Friday, March 11, 2011

Something New by P.G. Wodehouse

Originally titled Something New, this was republished in the United States as Something Fresh.  When I bought an omnibus Something New was the novel that was included so that is what I read and am reviewing.
If girls realized their responsibilities they would be so careful when they smiled that they would probably abandon the practice altogether.  There are moments in a man's life when a girl's smile can have as important results as an explosion of dynamite.
Something New is classic Wodehouse, but it is early Wodehouse and it is the first of the Blandings Castle Saga.  In it, Lord Emsworth's youngest son, the Honorable Freddie, has become engaged to Aline Peters, the daughter of an American millionaire.  In the course of observing Mr. Peters' priceless scarab collection, the absent-minded Lord Emsworth absconds with one of the scarabs, thinking it a present from Mr. Peters.  Mr. Peters thinks that the old gentleman took it on purpose and contrives a plan to steal it back without Lord Emsworth knowing.  He employs a young man, Ashe Marson, to steal it with a reward of 5000 dollars.  Meanwhile, Miss Peters employs her friend, Joan Valentine, for the same purpose.  When all the parties arrives at Blandings hi-jinks ensue though it ends merrily for all involved.

This was a very amusing story.  I laughed out loud several times.  I like how Lord Emsworth is so absent-minded that he can't even keep track of what he is saying in one conversation.  The core stable of characters is introduced with Lord Emsworth being the central figure.  But we get to know Blandings Castle a bit and are introduced to Rupert Baxter, Lord Emsworth's very efficient secretary and the foil for the robbery.  There was also a surprising amount of women's lib talk, mostly in favor of and that couldn't have been common in 1915.  It is an amusing little comedy and a great start to this series.

Hogwarts: Back in the Day Mini-Challenge


  1. I never tried any Wodehouse books, but Ive been seeing them around. Their not that expensive, so maybe I will buy one and try and read it. :) Thanks for the great review.

  2. @Nina - There are old-fashioned but funny.


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