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Old 10-26-2021, 12:07 PM   #16
Renate
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The Coming of Bill is pretty bad.
Well, I didn't think that it was great, but it was different.

A lot of Wodehouse is in the same vein, this kind of "time in a snow globe" of young men and young women and curmudgeonly elders and country houses but also very stage-play-y. I don't think that I'm being very clear.

So what is the best, most novel-y book that Wodehouse wrote? (Gutenberg didn't have The Small Bachelor.)
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Old 10-27-2021, 02:10 AM   #17
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Wodehouse was huge on Broadway in the earlies with several big musicals, wrote school stories which evolved into Mike and Psmith, and wrote absolutely straight detective short stories (yes! he was a fan of detective stories). Bertie Wooster evolved out of the "knut" stock character of the stage, via Reginald Pepper. If you can find it, an original version of "My Man Jeeves", 1919, might be what you want. The first few stories are Reginald Pepper, and then Bertie and Jeeves appear.

The Wooster/Jeeves stories, by the way, have inspiration in the Holmes/Watson characters: Bertie is Watson to Jeeves's Holmes. Bertie's unique "voice" has elements from Wodehouse's experiences with New York Broadway musicals around 1915-1919 with Jerome Kern: snatches of forgotten songs which Bertie can't quite remember, obsolete American slang, and so on.

Probably "My Man Jeeves," is the one to start with. I have a very tatty 1930s Penguin of it. It has the "plus" of being PD in the USA as it was published before 1925. Unfortunately the Gutenberg USA edition leaves out the Reginald Pepper stories. I don't know why.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:37 PM   #18
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If Wooster/Jeeves isn't quite your cup of tea, I'd still suggest trying out Blandings (start with Something New) or if you like shorter stories (or golf) then Clicking of Cuthbert.
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Old 10-29-2021, 03:56 PM   #19
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Bill is a baby. The title is straightforward.

In the larger context, P.G. Wodehouse was unaware politically to his very great detriment; his radio addresses while interned in Germany during WWII landed him in serious hot water. He was arrested in France after the liberation and was investigated in Britain. He never returned to Britain again.
Thanks for the info, it seems that the similarity in titles is just a coincidence, then.

One interesting comment I've seen about a serious undertone to Wodehouse's books: At first glance, it does seem strange that so many intelligent, resourceful women want to marry Wooster, who frankly doesn't seem much of the catch. But many of the books take place in the aftermath of the Great War, where a significant proportion of Britain's young men never came back from the trenches.
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Old 11-05-2021, 06:46 AM   #20
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There was an interesting sidenote to Wodehouse's naive wartime radio addresses: he artlessly described the journey from his arrest at his home in France and incarceration in civilian prisons on the way to internment-- the use of prisons to house enemy civilian internees being prohibited by the Geneva convention. Something the German censors failed to spot among Wodehouse's genial burblings. US intelligence experts were impressed by the amount of otherwise censored information in his broadcasts, and used them in training sessions!

It was not of course intentional on Wodehouse's part, he did live in a world of his own, but there you go.
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Old 11-05-2021, 06:49 AM   #21
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Thanks for the info, it seems that the similarity in titles is just a coincidence, then.
Many of Saki's short stories do remind me of PGW though, an edgier, more snarky Wodehouse.
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:44 AM   #22
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Congratulations on your 2000th post!

I loved The Schartz-Metterklume Method (Saki).
Alfred Hitchcock covered it in 1960: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0508344/
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Old 11-05-2021, 09:52 AM   #23
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Congratulations on your 2000th post!

I loved The Schartz-Metterklume Method (Saki).
Alfred Hitchcock covered it in 1960: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0508344/
Thanks! I hadn't even noticed. If I had, I would have planned for this post to be a repost of Homer's epic poem, with every character replaced by a blank. It would thus have been





2001: A space Odyssey
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