Shop now Shop now Shop now Wedding Guest Edit Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Learn more Shop now Learn more
Customer Review

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Last Look at a Master's Inner Workings at Blandings Castle, 5 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Sunset at Blandings (Hardcover)
This book will only appeal to those who are hard-core P.G. Wodehouse fans, especially those who love the books about the inhabitants of Blandings Castle and the Empress of Blandings. For these fans, Sunset at Blandings will be a delightful revelation and a final memorial to the great comic master. For everyone else, this book will be a non-starter.
P.G. Wodehouse died, unfortunately, while working on the manuscript for Sunset at Blandings (a title he would never have chosen himself, as the editor notes). The first draft of the manuscript was pretty far along with a story line written for the first sixteen chapters, along with many notes about how to revise those chapters and write the final six.
The noted Wodehouse expert, Richard Usborne, has done a fine job of reviewing the notes and taking his best guess as to how the book probably would have been competed, and arranged to transcribe the remaining hand-written notes which are reproduced here. From those notes, you get a sense of how the marvelously intricate and fast-moving plots were developed and how each page ended up with so many original turns of phrase that bring a smile to the reader's delighted face. It was well worth the trip to understand how much rewriting, condensing and polishing P.G. Wodehouse did. He always makes it seem so effortless. I found it reassuring as a writer to discover that he struggled with his craft much as most writers do.
To me, the book held two other delights that were unexpected. First, Mr. Usborne has considered all of the manuscripts about Blandings Castle and taken a crack at what the floor layout and surrounding grounds might have looked like. That's quite a challenge because P.G. Wodehouse didn't have an editor who cared about continuity to rein him in. The marvelously misshapen incongruities are brought together for a sense of what must usually have been the case in these novels. Second, Mr. Usborne used the railway schedules and descriptions of the surroundings to take a guess about where in Shropshire Blandings Castle was imagined to be. That discussion might seem senseless except when you read the notes about when the Library of Congress began its research to find out about the copy of the Gutenberg Bible that was deposited there in one of the early stories about the castle.
The story is one that holds much promise. Galahad Threepwood is again trying to help young lovers by foiling one of his sisters. He helps his niece, Victoria (Vicky) Underwood, to smuggle in her artist fiancé, Jeff Bennison, under the guise of being a well-known painter of pigs to make an oil of the Empress for the family portrait gallery. As usually, the poor fellow's fault is that he has no money. Naturally, Vicky is rolling in the stuff so the challenge is to get her stepmother out of the way. Vicky wants to elope but Jeff demurs because he wants Clarence to get his pig portrait first. That puts a strain on the old relationship. As another plot line, Sir James Piper, England's Chancellor of the Exchequer, is also drawn to Blandings where he will encounter another of Gally's sisters, Diana Phipps, with whom he is in love . . . but too shy to declare himself. Having a body guard doesn't make matters any easier. What ho! How will it turn out? No one knows for sure, and you guess is as good as Mr. Usborne's is.
Have fun!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

4.5 out of 5 stars (11 customer reviews)


3 star
0

2 star
0

1 star
0

£1.16
Add to wishlist
Reviewer

Donald Mitchell
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally

Top Reviewer Ranking: 360