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Uncle Fred in the Springtime: (Blandings Castle) Paperback – 1 May 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099513846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099513841
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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By A Customer on 15 May 2001
Format: Paperback
PG Wodehouse's books are quite probably the finest examples of English humour ever to have been written, and Uncle Fred in the Springtime is quite possibly his finest work. The title character is a delightfully eccentric old coot, who takes advantage of his formidable wife's occasional jaunts to the South of France to escape the confines of his country seat and visit his eternally melancholy (and somewhat romantically susceptible) nephew, Pongo Twistleton. The juxtaposition of Uncle Fred's bombastic self-confidence and Pongo's pessimistic outlook, combined with a strong sense of self-preservation, produces a comedic duo to rival even the mighty Jeeves & Wooster. The plot is far too complicated to attempt to summarise here, suffice to say that the pair visit that Earthly paradise known as Blandings Castle. Cue Lord Emsworth, Connie, the Efficient Baxter, Beach, and a rare appearance by Lord Emsworth's eldest son, Lord Bosham, who surpasses all expectations by proving to be a bigger chump than his father and younger brother combined. To sum up, this book is superb. Buy it.
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By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 May 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the first non Jeeves and Wooster book of Wodehouses's that I've read, and I'm pleased to report that the adventures and exploits of Uncle Fred (aka Lord Ickenham) are just as madcap and droll as those of his more renown duo. As with many of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, the plot revolves around (mis)engagements, misunderstandings, country houses, bonny baby contests, blustering pompous old men, duck ponds, and a constable. However, the difference here is that instead of an idiot (Bertie) getting into sticky situations and being rescued by a genius (Jeeves), we have Uncle Fred, who seems to relish creating havoc and then sorting it all out through a variety of impersonations, good natured lies and blackmail, with general irreverence for one and all. The matchmaking leads to all manner of wacky hi-jinks, and as per usual, Wodehouse's comic timing is impeccable. Of course, the real treat is the language, which sparkles as it amuses. The names are especially good in this one, with Pongo, Bill Oakshot, and Sally Potter leading the way. (Coincidentally, two characters share the names of prominent characters from the Harry Potter saga: constable Harold Potter and Hermonie Bostock.) Uncle Fred is the equal of any Wodehouse character, and look forward to tracking down the rest of his tales.
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Format: Paperback
Whenever I feel down, I pick up a Wodehouse: short story, novel, an essay, a lyric, it doesn't matter what, I am immediately transported by his magnificent words into an altogether much better world. Mind you, I'd pick up any Wodehouse around even when I don't feel down: there is nobody in literature who has written about such a wide range of characters, and fewer still in such a captivatingly funny way; so that Wodehouse remains as relevant a requirement in the 21st century as in the 20th.
The character who provides the highest and most consistent fun though- and by a lot more than a mere short head- is Uncle Fred. Even more than Gally and Psmith he is blessed with answers before anybody has a chance to absorb the problem. In this regard he is beyond even Jeeves, because Jeeves has never actually created the problem- in fact nor has anybody else apart from Uncle Fred: and whereas with all the others "doing good" is what they do, can you find another character-even Psmith-who almost deliberately creates problems, particularly in order to enmash Pongo, so that he can unravel the wonderful denoument in the most complicated and ribachingly funny way? Can anybody tell me why, in a world where even the most boring and relatively recently eatablished writers are studied for A levels and even at University, nobody, to my knowledge, has seen fit to set up a course in PG Wodehouse studies?!
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Format: Paperback
The Wodehouse world is a world free of suffering - a kind of return to the garden of eden. Perhaps this is why, dying that I am, I have found the books so invigorating - the books are a great tonic - a true pain killer. Anyway, in this Blandings novel, impersonation is very important with Lord Ickenham coming to Blandings at Emswoth's request but hacing to pretend to be the London Brain surgeon Sir Roderick Glossop in order to keep Lady Constance off the trail. To give a taster, there is a scene where Ickenham heads off Glossop on the train with a view to deflecting Glossop from coming to Blandings but also he wants to get some information on how Glossop goes about his work:

"I wish I had a brain like yours" said Lord Ickenham, "What an amazing thing. I suppose you could walk down a line of people, giving each of them a quick glance, and separate the sheep from the goats line shelling pees..."loony... not loony...this one wants watching.. this ones all right...keep an eye on this chap. Dont let him get near the bread knife..."

Anyway, the novel is hilarious harmless fun. Thanks Fr Schall for getting me back into Wodehouse
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Format: Paperback
A hugely entertaining book. Uncle Fred cuts a dash as he nonchalantly waltzes through life, unstressed by the chaos around him. I'd love my uncle to have this magic touch and this slice of mischief. I don't think Fred is a mature gentleman at all. I think he is perpetually seventeen and a half with complete disdain for the old fuddy duddies who have a body the same age as his.
And, as always, Wodehouse has a wonderful mastery of the English language, making anything he writes a pleasure to read.
A literary classic without the boring bits.
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