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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Proof of the Pudding., 4 July 2008
This review is from: Plum Pie (Everyman's Library P G WODEHOUSE) (Hardcover)
P G Wodehouse managed to gain the nickname `Plum' at some point in his career and so this collection of short stories, sequenced with what would have been topical asides in 1966, was christened `Plum Pie' and a more tart collection we couldn't hope for.

The pedigree of the collection is stated on page one with a rare anthology outing for Jeeves and Wooster in `Jeeves and the Greasy Bird', a Yuletide tale of cheer in which Bertie tries to help along Roderick Glossop's love life only to find himself facing a case of breach of promise, only Jeeves can save the day, again.

As ever we have a tale of Agnes Flack and Sidney McMurdo featuring a publisher reluctantly coming between them, unusually the story is not narrated by the oldest member whom we can only assume is dozing in the bar. Mr Mulliner tells us a yarn concerning his relations and a further story highlights the perils of smoking.

`Ukridge Starts a Bank Account' is more dramatic than the title would suggest and the two stories to feature Drone Bingo Little (one featuring Freddie Widgeon recently married in the novel `Ice in the Bedroom') are the highlights of the collection.

Blandings is also featured here with a story featuring all the regulars in a tale not dissimilar from some of the greatest Blanding novels and also with Freddie Threepwood taking centre stage in his own novella in which he travels on the Atlantic liner called, somewhat predictably, the Atlantic, spreading good news of love and Donaldson's Dog Biscuits.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In The '60s, In His 80s, But Still The Upper Crust!, 29 April 2011
This review is from: Plum Pie (Everyman's Library P G WODEHOUSE) (Hardcover)

Taken as part of his entire collection of writings, `Plum Pie' is a fairly ordinary* gathering of short and short-ish stories from that proven master of mirth, Pelham Grenville Wodehouse. By containing tales featuring established PGW characters including Jeeves and Wooster, Ukridge, the residents of Blandings Castle and Drones Club regular, Bingo Little, it exists as a virtual `greatest hits' of the author. All of the stories are hugely readable, highly entertaining, if not representing the absolute zenith of each characters' antics. Hence, my "fairly ordinary" description.

However, what is EXTRAORDINARY about `Plum Pie' is the fact that it was published in 1966, when its author was fast approaching his 85th birthday. Now, I admit that I am a sucker for all things Wodehouse, but even the most miserable of miseries must acknowledge that the writing of a collection of stories of this calibre from a man of such a ripe age, is a remarkable accomplishment. Indeed, excluding the contents of my next paragraph, there is little to distinguish these stories from similar adventures being penned a good half-century earlier. The phrase, "Still got it" lurches, rather than springs to mind. Comparing `Plum Pie' to tomes churned out by the ageing Agatha Christie (Only devotees wearing the rosiest of rose-tinted specs could view the later Poirot novels such as `Halloween Party' and `Elephants Can Remember' as anything other than rambling, faint echoes of a previous golden age.) further highlights Wodehouse's fabulous longevity as a consistently creative author.

The fact that these are stories from the 1960s is proven by some interesting references to the swinging decade. Allusions are made to the Burton-Taylor `Cleopatra', golfers of the era and a certain foursome from Liverpool. Perhaps the most amusing nod to the `60s occurs when Bingo Little is arrested for his apparent involvement in a CND protest! Decades earlier, he would have been shoved in the cooler for stealing a policeman's helmet. The times they were a-changin' and a certain octogenarian was keeping up with the changin' times. That said, the snippets that follow each story, under the recurring title of "Our Man In America" are rather TOO much of their era and linger for less time than a meringue in a rain storm.

Thus, whilst `Plum Pie' cannot be regarded as Wodehouse at his absolute best, one couldn't have asked for more from the great man in England's year of football World Cup glory. Indeed, the description of a range of differing hangovers in one story - `George & Alfred' - culminating with the "Gremlin Boogie" is worth the purchase price alone. It may be as light as puff pastry, but `Plum Pie' sure tastes good.

Barty's Score: 8/10

* However, an ordinary Wodehouse yarn is a guaranteed smile-inducer, if not giggle-prompter, so this is no disparaging comment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Old Master reflects, 10 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Plum Pie (Everyman's Library P G WODEHOUSE) (Hardcover)
Well, it`s late PGW, but one wonders if it was just a collection of sketches and ideas which he had had lying around for a while, and which he decided to work up into a miscellany. When you have a reputation like his, they will print anything you send them. But I am still giving it four stars. There are touches of the master here, and, with over 300 pages, you get your money`s worth.
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Plum Pie (Everyman's Library P G WODEHOUSE)
Plum Pie (Everyman's Library P G WODEHOUSE) by P.G. Wodehouse (Hardcover - 6 Sept. 2007)
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