Galahad at Blandings, P.G. Wodehouse 1965
I’ve been intending to read Wodehouse and become acquainted with Bertie Wooster, Jeeves and the rest of his crew for years now, but needed the impetus of Susan Hill’s Best Forty list to actually do it where Wodehouse was one of a select few to land two books on the list. Rather than Jeeves and Wooster, however, I became immersed in the world of Blandings Castle where the ninth Earl of Emsworth and his prize pig hold court. I must have laughed out loud a dozen times as the eponymous, monocle-wearing Galahad Threepwood, brother to Clarence the Earl, wove his magic. A cross between Monty Python and the Marx Brothers, Gally juggles and twirls at least four separate couples involved in romantic entanglements playing Cupid and maneuvering the players through complex difficulties. The names of Gally’s associates at the Pelican Club by themselves would warrant reading the book, e.g. “It was the same with Plug Basham that time Puffy Benger and I put the pig in his bedroom.” This is one of those books where a review cannot possibly capture the clever writing and the joy that reading it brought. Do make Wodehouse’s acquaintance sooner rather than later. With more than 90 books and a multitude of short stories, it shouldn’t be difficult to get started.