Service with a Smile

Narrated by: Nigel Lambert
Series: Uncle Fred, Book 4, Blandings Castle, Book 9
Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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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.
©2014 Nigel Lambert (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Service with a Smile

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great!

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

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Love Wodehouse but disappointed in narration

The story is another great Blandings adventure. Unfortunately, I don't care for the narrator's interpretation of several characters In particular, his Lord Ickenham lacks the the depth and subtlety that Jonathan Cecil gives him. Also, Myra Schoonmaker comes across as a whiny ninny.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Caro
  • 01-09-08

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 11-04-14

Cheerful fun

Misunderstandings and cheerful complications, entertaining characters and happy endings. A light-hearted listen. I found it highly enjoyable and it left me with a warm happy feeling.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Brown
  • 03-20-19

Another Wodehouse classic!

It never ceases to amaze me that Wodehouse can write the same story endlessly and yet make it fresh and entertaining every time. Great narration and characterisation to boot.

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  • TatMummy
  • 11-23-18

hilarious

hyper complex situation comedy of errors. perfect feel good English fun. lots of lovely characters and silly japes. and a very fine pig.

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  • R. J. Bartlett
  • 12-01-17

excellent telling of a good story

I really enjoyed this book, the quiet humour and gentle lives being shaken up really appealed to me.

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  • Christopher Leach
  • 08-09-16

fantastic Wodehouse

takes you into another world of fun and laughter
will enjoy listening many times


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  • Drewdle
  • 06-04-16

A Blandings Saga

You have got to love Wodehouse! Great story , loved the twists and turns, great characterization. Really enjoyed the narration. Go on, treat yourself!

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  • Pamela
  • 05-10-16

Shameless Wodehouse Fan

I love the characters that Wodehouse creates I love the timeless gentle world he writes of that I can slide into. To be honest I find them very good therapy just to be carried into their lives of Blandings and the trials and tribulations of the characters engagements, let alone the Empress the show pig.
This is well read and I really enjoyed it

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  • Marilyn
  • 05-05-16

Great, as always

Love the Wodehouse books. Audible does a great job. Makes the characters come alive. Thumbs up