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Summer Lightning (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

P. G. Wodehouse , Nick Hornby
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 May 2002 Penguin Modern Classics
One of Wodehouse's sunniest and most charming farces, "Summer Lighting" forms a sort of sequel to "Heavy Weather" but pursues a crazy logic of its own in putting the long-suffering inhabitants of Blandings Castle through one of the author's most deranged plots. 'Immortal...gloriously, a book about nothing, and all the better for it' - Nick Hornby.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New edition edition (30 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141181958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141181950
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 13.1 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,189,162 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.

Product Description


"To have one of his books in your hand is to possess by way of a pill that can relieve anxiety, rageiness, or an afternoon-long tendency towards the sour. Paper has rarely been put to better use than printing Wodehouse." (Caitlin Moran)

"Not only the funniest English novelist who ever wrote but one of our finest stylists. His world is perfect, his writing is perfect. What more is there to be said?" (Susan Hill)

"P. G. Wodehouse is the gold standard of English wit." (Christopher Hitchens)

"An incomparable and timeless genius." (Kate Mosse)

"P. G. Wodehouse should be prescribed to treat depression. Cheaper, more effective than valium and far, far more addictive." (Olivia Williams) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A classic Blandings novel from P.G. Wodehouse, the great comic writer of the 20th century --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Blandings castle slept in the sunshine. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than codeine as a tonic for pain! 24 April 2010
By Aquinas
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 Blandings novels - this is my third one to read in a row. Being woken up by pain every night, I find Wodehouse the perfect tonic - one is transported to a different gentlemanly world, a world where suffering appears distant and unreal.

Anyway, one of the problems about reading three in a row is that one can begin to confuse the books and characthers because the ones I have read to date all have involved stealing, Blandings and impersonation. This one reached a new level of zanyness with the main plot concerning the stealing of Lord Emsworth's prize pig. Baxter, his officious secretary, makes a comeback and is effectively humiliated and Emsworth's assumption that Baxter is a lunatic is confirmed. What makes this so entertaining is Wodehouse's descriptions. Thus, his description of Ronnie getting angry in a nightclub in being intercepted by waiters for his dress when he was making his way towards someone moving in on his girlfriend.

"Ronnie Fish in the course of his life had many ambitions. As a child, he had yearned some day to become an engine-driver. At school, it had seemed to him that the most attractive career the world had to offer was that of the professional cricketer. Later, hae had hoped to run a prosperous night-club. But now, in his twenty-sixth year, all these desires were cast aside and fogotte.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Price of the Papers 17 May 2011
By Paul D
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Summer Lightning, first published in 1929, was the third book in P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings saga, and the first to deal exclusively with the assortment of aristocratic eccentrics and oddities, and their employees and hangers-on who inhabit or, as Lord Emsworth might put it, infest, the place. The first novel in the sequence, Something Fresh, dealt primarily with life `below stairs', the only Wodehouse book so to do. The second, Leave it to Psmith, focuses primarily on this eminent buzzer and uses Lord Emsworth and the others mainly as background material. In Summer Lightning, however, Emsworth comes to the fore. As such, this is the first novel to mention his obsession with his prize-winning pig, Empress of Blandings, and therefore the first to have the theft of said porcine champion as a major plot point. This is also the first appearance of Lord Emsworth's younger brother Galahad Threepwood, he of the scandalous early life, and the sort of man for whom padded cells were invented.

