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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic Mix of Blandings Castle and Hollywood Satire
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...
Published on 4 Feb. 2005 by Donald Mitchell

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TYPOS
Bit more proof checking required - 'Gally' appears several times as 'Gaily' which adds a whole new pink tone to proceedings. Others give the impression that PGW is grammatically sloopy when he ain't.
Published on 3 Feb. 2013 by DH


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic Mix of Blandings Castle and Hollywood Satire, 4 Feb. 2005
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 127,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Stroll Through the World of Wodehouse., 29 Dec. 2007
`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.

Another great collection in the Wodehouse cannon and if I had a critism it is that it should be reverted to its original title to prevent it being used as an introduction to the Blandings stories. `Summer Lightening; A Blandings story' is the best introduction to Blandings Castle and I imagine this book has put off more weary travellers to the castle grounds than it has attracted.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full Marks for the Light Side of the Moon, 24 Feb. 2008
`Full Moon' is a Wodehouse novel set at his own Garden of Eden, Blandings Castle. We last entered Blandings with `Uncle Fred in the Springtime' and although Uncle Fred is not present his understudy The Honourable Galahad is in residence along with The Honourable Freddie whom is amiably if not ably assisting him in bringing to a happy conclusion the courtship of his cousins Prudence and Veronica to Bill `Blister' Lister and Tipton Plimsoll respectively.

As ever complications come in the way of Lord Emsworth's inability to grasp or remember anything which is further mixed up by Blisters appearance under not one but three assumed names. The difficulties mount until Wodehouse and Gally pull the hug out from under them with there usual deft touch.

As well as true love the winners here are the reader with priceless prose and dialogue such as an interview between Gally and Lady Hermione on the first arrival of Blister, `Is he wanted by the Police?', `No, he is not wanted by the Police.', `How I sympathize with the Police, I know just how they feel'.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blandings at its best, 29 April 2001
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars As funny as ever.........., 5 Mar. 2013
By 
Pyewacket "czarnowice" (UK) - See all my reviews
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P G Wodehouse certainly knew how to write funny books.

This time, a heap of relatives have descended upon Blandings and Clarence. His Sister Lady Hermione Wedge her daughter and her Husband and her Niece Prudence who has been sent 'down' to the Castle for attempting to marry a so called 'Commoner'. Said 'Commoner' is one Bill Lister, yet another of Gally's myriad of Godsons.

Then Freddie arrives back in the UK. He is now married and has been sent to England to convert the Brits to the brand of dog food his Company manufactures back in the US. Clarence of course is horribly shocked that Freddie might be returning to the 'nest' permanently.

Then we meet Tipton Plimsoll another American who one day develops spots on his chest so off he tootles to Harley Street to try and discover what is causing his ailment. The Physician at Harley Street tells him that if he doesn't lay off the booze he will end up having hallucinations. This is where things start to become really funny.

Gally and Bill get together to form a plan to get the latter into Blandings where he can once again court Prudence.......inevitably things go from bad to worse and T. Plimsoll Esq., is now convinced that he is seeing the face of a gorilla everywhere he looks. In fact it is poor Bill attempting to pass himself off as an artist of the porcine variety....the resulting painting of the Empress deeply wounds the Earl. So trying once more Gally comes up with a disguise for his Bill......a beard.

Tipton too has fallen in love with Veronica the rather dim daughter of Lady and Lord Wedge.

Then there is the incident of the diamond necklace which of course Clarence has managed to mess up again.

All in all this I believe is the funniest book of the 10 Wodehouse wrote.
There are a lot of typos in this book which I have informed Amazon about.............i.e. instead of Gally you keep seeing Gaily.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the novels, 26 April 2010
By 
Aquinas "summa" (celestial heights, UK) - See all my reviews
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars P G GIVES US SOME GROWING TIPS!, 15 Nov. 2007
By 
M. Drake - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Snippets of Blandings, 4 April 2012
By 
Poldy "Paul" (Darwen, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blandings Castle and Elsewhere: (Blandings Castle) (Paperback)
After returning to Blandings with Leave it to Psmith, and before returning with Summer Lightning and Heavy Weather, Wodehouse decided to fill in some blanks. The earlier novels use Lord Emsworth more as a background figure; from Summer Lightning onwards, he becomes a major focus, however unwilling, for events in his idyllic home of Blandings Castle. These seven stories chronicle some of Lord Emsworth's troubles. Troubles with his tiresome younger son, Freddie, and with head-gardener McAllister, in "The Custody of the Pumpkin", in which Lord Emsworth briefly becomes a grower of prize pumpkins on his way to becoming the owner of a prize pig; troubles between Freddie and his wife in "Lord Emsworth Acts For The Best", in which Beach the Butler almost resigns over his Lordship's decision to grow a beard. Shades of Jeeves and Wooster's inability to see eye-to-eye over the latter's questionable sartorial or musical decisions. Trouble with his sister, the formidable chatelaine of Blandings, after their niece, Angela, ends her engagement to an eminent young man and reopens discourse with an earlier suitor. A not-uncommon happening in Wodehouse's stories. Trouble, too, with another niece, Gertrude, and her infatuations, first with the clergyman Rupert Bingham, then with the crooner, George Watkins. "Pig-hoo-o-o-o-ey!" is the story in which Lord Emsworth has finally gained the object of his affections, that target of thieves and villains which was to provide so much first-rate material for plots in later stories, the prize-winning black Berkshire sow, Empress of Blandings. But the sow, who, we are told "resembled a captive balloon with ears and a tail, and was as nearly circular as a pig can be without bursting", is off her food, and Lord Emsworth, the country fair coming up shortly, is beside himself with worry. Perhaps his niece's fiancé will be able to provide some assistance. In "Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend", Lord Emsworth finally gains enough courage to stand-up to his fearsome head-gardener, McAllister.

