G Wodehouse This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Laughing Gas, Essay By P.
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g wodehouse is the antidote for ingesting f scott fitzgerald this is his most hilarious work.
Susan Hill has a good deal to answer for Having read her brilliant memoir Howard s End is on the landing earlier this year I realized, as she spoke of books and articles she had read and enjoyed, that I had never read any PG Wodehouse So, having gone into my local second hand bookshop I bought a couple of books of short stories and this novel Hmmmm It was ok but I still fear that I may be the only person in the world who finds Wodehouse annoying and shallow Friends tell me over and over again that he is hilarious and a real tonic and easy to pick up and read when a pick me up read is needed but all I seem to find myself doing is smiling slightly every couple of pages or so acknowledging a clever turn of phrase or funny image and then sighing as I have to wade my way through the same repeated inanities until the next image or phrase Of course he is of his time, he is writing of the society in which he mingles and mixed but whereas there are some writers who can capture, for me anway, the attraction or intriguing nature of otherwise spoilt and over priviledged characters, Wodehouse just paints them in all their self centred and mindlessly shallow existences without any of the accompanying warmth His hero in this story is a naive and shallow aristocrat who, by virtue of a mix up at the dentist, ends up body swapping with a Hollywood child star This results in great hilarity, well for Wodehouse anyway, as each tries to struggle through in changed circumstances and discoveries are made and new alliances forged and remoulded If I was to read once the urge that the child star, newly be muscled in the aristo s body, had to punch someone on the nose I would have screamed in a fairly non literary appreciative type way The premise of the book was quite clever and way before, obviously, all the body swap films of the 80 s and 90 s but I have to say that even if those films took the initial idea from Wodehouse they did far with it Now, having read two volumes of his short stories and a novel, i feel that I may have done all that can be expected of me in my attempts to try to warm to this man Maybe I will give it another go in a year or so but for the moment I have to say farewell and accept the fact that there must be something lacking in my literary makeup, maybe I have a chromosone missing or am one button short of a smoking jacket Either way I shall not even touch Bertie and Wooster lest I have a nervous breakdown Having said that there was one phrase I loved and plan to use it at my earliest convenience in fact it maybe sums up my struggle I couldn t have laughed to please a dying Aunt This is Wodehouse at his peak, which means it was written in the mid 1930 s 1936, to be precise In that decade, he wrote the two funniest Bertie Wooster novels RIGHT HO, JEEVES and THE CODE OF THE WOOSTERS , and also UNCLE FRED IN THE SPRINGTIME Some of the Emsworth novels were penned in the thirties or typed Wodehouse was a typer He d type a few pages one day, pin them to the wall and the next morning, make corrections, then type a few pages and put those on the wall He was in his fifties He d been a published writer since 1906, writing, roughly speaking, a novel a year After about twenty years of being a professional writer with a serious involvement in the development musical comedy this workmanlike author began to write with incredible polish His early novels starred bland, well meaning young heroes, but things began to change when his well meaning heroes began hanging out with somewhat anti social fellows such as Psmith Psmith was a caricature of a Socialist, and, inasmuch as Wodehouse was, in no way, political, Psmith fell away and, by the 1930 s, had turned into the aristocratic, middle aged fun maker, Uncle Fred Uncle Fred s persona is not that far from that of Fred Astaire He was dashing, a tad mischievous and something of a matchmaker But Wodehouse s genius came out in the novels as opposed to the stories narrated by Bertie Wooster Bertie Wooster trumps any other character in Wodehouse, because he complains The Bertie Wooster books are hilarious because the slapstick is narrated by a lazy young heir who has no idea that he s smarter than anybody else No criticism I ve ever read of Wodehouse champions Bertie s powers of observation He feels put upon and is perpetually wriggling out of wedding engagements he hasn t instigated By the three quarter mark of any Bertie novel, he is in a total panic over his situation and, by the end, his almost supernatural butler, Jeeves, manipulates Bertie s environment in a beneficial way In these novels, bland heroes play only a tertiary role One of Bertie s friends always gets to marry the girl of his choice in the last few pages, and Bertie gets to have a nice breakfast on a veranda with a newspaper brought by Jeeves Jeeves always wins a concession from Bertie after the major story is over I think in one book, Jeeves manages to toss out Bertie s loud socks without Bertie, who treasures the socks, risking an objection Anyway, Laughing Gas is almost as good as a Bertie Wooster book It s from Wodehouse s great phase.
Well here s a rare thing a middling Wodehouse.
This body swap comedy sees the Third Earl of Havershot switch places with adorable 30s child star Joey Cooley Unfortunately hilarity doesn t really ensue This being Wodehouse there are some fantastic lines and this book will I admit make you laugh out loud, but not even a writer of Pelham Grenville s brilliance can surmount the contrivances and the whole thing feels terribly forced The fault for a lot of that does rest with the author, who has chosen to present it as a first person narration, meaning for large parts we only get one half of the circle In addition the ending is perfunctory, of course they switch back but it could have happened at any point in the previous fifty pages, or indeed he could have tacked on fifty pages afterwards.
If you have no other Wodehouse hanging about then this will do, but there are better Wodehouses out there.
Really, really stupid, and really, really funny.
I can t say how much I enjoyed this book I listened to it on cd in the car and it made me look forward to my driving time Part of that is no doubt due to the very talented narration by Simon Prebble But the book is so funny Funny in a dry, droll, British way It made me laugh out loud frequently Amazed at Wodehouse s brilliance I hope to be able to write like this some day I have to give it 5 stars even though it didn t change my life exactly but it was hilarious and so well done.
Well, my first Wodehouse It was funny I didn t think about it on the way through, but his characters were strong enough and the humor pithy enough to slide right on past the preposterous plot I hope all of my century of literature catch up is as pleasantly surprising as this.
Laughing Gas 1936 by P.
G Wodehouse is set in 1930s Hollywood and has a couple of clever fish out of water narratives which provide rich veins of humour Joey Cooley, the golden curled child film star and idol of American motherhood, ends up in the body of Reggie, Earl of Havershot, after a mix up on the astral plain, whilst both are under anaesthetic at the dentist Joey can use his new athletic body to get his own back on various Hollywood persecutors, whilst Reggie has to endure the restricted life of a child star Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
I ve been on something of a P.
G Wodehouse binge over the last few months and it s enjoyable to read a book with none of his regular characters and one which takes place in Hollywood Needless to say it still follows the usual PGW formula The pleasure, as always, lies in the beautiful writing, the bon mots, the characters, and the crisp plotting.
Another PGW winner.
4 5Laughing Gas 1936 by P.