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Something Fresh: (Blandings Castle) Paperback – 1 May 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; paperback / softback edition (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099513781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099513780
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,908 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

Book Description

‘You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection: you just bask in its warmth and splendour’ Stephen Fry

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Aquinas on 23 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Having read many of the jeeves stories 20 years ago and watched again recently the ITV Jeeves and Wooster starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, I thought it was time to get back to Wodehouse for some good cheer. But, I wanted to start on something different, so I decided to start with the first of the Blandings novels. As someone who struggles to get a night sleep because of pain, it was a sheer delight for me to have the tonic of reading this book peopled with its ecentric characthers and its zany plot. Lord Emsworth is the most striking characther here - he is completely potty, not realising he has stolen an american collector's egyptian scarab. The book is about the collector getting the scarab back and it really is hiarlous at times. I will say though that having just read "Leave it to Psmith" that, if anything, the series gets better with its more complex and convoluted characthers with impersonation being a key theme. Anyway enjoy to your heart's content!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Poldy on 29 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The plot of this glorious novel, the first in the Blandings saga, is as tangled as any in Wodehouse, and begins when Lord Emsworth absent-mindedly pockets a valuable Scarab from the collection of millionaire-businessman J. Preston Peters, whose daughter Aline is engaged to Lord Emsworth's slack-jawed younger son, the Hon. Freddy Threepwood, whilst also being courted by George Emerson, an up-and-coming young officer in the Hong Kong police. Not daring to risk upsetting the marriage plans by accusing Lord Emsworth of stealing the gem or asking for its return, Mr Peters engages an enterprising young man, Ashe Marson, impecunious author of the "Gridley Quayle Mysteries", to get it back for him while posing as his valet during a visit to Lord Emsworth's home, Blandings Castle in Shropshire. His daughter, Aline, takes on her old friend Joan Valentine, former chorus girl and former ladies' maid, as her maid with the same purpose. Complications ensue when the Hon. Freddy, whose cousin has recently been named in a breach of promise case, fears that Joan, to whom he sent letters and, worse, poetry, when he fell under her spell during her time in the chorus, might seek to embroil him in a similar ruinous case. To avoid this, he asks his odious and obese friend, R. Jones, to speak to Joan and endeavour to recover the incriminating letters. Once gathered at Lord Emsworth's idyllic country home, Blandings Castle in Shropshire, presided over by the imposing figure of Beech the Butler, they come under the penetrating gaze of his Lordship's officious and ever-suspicious secretary, the Efficient Baxter.

First published in 1915, Something Fresh was Wodehouse's first foray into Blandings territory.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Young Errol on 27 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A real gem. Simply a great read. It begins dotting from extraordinary character to extraordinary character bringing them together to Blandings Castle where drama, romance and farce is dished up in equal measure. Something happens on every page and like all good novels, the end will leave you missing the principals who you now know so well. Wodehouse is good enough not to disappoint and write another 13.5 Blandings novels.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. M. Holt on 11 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
In the first book in P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle saga, the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, the youngest son of the incredibly vague Earl of Emsworth has just got himself engaged to a very nice American girl, Aline Peters. Of course, this means that Aline and her rather overbearing father have to come to Blandings Castle to meet the family and all might have gone well if Lord Emsworth hadn't absentmindedly walked off with Mr Peters' priceless Egyptian scarab.

Mr Peters daren't kick up a fuss about this in case Lord Emsworth uses this as an excuse to call the engagement off and so he hires Ashe Marson to steal the scarab back and takes them to the castle in the guise of his valet. Naturally, Ashe isn't the only imposter at the castle trying to steal the scarab and the resulting confusion gives a funny and witty story with the inevitable happy ending that makes Wodehouse one of my 'go to' comfort authors.

Although I think the Jeeves and Wooster books are very fine, Blandings Castle is my real home. Just writing the review makes me want to go and read another one.
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By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 29 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
"Something Fresh" is the first of P.G. Wodehouse's Blandings novels. It was first published in 1915 - as "Something New" in the USA and "Something Fresh"in the UK. There are a few differences between the two, though the main plot remains the same.

The book opens with Ashe Marson, a 26 year-old graduate of Oxford University. (Ashe had been intending to read for the church, but was a significantly better athlete than he was a student. Although he eventually scraped through with a degree of sorts, he had to abandon his religious calling. However, he still adheres to Larsen's Exercises...they make him look somewhat ridiculous, they keep him in excellent shape). Ashe now works for the Mammoth Publishing Company in London, churning out "The Adventures of Gridley Quayle"...although very popular, Ashe finds his job absolutely soul-destroying.

Ashe is in the middle of his exercises one morning when he encounters Joan Valentine for the first time...they don't get off to a great start, as she bursts out laughing at him. However, she soon calls round to apologise and Ashe is (unsurprisingly) smitten. (Love at first sight tends to happen in Wodehouse novels, after all). Joan is 23 and has been making her own way in the world for 5 years - like Ashe, she's currently an employee of the Mammoth Publishing Company. However, she has worked as a lady's maid, a governess and even on the stage. After talking to her, Ashe is hopeful he'll find a new career in the newspaper ads.

Meanwhile, Lord Emsworth and his wayward son, the Hon Freddie Threepwood, are paying a brief visit to London. Lord Emsworth hates the city as much as his son loves it - unfortunately for Freddie, he's been more or less under house arrest for the last year.
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