reading this book for some secret message or deep hidden meaning, it is a mistake. PG is one of the best blathers that there is. He tells stories for the shear pleasure , not to impart wisdom; because it is a story; not for life important topics. I guess in one aspect there is hidden meaning. Our lives are to be lived not as a means to an end; ut for the enjoyment of ourselves, others and the Other.

Blandings Castle is two sets of short stories. The first is about the farce of a family of Lord Ensworth. As you read, your gut feel is this family is a product of too much inbreeding. Various members of the family gets into awkward situations with the remedy to get onto an even more awkward situation.

The other set of stories has to do with the Mulliners in Hollywood. Think of the stereotype of Hollywood and the movie industry in the 1920’s. Then throw in an Englishman telling of it from a greatly exaggerated point of view—well you get the idea. The cast of stories include Nodders-those who agree with the boss; marriage in a gorilla cage; and story-writers in exile.

So as you read, just enjoy. Think how much the English really need Jeeves for all the Woosters they have. But most of all, savour the taste of a good writer with nothing to say. Enjoy just for the enjoyment.

Notes from my book group:
There was a very good response. Enjoyable summertime read. People in my group needed to leave the room when reading because they were laughing so much.

New Words:
Saga habit – Wodehouse uses this in connection with telling a long drawn out story, after story
Parva – latin for little
Paladin – a heroic champion

Good Quotes:

- Lord Emsworth could conceive of no way in which Freddie could be of value to a dog-biscuit firm except possibility as a taster. Pg 33
- Nature has made some men quicker thinkers than others. Page 103
- Dogs are philosophers. They soon forget. They do not waste time regretting the might-have-beens. Page 130
- A boy who throws coco-nuts at top hats is fundamentally sound in his views. Page 147
- We are too ready, they say, to dismiss as cowards those who merely require the stimulus of the desperate emergency to bring out all their latent heroism. The crisis comes, and the craven turns magically into paladin. Page 207

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