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Uncle Fred In The Springtime Hardcover – April 12, 2004
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"The very definition of British humor ... in suave hardcover volumes, the dust jackets as natty as the prose."
About the Author
P. G. Wodehouse (1881–1975) spent much of his life in Southampton, New York, but was born in England and educated in Surrey. He became an American citizen in 1955. In a literary career spanning more than seventy years, he published more than ninety books and twenty film scripts, and collaborated on more than thirty plays and musical comedies.
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"Dictionary Not Found. There are no dictionaries on your device for this book's language. To download a dictionary, go to the Cloud or purchase one from the Kindle Store."
Apparently, the problem is that the book is listed as being in Arabic in the metadata (that was the consensus on a thread I started in the Mobiread forums).
Lord Emsworth; his prize winning Black Berkshire pig, the Empress of Blandings; his secretary, the Efficient Baxter; the Honorable Galahad Threepwood (whose memoirs are the cause of all the excitement); Beach the Butler; and of course, an impostor and some star-crossed lovers.
From Wodehouse's preface to the book:
"A certain critic - for such men, I regret to say, do exist - made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained `all the old Wodehouse characters under different names'. He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have outgeneralled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy."
This book was also published as "Fish Preferred."
Very funny particularly the (deserved) indignities suffered by The Efficient Baxter!
Third Blandings but as good a place to start Blandings as any. Chronology matters little in these books as far as I am concerned.
This is a great edition too! Very nice to look at and read!
In a labyrinthine plot designed to assure the reader that none of the lovers will pair up correctly, that the stolen pig will never be returned, and that Galahad, Emsworth's unreconstructed rogue of a brother will befoul the reputations of the entire House of Lords with his impending memoirs, all the knots untangle in their time, and the sated reader is left with a lingering smile and a bevy of patented extended similes.
Among the best of these describes Gally's niece Millicent at a low point in her young life due to her strained relationship with the man of her dreams. "She looked like something that might have occurred to Ibsen in one of his less frivolous moments."
Wodehouse's unmatched command of his native tongue at play always yields surprises. In this outing, Nature herself is a character personified in luscious clauses like this one: "It was that gracious hour of a summer afternoon...when Nature seems to unbutton its waistcoat and put its feet up." Or this instant of momentous expectancy: "Nature paused, listening. Birds checked their songs, insects their droning. It was as if it had got about that this young man's fate hung in the balance and the returns would be in shortly."
It is Millicent, hesitantly forgiving of her beau, who says, "Any funny business from now on..."
She is answered:
Thus anticipating Alicia Silverstone of the movie Clueless by about 50 years.
These are a couple of the treats scattered like a well whacked piñata throughout the text, and reason enough to delve into this singular piece of writing. But there's so much more to savor. The outrageous and hardly Honorable Galahad Threepwood, the young men with hearts afire and brains without a noticeable spark, inordinately homely detectives, efficient ex-secretaries, and the indomitable Aunt Constance, all simmering deliciously in as cleverly crafted a plot as Wodehouse has ever cooked up.
And, of course, there's Sue Brown, the chorus girl far too beautiful and far too good for any man in the kingdom, Sue Brown, who has chosen one of the least worthy to love with all her golden heart. Therein lies my only quibble. The author has chosen to focus on the admittedly hilarious plot twists and turns, thereby leaving little space for continuing development of Sue. So tantalizingly promising at her introduction, her character recedes almost to blandness by the final third of the book, until she is little more than a passive and mournful observer of the goings on swirling about her. She deserved a better shake from her creator, on the order of Sally Nicholas (The Adventures of Sally) or Corky Pirbright (The Mating Season). Nobody does the heroic fair maiden like Plum, and one imagines that he meant to do so here but simply lurched off...so much fun to have; so few pages!
In these trying times, Summer Lightning will have the same effect on you as did lovely Sue on the smitten but jealous Ronnie become convinced of her love for only him: "The cloud had passed from his face, the look of Byronic despair from his eyes. He beamed."
As will you.