St. Louis, Missouri
Uncle Fred is one of Wodehouse's most engaging characters. Uncle Fred in the Springtime is one of his best books. And Jonathan Cecil's performance is does full justice to them both.
First, there is Cecil's ability to give each character a distinctive (and appropriate) vocal portrayal. Then there is his consistency in those portrayals. Add his ability to get every nuance out of every line and you have a full hand.
But wait, there's more. This is simply one of the best books in the Wodehouse canon. Start with a plot so tangled it may take a few listens to get it fixed in your mind (fear not; this is a story and a reading that gets better with every hearing). Add those various situations--from a Zulu warrior wedged into a phone booth to a spot of indoor artillery practice--that could only happen in the world according to Wodehouse. And to top it all off, there's Uncle Fred, his jumpy nephew Pongo and the lovely, lissom Polly Pott, crashing the exclusive gates of Blandings Castle posing as...
Well, you'll just have to listen.
Added goose: unlike some of the Wodehouse offered by Audible, this recording is crystal clear.
Like Frederick Davidson, Jeremy Sinden gets the inner meaning of Wodehouse, extracting every drop of irony, sarcasm, mock-melodrama or just plain humor from every single line. His vocal portrayals are pitch-perfect; one gets a visual image of every character. His timing and pacing are impeccable. His diction is downright Harovian. Or Etonian, take your pick.
But then again, like any actor with a great script, Sinden has a lot to work with here. Full Moon is one of the highest spots in the Wodehouse bookshelf, a tumultuous romp through the spreading park lands and messuages of Blandings Castle, where:
Veronica Wedge ("the dumbest blonde in Shropshire") and Tipton Plimson ("rather a self-centered young man") find love
Colonel Egbert (complete with service revolver) and Lady Hermione Wedge (who looks like a cook) find a rich son-in-law
Bill Lister ("Blister" to his pals) finds he isn't cut out for the life artistic but is cut out for life with Prudence ("that little squirt") Garland
Lord Emsworth ("that woolen-headed peer") finds peace when everybody finally clears out of his house and leaves him with his prize porker, Empress of Blandings and his favorite reading, "On the Care of the Pig", by the great Augustus Whiffle
And the Hon. Galahad Threepwood finds he can make it all come about with an adroit mixture of lies, half-truths, tall tales, brisk staff work...and putting the Empress in Veronica's bedroom.
Don't worry, I haven't given anything away. In Wodehouse everyone--at least, all the deserving ones--get exactly what they want. The fun--and there is a great deal of fun here, served up with no unstinting hand--is seeing how they get it. Jeremy Sinden makes Wodehouse in your ear buds even better that Wodehouse off the printed page.
This volume has everything: Blandings Castle, Mr. Mulliner, Golf Stories, Freddie Widgeon of the Drones and three of the best Ukridge tales Wodehouse ever wrote. The only dimension of his imaginary universe that's missing here is Jeeves and Wooster. But what's here is all so good you don't notice the gap. Oh, and then there's Nigel Lambert's perfect performance of these nine stories. (So why haven't you clicked "purchase" yet?)
Bought this one on cassette years ago and listened till the tapes wore out. It's good to have these screwball sagas again, in a far more portable format and at an unbelievable reasonable price.
I have never been let down by a Christopher Moore book, and this is no exception. This book is clever and preposterous, but not totally unbelievable. How can I say that a book about death coming to earth is believable? Well, that's just what Christopher Moore does. He takes the craziest stuff (I mean really crazy, like I must have been high when I thought this up kind of crazy) and makes you think that it's all possible. He does this by developing the characters into people that you like. People you could go have a beer with, or talk about shreiking ancient sewer dwelling goddesses over a latte with. And his pacing is right on. He never slows down so much that you lose interest, or speeds up so much that you're left scratching your head, saying, "Wha...?"
So what I'm trying to say is, if you already like CM, this is one of his many great books. You'll like it. And if you've never read a CM book before, this is a good place to start. You'll also like it.