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Tina the S.Top Contributor: Coloring
5.0 out of 5 starsService With a Smile: by A Master...
Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2018
Oh, P.G., we can not help but love you! Your plot twists and turns are hilarious..and everything always comes out just right in the end. Always a treat for a seemingly light read and a huge amount of laughter, with social import and commentary being woven-in while one is not really realizing or caring about it and its importance to the shaping of his stories, long or short. Be careful while reading next to another person, as one can burst out loudly laughing at any time, especially as his plots thicken into delightfully messy delights, with everything together always managing to make perfect sense in the end...lovely farce, which is a High Art, lost in today's rushed world where his type of nuances and perfect choice of description are often just lost in more modern works which came after this Master craftsman of humor par excellence. Just Delicious reading, written by a True Master of his craft, easily making the ridiculous make perfectly good sense...without the reader always realizing how she is being gently but inexorably lead along these hilarious story lines as they weave together to form a tightly knit Thing of Beautiful Craftsmanship. His stories all work out in perfect ways, with perfect TIMING. And this timing and wit define his brilliant and vastly entertaining brand of farce.
If your a person who enjoys rich allusion, appreciates a masterful use of the English language, and likes to laugh out loud you'll enjoy this book as well as P. G. Wodehouse' s other Blandings Castle and Lord Ickenham books. Kick back and have fun!
P G Wodehouse always entertains with a combination of humor and wisdom. His tongue-in-cheek style can be light and, at times, cutting as he comments on the social norms of his day (UK and US). The performer captures the characters and caricatures perfectly, resulting in a most delightful experience.
We're back at Blandings and, as usual, things aren't going well for woolly-headed peer Lord Emsworth. He has Wellbeloved back as pig-man, but he also has a domineering secretary, Lavender Briggs, who needs five-hundred pounds to set up her own secretarial bureau, and isn't above arranging the kidnapping of Lord Emsworth's prize pig, Empress of Blandings, to get it. He also has to cope with the domineering Alaric, Duke of Dunstable, who has once again invited himself to Blandings, and who is still under the impression that his pig-obsessed host is dotty, and is still determined to get said pig away from him, especially now that he has a buyer willing to pay good money for it. Meanwhile, Myra Schoonmaker, daughter of a rich American businessman, has been removed to Blandings by Lord Emsworth's formidable sister, Lady Constance, to keep her away from the man she loves, penniless curate Cuthbert "Bill" Bailey. Lady Constance hopes Myra will fall in love with Dunstable's nephew Archie. As if all this weren't enough, Lord Emsworth has to cope with the Church Lads' Brigade, who are camped en mass on the Castle grounds. Lucky, then, that, while on an enforced visit to London for the opening of Parliament, Lord Emsworth should encounter his fellow Earl, the irrepressible Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, fifth Earl of Ickenham, who agrees to travel back to Blandings with Lord Emsworth to help sort out the tangle and spread sweetness and light the way only he can.
This is the eighth Blandings novel, and the last of four to feature that most delightful of Wodehouse creations, the Earl of Ickenham, better known as Uncle Fred. Although Wodehouse was eighty-one when he wrote this novel, there is no sign of his powers failing. This is a charming light novel which runs along beautifully in a well-worn groove, full of those verbal felicities for which Wodehouse is so loved. Few writers have been better than Wodehouse at plotting, and here as so often he draws a tangled skein of plots and weaves everything together with the firm hand of a master. Everything is for the best in the best of all worlds, the world of Blandings, a paradise from which there has been no fall. The only sad note is that this is the last time we will encounter Uncle Fred, but we can take heart, as he would himself, that in this final appearance he spreads much sweetness and light in his own inimitable fashion.
3.0 out of 5 starsyou'll find plennty to enjoy. If you're new to Wodehouse try one of ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 24, 2017
This is Wodehouse in black and white, but most Blandings books are in the brightest colour. The usual skilled plotting is there and so are many familiar Blandings characters, but somehow it just doesn't sparkle as much as one hopes and expects. That said, you'll find plennty to enjoy. If you're new to Wodehouse try one of the earler Blandings masterieces, such as Summer Lightning. Then after one or two more, move on to Leave it to Psmith, my favourite.
I would say this is one of the best Blandings castle books, but they are ALL 'one of the best'! A brilliantly-woven plot, the funniest writer of the 20th century, a plot to steal the Empress involving double and treble-dealings between the Duke of Dunstable, Lord Emsworth's secretary and her former employer Lord Tilbury, and much much more, all played out in the golden Shropshire sunlight of a world that no longer exists - if it ever did. Pure escapism of the very best kind, by a writer who knew how to weave plots and resolve them, all with the wonderful, gentle humour that runs through all the Blandings books. Everyone should read the Blandings books, all of them, and then re-read them over and again, because they are of the few that you can enjoy time and again, no matter how often you have read them. Value for money? And then some!
This is the first ever Wodehouse book I've read and it blew me away. Very quick reading - it took me a mere 7 hours to read through the entire book (from 1pm - 8pm) and every page is perfection in language, wit and humour!!! I'm still in a daze from Wodehouse's genius! I loved all of the characters - from the "exuberant" problem-solving Uncle Fred to his guardian angel to the Duke of Dunstable's moustache - utterly hilarious!! Wodehouse is by far a master of modern writing - not just comic writing. And I strongly suspect that modern comedians borrow from his work and style in one way or another. I thoroughly recommend Service with a Smile! You will be smiling the whole way through!!