Lord Emsworth's nephew Ronnie Fish needs money to marry his beloved, chorus girl Sue. But Lord Emsworth is his trustee, and he is unlikely to unloose the purse-strings to allow his nephew to marry a mere chorus girl, particularly when Ronnie's last financial venture was a night club which went bankrupt very quickly. Meanwhile, his former partner in this ill-starred venture, Hugo Carmody, is now working as Lord Emsworth's secretary, and is in love with Millicent, Lord Emsworth's niece. Sue herself is being sent flowers by Percy Pilbeam, who, in his capacity of private detective, takes up a place at Blandings. Sue has also been dancing with Hugo, and these two potential rivals cause Ronnie a great deal of jealousy. Add to the mix the Hon.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master at his Sunniest and Best 28 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Of all the magnificent canon, 'Summer Lightning' remains my desert island Wodehouse. There are more uproarious scenes to be found elsewhere, but this is the most elegaic of all the novels, and the rain-washed, sun-drenched landscape is filled with unforgettable and loveable characters, Sue Brown is of a piece with the other Wodehousian musical comedy heroines, but comes to enchanting life like no other. Emsworth bleats, Parsloe huffs, The Empress grunts. Baxter glints. And Gally is at his eloquent, romantic, resourceful best. The best comedy is informed by love. This book is awash with the stuff.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Piggish Capers at Blandings Castle 23 Dec 2004
Summer Lightning is one of the several delightful books in the Blandings Castle series by P.G. Wodehouse. Summer Lightning is better than many other P.G. Wodehouse books in that the plot and character development are more thorough than most which keeps the fun going longer.
Clarence, the ninth Earl of Emsworth, is at home in his castle in Shropshire where he dotes on his famous prize-winning pig, the Empress of Blandings. Having dispatched his earlier secretary, Baxter, Clarence is at peace contemplating how his pig will win again when he learns from his brother Galahad (Gally) that the neighbor's pig man is offering 3:1 odds against the Empress. Clarence and Gally presume that their neighbor, Sir Gregory Parsloe is planning to knobble the Empress. Their worst fears are borne out when the Empress disappears!
At the same time, Parsloe lives in fear that Gally will publish old stories about his wild younger days in Gally's new book. Clarence's and Gally's sister Connie wants to stop publication as well. Soon the castle is overrun with manuscript thieves!
At the same time, love is in the air. Clarence's new secretary, Hugo Carmody, is secretly and unsuitably in love with Millicent Threepwood, niece to Clarence, Connie and Gally, and Millicent is in love with him. But they need to get some financial help to pull off the merger.
Ronald Fish, a wealthy young man whose money is tied with Clarence, is also in love with an unsuitable person . . . one Sue Brown who is a chorus girl. Ronnie has proven himself to be a poor judge of investments in the past, and Clarence is skeptical of allowing any more money. It doesn't help when Clarence finds that Ronnie doesn't truly share his love of pigs!
Will love win out? Of course! It's a P.G. Wodehouse book. But before love wins, humor will take the day in many silly scenes worthy of Shakespeare's best in the forest of Arden.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed reading it
Bought this in 2004. Made me laugh so much. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Published 13 days ago by Nice2Learn
5.0 out of 5 stars P.G.Wodehouse - Summer Lightning read by Martin Jarvis
I have been reading P.G.Woehouse books for about 45 years. I had never read much of the Blandings Castle stories, but I enyoyed the recent T.V. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Timothy Kemp
5.0 out of 5 stars Galahad the peacemaker
Even by Wodehouse's lofty standards this is a very funny and well plotted novel. Possibly Galahad's decision to ditch his memoires at the end of the tale stretched credulity.
Published 2 months ago by MR K R LEIVERS
5.0 out of 5 stars “The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty...
This is a truly charming book, Wodehouse used language so wonderfully. It's a calming read, where nothing more troubling than a misplaced pig will occur. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sarah Tipper
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer Lightning
Very lighthearted comedy to make you chuckle and take you back to the 1930's where life seemed a dashed bit more simple, what? ;-)
Published 3 months ago by AGM
5.0 out of 5 stars Landings at it'S best
Someone gets the bright idea that stealing Lord Emsworth' s pig and pretending to discover it'S whereabouts might just persuade him to consent to the marriage of Ronnie Fish and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ron
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer Lightning
Easy read. Quite potty and charming but don't expect a brilliant plot - it's a farce but likeable anyway in the usual Wodehouse style,
Published 9 months ago by Jen
5.0 out of 5 stars pP.G.WODEHOUSE
I am a P.G,WODEHOUSE fan, there is no one to better him. His stories are of times which will never be repeated
Published 12 months ago by Cyril Eagland
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Brilliantly written and a literary comedy classic. Should have read this when I was a lot younger but perhaps life experience helps the humour.
Published 14 months ago by Philip S. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down!
I love Blandings books. They are nicely written, excellent descriptions. I love the way in which they start off as a very readable light novel and then suddenly turn into ah... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Wendy
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