Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wodehouse-ian Revels

Uncle Fred in the Springtime by P.G. Wodehouse
(AudioGO, 2012)
Format: audio download via Audiobook Jukebox (narrated by Jonathan Cecil) - 7.5 hours 

From Goodreads: "Pongo Twistleton is in a state of financial embarrassment and it's not for the first time. Uncle Fred, meanwhile, has been asked by Lord Emsworth of Blandings to foil a plot to relieve him of the Empress, his much-adored prize pig."

As far as I can tell, there is no good reason not to include a Wodehouse or three in everyone's annual reading list. (Don't look at those links up there with my books from last year. I didn't read any in 2012. My bad. I did spend a good few months in middle school checking out every Wodehouse in the public library I passed on the way home, then calling my grandmother from the lobby pay phone to ask for a ride since I had too many check-outs to walk the mile home in my preferred manner: reading as I went.) 

So, I went into this expecting the usual froth of joy and sharp observation masked by understatement. And you know what? I got it in spades. Poor Pongo is putty in Wodehouse's hands - not one thing is resolved before a newer, worse obstacle appears to cause him more agony. And Uncle Fred is at his best here, managing to manipulate everyone while having as much fun as possible and staying (mostly) out of trouble. There are aristocrats and impostors and scary aunts and fancy-dress parties and more romantic entanglements than you can shake a stick at. Plus, a prize-winning pig starring in the role of bone of contention. 

Cecil narrates with just the right touch of coolness that Wodehouse seems to demand, treating Pongo's worries with slight disdain and Fred's antics with straightforward acceptance. His voices are quite well done, and the whole narration races by. 

No comments:

Post a Comment