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Publisher's Summary

One of P. G. Wodehouse's most enticing later works, Barmy in Wonderland is a gem of a novel from the master of social satire and comedy.

Cyril Fotheringay-Phipps, known to his friends as Barmy, has made a poor decision. He has invested $10,000 in a stage production that seems doomed from the start in order to be near the woman of his dreams - Miss Dinty Moore. Will he find true love or merely lose a fortune?

Featuring a cast of sharply drawn characters, from haughty film stars and monstrous producers to detestable critics and total divas, Barmy in Wonderland is a brilliant satire on life behind the curtains.

©1952 P. G. Wodehouse (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Barmy in Wonderland

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  • D
  • 09-02-15

Wodehouse completists want more

Simon Vance is one of the most accomplished readers out there, and here he tries his hand (throat? tongue?) at Wodehouse. He does a fine job with the character’s dialogue, though his rendering of the prose lacks the exuberance of the late (and great) Jonathan Cecil. Frankly, it's a bit like an opera star crossing over to operetta, or doing a Broadway show tunes album. Or it might be the sound of Vance's fine rendition of Proust's Swann's Way triggering involuntary memories/associations in this listener. Nevertheless, the ear adjusts, and Wodehouse works his magic regardless.

So far his Wodehouse recordings have been of lesser known works that no one else has recorded yet, so they are very welcome additions to the catalog. I hope there is more to come. How about: If I Were You, French Leave, and Do Butlers Burgle Banks?

5 people found this helpful

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A Visit to Wonderland

Colored by Wodehouse’s own experiences in Broadway and Hollywood, fueled by the standard Wodehousian motivations of romance, money, and alcohol, this classic romp remains as entertaining as the day it emerged from the Master’s Smith-Corona almost 7 decades ago.

As with his other Wodehouse recordings, Simon Vance delivers a fine comic performance. And I second D's request for more: especially Do Butlers Burgle Banks? and French Leave.

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Partly recycled and sluggish, snappier ending

As another reviewer reveals, there are slow and dull parts. Many phrases, in the first 2/3 especially, are used many times in other PGW works. But the characterizations (especially of an attorney) and dialogue and the happenstance of several likeable characters really pick up in the end. Most notable: PGW is great at writing witty women.

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Great Start, Weak Middle

This book had a very strong start and had me laughing out loud. I was prepared to like it immensely. For a good deal of the middle, however, it lacked plot and I actually sped up the reading in order to get through. Wodehouse pulled it together again in the end and I enjoyed the last 40 minutes or so. Overall, I'd say it's worth reading for a lover of his writing. For someone new to Wodehouse looking for more Drones club characters, I would turn them to some of the short story collections instead.