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Blandings Castle (Everyman Wodehouse) Hardcover – 12 Sep 2002


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman (12 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184159119X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841591193
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 13.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The author of almost a hundred books and the creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner, P.G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After two years with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank he became a full-time writer, contributing to a variety of periodicals including Punch and the Globe. He married in 1914. As well as his novels and short stories, he wrote lyrics for musical comedies with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, and at one stage had five musicals running simultaneously on Broadway. His time in Hollywood also provided much source material for fiction. At the age of 93, in the New Year's Honours List of 1975, he received a long-overdue knighthood, only to die on St Valentine's Day some 45 days later.

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Review

"It's dangerous to use the word genius to describe a writer, but I'll risk it with him" (John Humphrys)

"For as long as I'm immersed in a P.G. Wodehouse book, it's possible to keep the real world at bay and live in a far, far nicer, funnier one where happy endings are the order of the day" (Marian Keyes)

"Wodehouse always lifts your spirits, no matter how high they happen to be already" (Lynne Truss)

"The incomparable and timeless genius - perfect for readers of all ages, shapes and sizes!" (Kate Mosse)

"Not only the funniest English novelist who ever wrote but one of our finest stylists" (Susan Hill) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'You don't analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour.' Stephen Fry --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Feb 2005
Format: Hardcover
Blandings Castle is an unexpected mix of short stories. After P.G. Wodehouse began to weave his novels about Clarence, Ninth Earl of Emsworth, and his improbable family and friends into a series of hilarious stories, he realized that he needed to fill in a gap. He warns that the first six stories in this collection constitute "the short snorts in between the solid orgies." Specifically, these stories tell us about happenings between Leave It to Psmith and Summer Lightning.
You find out more about why Clarence doesn't like to have his son, the Honorable Freddie around. You also learn about how the Empress of Blandings won her first Fat Pigs competition. The Custody of the Pumpkin shows Clarence as a plant-focused competitor before he became a pig-focused one. Mr. Wodehouse also lets us know how Freddie came to marry his wealthy wife and join the dog biscuit business in the States. Some of these stories have plots that could have been turned into novels, which makes the short stories all the better. The most delicious of the stories is a sweet tale of Clarence taking it upon himself to do the right thing in Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend.
The seventh tale is a typical Wodehouse country hullabaloo as Bobbie Wickham manipulates all involved to her advantage in dispatching an unwelcome suitor . . . playing the role for herself the Jeeves and Gally usually play in resolving romantic mishaps. It's clever and ever so liberated.
In the last five stories, P.G. Wodehouse unleashes his dissatisfaction with the Hollywood studios into acid satires of moguls and their foibles. For those who know the Hollywood of those days, these tales are almost biographical. Like the Canterbury Tales, there's a delightful element of exaggeration that makes the humor ever so much more tangy. If you dislike phonies, incompetents and those who are out for only themselves, you'll love these stories. If you don't like biting satire, skip these stories. You'll like the earlier seven.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ian Wood, Author of 'Here's 2 Absent Fathers' on 29 Dec 2007
Format: Hardcover
`Blandings Castle' or `Blandings Castle and Elsewhere' to give it its full title is a collection of short stories set, surprising enough, in Blandings Castle and elsewhere. It is really a book of two halves with the first half chronicling the Threepwood family of Blandings, the second half concerning Mr Mulliners tall tales and a brief interlude of a story about Bobbie Wickham, a thoroughly modern girl.

The Blandings short stories allow the Threepwoods and particularly Lord Emsworth to come out of the shadow of being in the supporting cast of Wodehouse's novels to take centre stage. These six stories highlight whilst a character actor can make a story in support he cannot necessarily carry it alone. The stories which feature Lord Emsworth in the lead are the poorer stories whilst the ones which follow the novel template of boy meets girl, Aunt Constance refuses match, Lord Emsworth brings things to a satisfactory conclusion for the sake of an quiet life, are where these characters really shine.

The Bobbie Wickham story is, in my opinion, the best story in this collection, as Bobbie manipulates all the men captivated by her vivid red hair to get the better of her mothers desire to marry her to the nearest novelist or poet.

The five Mr Mulliner stories are better than the majority to populate his solo ventures possibly due to them being themed around the Mulliners whom work in the Hollywood film industry. No doubt tempered by Wodehouse's own experiences of being a staff man at MGM where he famously said `I've never been paid so much; for doing so little'. His stories of yes men and nodders (junior yes men whom agree with their superiors without recourse to chanting yes) are fantastic. The action in `Monkey Business' is worth the price of admission on its own.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 April 2001
Format: Paperback
PG Wodehouse is universally acknowledged as the greatest humourist ever to write in the English language, and this collection of short stories provides ample reason why. A variety of stories are included, focusing on all members of the Emsworth clan (a treat for those of us who think that Lord Emsworth is given somewhat short shrift in the full-length novels). A smattering of Mr. Mulliner's Hollywood yarns round out the package. Not quite as good as Jeeves, perhaps, but still a rib-tickling read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Drake on 15 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is worth having for 2 stories alone - `The custody of the Pumpkin` - in which lord Emsworth loses and then regains the services of Alistair McCallister the recalcitrant scottish gardener with the power to turn his lordship`s pumpkin into a prize winning specimen and `Pig Hooey` where the Empress - his lordship`s prize winning Berkshire sow - pines for her absent pig man until his lordhip discovers the secret of pig calling. Both stories are classic Wodeshouse worthy of winning the local agricultural show - or the nobel prize for literature!

Mick Drake - author of the comic novel All`s Well at Wellwithoute.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aquinas on 26 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Perhaps its because I am not a great fan of the short story form, but I did not find these short stories as enticing as the full length Blandings novels. Even so, the fun is there galore and I often laughed out loud at the nonsense. Let me give an example of the kind of desciptions that makes Wodehouse a genius. Lor Emsworth looking out his telescope takes interest in a cow but: "Presently, the cow's audience-appeal began to wane. It was a fine cow, as cows go, but, like so many cows, it lacked sustained dramatic interest". Curiously I though Freddie Threepwood began to sound more and more like Bertie Wooster in these short stories than I had noticed in the novels.

I did not really get into the Mulliner stories but perhaps this is because I am single mindedly focusing on Blandings at the minute.
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