The first seven stories are set in the rural idyll of Blandings Castle; the last five, in the mad-house that is Hollywood. They are separated by one story involving Bobbie Wickham. Each of the Hollywood tales showcases a different example of the bizarre world of moving pictures, from an out-of-control ape, to delivery men being coerced into becoming scenario-writers for desperate film-studios.

Short these stories may be, but they lack none of the master's sureness of touch and delight in the felicities of language.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ship-Wrecked With The Marx Brothers, 14 July 2011
By 
Poldy "Paul" (Darwen, Lancashire) - See all my reviews
Wodehouse's novels are, at heart, romances. A cast of aunts, uncles, brothers and butlers is usually there to try either to stop the couples getting together, or to ensure they do. "Full Moon", the sixth novel in the Blandings series, introduces two new Emsworth nieces, Veronica, whose mother, Lady Hermione Wedge, is often mistaken for a cook, and Prudence. Veronica, who seldom fires on all cylinders, is keen to marry wealthy American Tipton Plimsoll, while Veronica has her sights set on Bill Lister, he of the face like a good-natured gorilla, old friend of her cousin, Lord Emsworth's younger son Freddie, who is back in England to drum up business for his father-in-law's dog biscuit company. While Lady Hermione is all for the match of her daughter with Plimsoll, she has been charged with keeping Lister away from her niece. On hand to see that all goes aright is Lord Emsworth's younger brother, the irrepressible Galahad. Ensuring that the right people come together, with as much subterfuge and disguising as possible, the Hon. Galahad will go through the place spreading sweetness and light.

"Sweetness and light" is a phrase from Matthew Arnold, who was related by marriage to the Wodehouse family. Traditionally in Wodehouse, it has been Uncle Fred, Lord Ickenham, who has taken upon himself to spread sweetness and light in his wake, but in "Full Moon", the Hon. Galahad seems to have taken that mantle onto himself, and the effect is rather jarring. This is a light and charming novel, full of those verbal felicities for which Wodehouse is so well-loved, but it's hard not to feel that something is lacking. Much of the action seems repetitive and episodic and, for a Wodehouse novel, oddly unsatisfying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superior entry in the Blandings canon, 27 Oct. 2011
"Blandings by numbers"? To borrow a gag of Lady Hermione's, stuff and nonsense! For starters, the Empress doesn't even get pignapped. When have you ever known that not to happen? (Well, she does get put in a girl's bedroom briefly, but that hardly counts.) And if you can read even a fraction of the argument scene in Chapter 9 without guffawing like a demented baboon and being invited by your fellow passengers to leave the compartment, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

No, I'd rate this one of the superior entries in the Blandings canon. The central theme is the complex pas-de-deux between the hapless suitors Bill Lister and Tipton Plimsoll, which Wodehouse choreographs to perfection. The former loves Prudence, who is guarded with Argus-eyed vigilance by an intimidating aunt; the latter loves her cousin Veronica and believes the former to be a manifestation of delirium tremens resulting from overindulgence in the old tonsil varnish. Add into the mix a misappropriated diamond necklace, Landseer's painting of the Pig at Bay (one of his lesser known works) and Freddie Threepwood doing his witlessly unintentional best to unsmooth the course of true love, and you will appreciate that Uncle Gally has his work cut out for him this time.

Oh, and this is the one whence comes the immortal line: "Prudence made a tired gesture, like a Christian martyr who has got a bit fed up with the lions."
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Blandings Castle and Elsewhere: (Blandings Castle)
Blandings Castle and Elsewhere: (Blandings Castle) by P.G. Wodehouse (Paperback - 1 May 2008)
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