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Blandings Castle (Collector's Wodehouse) Hardcover – October 23, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Collector's Wodehouse
  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (October 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585673382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585673384
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #603,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Originally published in 1935, this book contains 12 short stories, only half of which are about Lord Emsworth and his Blandings estate. The rest are a miscellany, most of which are told by Mr. Mulliner, the indefatigable liar of the Angler's Rest. Moreover, while British actor James Saxon's reading is certainly competent, it doesn't reach the levels of inspiration of such other Wodehouse readers as Jonathan Cecil and Frederick Davidson. For an author who wrote nearly 100 books, Wodehouse struck a pretty high average; however, not everything he wrote was unalloyed gold. Blandings Castle contains flecks of the noble metal but also a large enough proportion of base metals to cause one to pause before purchasing this volume. Essential reading to Emsworth devotees but otherwise of only peripheral interest. R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Good reading entertainment and will read more.
Kiwi444
Some of these stories have plots that could have been turned into novels, which makes the short stories all the better.
Donald Mitchell
After you've finished the jeeves and wooster tales, if you're looking for more, read the blandings castle tales.
Greenwood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Eugene G. Barnes on April 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The first half of the book, which is devoted to Blandings Castle and Lord Emsworth, is a sheer joy to read (5 stars!). The final chapter of the first half is the oft-anthologized short story "Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend," an exquisite tale of how the permanently befuddled old man befriends a young lass from London who is summering in the countryside, and together the two of them set the world straight. In fact, that's just what the Emsworth stories are always about: People thrown together, each having his/her own set of priorities, and how they get what they want by practicing "You scratch my back, I scratch yours." Communicating over the din of one another's priorities is a constant source of humor, the unexpected combination of actions and outcomes is another, and the whole reveals Wodehouse's virtuosic gift for storytelling. The Emsworth stories are hard to beat.
Not so the Mulliner stories that make up the second half of the book (3 stars). Here we have a set of stories with improbable plots about Hollywood in the early talkies days. They rely too much on myths about tons of money floating around Hollywod and the incompetent people who wield all this wealth. Though they were probably pretty well received when they first came out, by a naïve public newly fascinated with Hollywood, they are now rather dated and sometimes too silly to be funny. Plus, Wodehouse shares with Shute and Waugh that singular inability of many an English writer to capture and replicate American-ese. Well, they are not horrible stories; simply relatively uninteresting. You can stop with the last Emsworth story in this book and not miss a thing, which is what I recommend.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Blandings Castle is an unexpected mix of short stories. After P.G. Wodehouse began to weave his novels about Clarence, Ninth Earl of Emsworth, and his improbable family and friends into a series of hilarious stories, he realized that he needed to fill in a gap. He warns that the first six stories in this collection constitute "the short snorts in between the solid orgies." Specifically, these stories tell us about happenings between Leave It to Psmith and Summer Lightning.

You find out more about why Clarence doesn't like to have his son, the Honorable Freddie around. You also learn about how the Empress of Blandings won her first Fat Pigs competition. The Custody of the Pumpkin shows Clarence as a plant-focused competitor before he became a pig-focused one. Mr. Wodehouse also lets us know how Freddie came to marry his wealthy wife and join the dog biscuit business in the States. Some of these stories have plots that could have been turned into novels, which makes the short stories all the better. The most delicious of the stories is a sweet tale of Clarence taking it upon himself to do the right thing in Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend.

The seventh tale is a typical Wodehouse country hullabaloo as Bobbie Wickham manipulates all involved to her advantage in dispatching an unwelcome suitor . . . playing the role for herself the Jeeves and Gally usually play in resolving romantic mishaps. It's clever and ever so liberated.

In the last five stories, P.G. Wodehouse unleashes his dissatisfaction with the Hollywood studios into acid satires of moguls and their foibles. For those who know the Hollywood of those days, these tales are almost biographical.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ltp1 on April 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The title's a little misleading; this is a set of 12 stories, and only the first six are at Blandings Castle. I'm a particular Blandings Castle fan -- they're my favorite Wodehouse -- so I was a little disappointed in this one. But, hey, there ARE six fairly good Blandings Castle stories here. Then again, I recommend the novels over the short stories; they're much more fun and engaging. The stories are like eating one M&M and not having any more in the bag. Not enough THERE there. The novels have more time for P.G. to do what he's best at -- weaving tangled plot lines and setting up slapstick.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading P. G. Wodehouse is always a delight, and I love the six Blandings stories in "Blandings Castle And Elsewhere", particularly relishing "The Custody of the Pumpkin." I was likewise naturally fond of "Pig-Hoo-O-O-O-Ey!," "Company For Gertrude," and "Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend." Interestingly these stories (along with "The Go-Getter") make up two thirds of season one of the recent "Blandings" television series. I was interested, incidentally, to see how the producers edited and combined the various stories to produce a highly satisfactory show, though nothing is as wry and amusing as the original Wodehouse version. I am constantly amused at the odd combinations of eccentric characters that Wodehouse brings to life at Blandings Castle, and I can't imagine a more satisfying collection of short fiction.

After the six Blandings installments, there is a Bobbie Wickham story, "Mr. Potter Takes a Rest Cure," which I also found deeply amusing and hilarious as the protagonist manipulates a cast of oddball characters in her own best interests with numerous peculiar twists and detours of all sorts along the way. The remaining five stories from "The Mulliners of Hollywood" series are interestingly written satirical pieces about the phoniness of Hollywood: I particularly liked the concepts of the "Nodder" (a person who nods appreciatively at the ideas of a studio boss,) and touches of whimsy such as the concept of "sandwiches of fate." I gave the collection four stars overall because while I love Wodehouse and Blandings in particular, I found the Mulliners stories not as enduringly funny, though if you prize satire you will likely adore them. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed all the stories but for my money no stories can possibly surpass the Blandings tales chronicling Clarence, the Ninth Earl of Emsworth and his prize pig, The Empress.
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