A chance meeting on a train brought together Lord Ickenham and Bill Oakshott - although being told that the love of his life, Hermione, was engaged to none other than Pongo, Lord Ickenham's nephew, did make Bill feel like he'd been struck behind the ear.
©2012 The Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate (P)2012 AudioGO
Wodehouse Willfully Rushed
Blandings Castle stories, some including Uncle Fred, others Galahad
Rich, flexible, hurried
Mugsy, the aging tyrannical father and freeloader
Jonathan Cecil has the chops to carry Wodehouse off, but his delivery is oddly rushed in Uncle Dynamite. Part of the sublime charm of Wodehouse is the juxtaposition of the lazy, idling summer days of the feckless rich, with madcap, antic pratfalls and verbal parrying. At once dreamlike and lilting and screwball farce. But for some reason, the editors or Cecil rush one line of dialog after another, almost into an unbroken string, as if a rapid-fire delivery might add to the story. I don't think it does, and robs the tale of its momentum, which, if rendered at a human pace, would have built to a cacophonous crescendo by its culmination. Still, an immensely enjoyable listen, even if not quite reaching the heights.
Without question, Jonathan Cecil's reading is what makes listening to this story great. It's a fun story (though not quite as great as the Uncle Fred story Cocktail Time), with all of the loopiness and goofiness we expect of a classic Wodehouse story. And Jonathan Cecil's reading makes it shine.
Without revealing one of the amusing plot twists...at the end of the story, I was delighted as Uncle Fred put Sir Aylmer Bostock in his place.
Jonathan Cecil is one of those rare readers who goes beyond being a good reader and becomes the embodiment of the author's work. Jonathan Cecil's reading of all the characters is excellent, but his portrayal of Uncle Fred is just perfect.
Uncle Dynamite makes me smile, laugh, and guffaw in many places. Uncle Fred is just a treasure as he goes about "spreading sweetness and light", cajoling, threatening, and blackmailing people all in the name of increasing happiness for everyone around him.
Has anyone else thought that Jo Rowling was inspired for her Harry Potter series by Uncle Dynamite?
Characters named: Hermione...Herold Potter...Reginald (sounds so close to Ronald) Reading tea leaves----Owls----an irascible uncle and a horse-faced aunt. Fred the trickster. I could go on and on. Marauders. Billius. Okay. I'll stop now ---- but seriously!
I am positive with the muffins bit and the heavy use of Gorgon ---- that Wodehouse was much inspired by Wilde as well.
And let me be clear ---- I love Sir Pelham's books! He is My favorite humorist of all-time.
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