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Service with a Smile | [P.G. Wodehouse]

Service with a Smile

The description of his ancestral seat as an earthly Paradise would, at present, have struck its proprietor as ironical, full as it was with unwanted and troublesome inhabitants. What Lord Elmsworth needed above all was a rugged ally at his side to remove from Blandings its superfluous guests, leaving him in peace to tend to his beloved pig, Empress of Blandings. However, when Lord Ickenham is on a sweetness-and-light-spreading expedition, there's always apt to be trouble.
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Publisher's Summary

The description of his ancestral seat as an earthly Paradise would, at present, have struck its proprietor as ironical, full as it was with unwanted and troublesome inhabitants. What Lord Emsworth needed above all was a rugged ally at his side to remove from Blandings its superfluous guests, leaving him in peace to tend to his beloved pig, Empress of Blandings. However, when Lord Ickenham is on a sweetness-and-light-spreading expedition, there's always apt to be trouble.

©1961 P.G. Wodehouse; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  •  
    Shannon Chicago, IL, United States 10-16-05
    Shannon Chicago, IL, United States 10-16-05 Member Since 2005
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    "Pair with _Uncle Dynamite_ to double your pleasure"

    I've long been a fan of Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster, and I knew and liked Lord Emsworth, but Lord Ickenham, the master manipulator in _Service with a Smile_ may be my new favorite. Lord Ickenham (Uncle Fred to his friends and relations) believes in "spreading sunshine" wherever he goes. He also believes that there's nothing quite so fun as traveling under an assumed name. In this book he return to Lord Emsworth's domain to help out yet another star-crossed lover. In the course of his sunshine spreading, he reunites the lovers, recovers a kidnapped pig, assists a hardworking blackmailer and ruins the plans of one of the most unpleasant and unscrupulous characters I've ever encountered in a Wodehouse novel. The yuks flow easily and, as always, at the end of the book all's right with the world. Nigel Lambert's narration is excellent, providing easy differentiation between the various characters (both male and female.) I never fully understood how befuddled Lord Emsworth was until I heard Mr. Lambert's comically appropriate "Hmms?" and "Hrmphs."

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Harris Mitchel Grp Kingston Springs, tn United States 03-02-06
    David Harris Mitchel Grp Kingston Springs, tn United States 03-02-06 Listener Since 2001
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    "Two Earls in One"

    If you like Wodehouse, you'll like this. If you don't like Wodehouse, you won't. If you've never read Wodehouse, this is a pretty decent introduction.

    Two of his regular characters -- the earls of Ickenham (Uncle Fred) and Emsworth -- come together in various interlocking plot lines that involve (of course) attempts to purloin a pig, to get money out of tightfisted relatives, and to overcome the obstacles to true love. It's fluff, but brilliant fluff, and the reading, while not my favorite Wodehouse reader (Frederick Davidson or Ian Carmichael), is quite fine.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie Oxford, MI, United States 08-18-07
    Janie Oxford, MI, United States 08-18-07 Member Since 2005
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    "Great!"

    What can you say? I don't think Wodhouse ever wrote a "dud".... the humor is sometimes subtle, but always terrific.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colby Tucson, AZ, United States 02-06-12
    Colby Tucson, AZ, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Talented narrator"
    What did you love best about Service with a Smile?

    Nigel Lambert is in the upper stratum of narrators. He could rivet his audience while reading aloud a card catalog or a telephone book.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    This book is beautifully plotted and the ending ties up all the threads in a satisfying manner


    What does Nigel Lambert bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His ability to give unique voices to each character.


    If you could take any character from Service with a Smile out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The Earl of Emsworth would be a stimulating dinner companion, primarily because of his pig-obsession, but I would also be interested to hear how his sisters got the upper hand in his relationship with them.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Caroline
    Pembroke Dock, United Kingdom
    1/9/08
    Overall
    "Lovely gentle escapism"

    After downloading two other Wodehouse books here, both of which had disappointed because of the readings, this was a real joy. It made me laugh out loud and chuckle away whatever my mood had been on starting to listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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