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Something Fresh Paperback – September 1, 2000

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


''For Wodehouse there has been no fall of Man . . . The gardens of Blandings Castle are the original gardens of Eden from which we are all exiled.'' --Evelyn Waugh --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Back Cover

A Blandings novel This is the first Blandings novel, in which P.G. Wodehouse introduces us to the delightfully dotty Lord Emsworth, his bone-headed younger son, the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, his long-suffering secretary, the Efficient Baxter, and Beach the Blandings butler.

As Wodehouse wrote, ‘without at least one impostor on the premises, Blandings Castle is never itself’. In Something Fresh there are two, each with an eye on a valuable scarab which Lord Emsworth has acquired without quite realizing how it came into his pocket. But of course things get a lot more complicated than this… --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; New edition edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140284613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140284614
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.7 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,503,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on February 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
In P.G. Wodehouse (Thames and Hudson Literary Lives Series), James Connolly offers this advice: "Relax and reread Wodehouse; he's the boy to restore a sense of proportion." Absolutely good advice. I find rereading Wodehouse is more enjoyable than most first reads of other authors, and he's quite easy to reread, even if you don't intend to, because his stories appear in various collections and his novels were often published under various titles.

Something Fresh, officially the first book in the Blandings Castle saga, was published as "Something New" as a serial in The Saturday Evening Post in 1915, and then as a book with the same title in an American edition. "Something Fresh" is a slightly altered British edition of that book. Ashe Marson, the unknown author of the hard-boiled Gridley Quayle, Investigator series of paperback pulps, answers an ad: "WANTED--Young Man of Good Appearance, who is poor and reckless, to undertake delicate and dangerous enterprise. Good pay for the right man." Poor and reckless is a formula in Wodehouse for a good-hearted, down on his luck guy, about to be smiled upon by a beneficent Providence. It's a carry-over from his work in musical comedy and as a struggling writer, but he is one of the few authors who make his leading characters writers, and one of the very few who throws them any of the good parts.

This book is a double bonus, with not only Ashe, but a female writer, Joan Valentine, who knows even more of the hard-bitten life of the streets, and is therefore even poorer and more reckless, as a stellar second in the personnel.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By hulot ca on July 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Wodehouse. In fact, this is the only Blandings novel or story I've yet to read. So I was really looking forward to digging into it. However, the small print in my Penguin edition was proving a bit too tiring for my middle-aged eyes to read in the late evening, so I thought I'd download the Kindle version (only a dollar!), increase the type size a bit, and happy reading! A few nights later, a few chapters into the book, I was settling down in bed to read a bit more and I realized that I'd left my Kindle in another room, so I decided to squint my way through my Penguin copy for the evening. I started leafing through the early chapters, looking for my place, and I noticed some material that i didn't remember having read on the Kindle. So, I got up, went to my office, retrieved the Kindle, and started comparing the two versions. Lo and behold -- the Kindle version is missing whole paragraphs! And not just a few.

I ask you, who in their right mind would abridge a Wodehouse novel?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dave_42 on February 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was first published as "Something New" in the U.S. on September 3rd, 1915 by D. Appleton and Company, and then in the U.K. on September 16th, 1915 by Methuen & Co., and this is the first of the Blandings Castle stories. As far as Wodehouse stories go this is not his best, but it does introduce characters which appear in many of his later works.

The main two characters of the story are Ashe Marson, a writer of cheap detective novels, and Joan Valentine, a woman who lives in his apartment building who laughs at his morning exercises which results in their meeting. Neither of them is satisfied with what they are doing in life, and both are in the need for money.

The story moves to different characters from time to time, in typical Wodehouse fashion. Important characters include Aline Peters, Jane's friend who is engaged to Frederick Threepwood, who is the son of the Earl of Emsworth who is the lord of Blandings Castle, and is a very absent minded individual. Jane's father is J. Preston Peters, an American business man who collects scarabs and suffers from digestion problems.

Other characters included are Baxter, the Earl's secretary, and R. Jones, a less than honest man whom Frederick has hired to recover love letters he wrote to an actress (Joan Valentine) in the past which might contain evidence for a breach of promises suit. There are also the many guests and servants of Blandings Castle.

It would be impossible to cover all the twists in a Wodehouse plot, but many of his usual devices are here. Characters pretending to be someone they are not, misunderstandings galore, and love, of course.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Kettlewell on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Another great installment in the Wodehouse canon.

A lot of this is exactly what you expect. The usual great expression and wit - that's the reason we're here. There's a typical range of peers, whether dotty, surly, benign, clueless, resolute, whimsical - or whatever combination. Light comic mix-ups and interactions. And a romance to tie it together.

But there's also some enjoyable peculiarities in this variation (ones I was more aware of soon after reading the book - I really must try to get to these reviews quicker).


There's perhaps less of a focus on proto-Bertie (Freddy in this incarnation). Rather we tend to centre on a more classically heroic couple, a damn plucky gel, and, gracious, an Adonis of a boy. But fear not - he may have good abs, but he's way more Hugh Grant than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Interesting that some of their heroism relates to their poverty: they rise above their circumstances, rather than merely swim though them, like some of Wodehouse's later independently wealthy characters. And this may relate to the relative earliness of publication - this book came out in 1915 - before Wodehouse himself was established (or, perhaps, while he could still better remember times of living on a shoestring). Indeed, a glance at the unimpeachable wikipedia suggests that this book was his big break, the book that helped him escape the wolf at the door, previously barely held off by freelance journalism, contributions to musicals, and his more traditionally formulaic (but still enjoyable) schoolboy novels.

But this brings me to my postmodern bit. No surprises to have an author drawing on his own experience in creating characters. But Wodehouse is so self-aware of this in this book. Sure Derrida et. al.
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