on 30 July 2010
The beginning of the Blandings canon and a joy to read. Wodehouse at his best in the world of the landed gentry.
Note that the second Blandings novel "Leave it to Psmith" comes between the two main stories in this book and should be read in conjunction with the "World of Blandings" for continuity.
and written very much in the style of its time.
I have never read any of P.G. Wodehouses work before until I saw the recent dramatisation on BBC1 on Sunday nights. OK, after reading the book I disovered that the production wasn't accurate but it made me laugh so that's why I decided to buy the book.
Clarence the Earl of Emsworth lives in a world of his own, pockets things that don't belong to him absentmindedly and is in love with his pig The Empress of Blandings. For her, he will do anything. However, skullduggery is lurking........
He has a totally idiotic son, who can't do anything right, a newphew called Freddie, a sister who could frighten Piranhas, a secretary who keeps on organising things and a brother who is writing his 'Reminiscensces' not caring whether they are subject to libel or slander.
The whole book is a 'bally' good read and had me laughing out loud particularly when his Secretary appears to lose the plot in the middle of the night and is nearly killed by the Earl wielding a shotgun.
Really recommended for a good hoot!
on 26 November 2000
This is the first P.G. Wodehouse that I have read. I immediately went out and bought a second book by the same author. I normally don't read humor but I going have to change my reading habits. This book is hilarious. Full of wittism and imagination, it is hard to put down. I wanted to quote my favorite line here but I would have to copy the whole book. Wodehouse is a genious.
P.G. Wodehouse was the 20th century's answer to William Shakespeare reproduced as musical comedy. In Pigs Have Wings, Mr. Wodehouse produced one of his very best efforts.
As usual, the themes involve a satire of romantic love, miscommunications between the sexes, the vapid interests of the titled class, and the silliness of people in general.
As the book opens, Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth finds himself faced with a threat to the supremacy of his pig, Empress of Blandings, in the Fat Pigs class at the Shropshire Agricultural Show. Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, Bart, of Matchingham Hall, had already hired away Clarence's pig handler, George Cyril Wellbeloved . . . and Clarence is sure that some new skullduggery will soon follow. As the story develops, we find that it's all too true. Soon both pig camps are doing their best to knobble the other man's pig. With everyone else having a bet on the outcome, many other people are soon engaged in trying to sabotage one pig or the other. It's the most pignapping fun caper you can imagine!
In the background, we have all sorts of people who've become engaged to totally unsuitable people on the rebound from slights they feel from the one they really love. P.G. Wodehouse does a yeoman effort of returning all of those twisted loves to the proper party. The plot will keep you constantly chuckling throughout.
There are quite a few books based on the Empress of Blandings. So if you enjoy this one, go on to the others in the series.
on 13 December 2004
The first story is perhaps a little too concerned with romance at the expense of pace and wit but is nevertheless hugely entertaining. The remainder of this compendium contains some of Wodehouse's finest writing. It blisters along like the 4:30 from Paddington with more twists than a poodle's coat. More chuckles per minute than even the finest Wooster stories. Heartily recommended.
on 28 March 2008
`Pigs Have Wings' is the seventh novel to be set in the grounds of Blandings Castle and by this time not only are the characters familiar but the plots are as well, and yet, I can't help but love these books.
Once again the Empress of Blandings, Lord Emsworth's celebrated pig, is again out to win the fattest pig award despite Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe importing an outsider to order. Galahad Threepwood with eminent assistance from Beach, the butler, and Jerry Vale, Lord Emsworth's latest in a long line of secretary's who are present under false pretences to woo the daughters of the extended family who have been sent for the seclusion, will endeavour to ensure the Empress wins for the third year in a row and so clean up at the bookies.
As the story opens three couples are engaged to be married due to misunderstanding, mistake or pique and at the end three couples are still engaged but now to the right people for the right reasons, God in his heaven and all is right with the world.
Blandings Castle comes alive when the Empress of Blandings arrives, which she does in Summer Lightning. All fans of romantic comedies will enjoy these books very much.
Be sure to begin the series by reading, Leave It to Psmith, which has an outstanding plot and introduces most of the major characters in the series
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.
Heavy Weather picks up where Summer Lightning leaves off. Ronnie Fish's jealousy gets Sue Brown and him into trouble when his mother, Lady Julia Fish, arrives to sunder the pair. Gally's manuscript continues to play a role throughout as does the Empress. This book would only be a three-stars book if you didn't read Summer Lightning first.
on 13 September 2004
A hugely entertaining book. Blandings is a repository of sleepy, unimportant chaos. True love always prevails, the young men are good at tennis, and his Lordship is as eccentric as his pig is fat.
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.
on 5 March 2016
I'm working my way around to getting every Wodehouse in the series, replacing tatty old paperbacks with hardbacks (and filling in the blanks in my collection).
The books are a fantastic read, and this edition will please every Wodehouse fan.
on 12 November 2001
The ninth Earl of Emsworth has it all good health, a large sum of money and a top notch ancestral home. But there is a fly in the ointment, Sir Gregory Parsloe. With the usual riotous affairs that earmarks Wodehouse as a true genius, you begin on a tale of miscomprehension and great hilarity for all, all the threads are untangled in the end and everybody is the better off for it. This book is truely a work of art, if you haven't read any Wodehouse than i envy you, i truly do. For you have all his worls laid out in front of you, ripe for the plucking.