Thursday, October 06, 2016

Eggs, Beans, and Crumpets by P.G. Wodehouse

If you know anything about Wodehouse, you've heard of Jeeves and Wooster. A little further in, you discover the amusing lunacies of Blandings Castle, both its people and pigs. Next is probably Psmith, that energetic young man, or perhaps the unalloyed joy of Uncle Fred. But by the time you start nodding in recognition at the mention of Ukridge or Mr. Mulliner, you're seriously hooked -- deep into the Wodehousian world and familiar with its less-visited corners.

That's the audience for Eggs, Beans, and Crumpets, these days -- these nine stories center on Mulliner, Ukridge and Bertie's sometimes Drones-mate Bingo Little. They're from the peak of Wodehouse's career -- originally written in the '20s and '30s and assembled in this form in the UK in 1940. (The original US edition of the same title had a slightly different line-up of stories, but this excellent Collector's Wodehouse series from Overlook is standardizing on the UK model.)

This book may not be for you if you are terminally serious, or if you cannot abide the thought of get-rich-quick schemes that fail, or of young men who are not always entirely honest about their gambling habits with their more-successful wives. You also may not be amused if you are a confirmed Anglophobe, or have an aversion to stories that lack modern communication technologies.

The rest of us, though, can happily enjoy it.

No comments:

Post a Comment