The best thing about this book is Wodehouse s wordplay in the scenes with the animals, whether it s Bob the dog or that most sardonic of hens, Aunt Elizabeth No one does it better.
When I looked up my favorite scene I had listened to this on a road trip on my kindle, I discovered that the one on my kindle was the original version from 1906 The audio book, read by the supremely talented Jonathan Cecil, was Wodehouse s revision from 1921 This is the version I would recommend reading, if for no other reason than my favorite scene, that of narrator Jeremy Garnet trying to catch the hen Aunt Elizabeth, was much funnier in the revised version.
Ukridge, the mooching friend who always has a business scheme, is not my favorite of Wodehouse s characters he s funny enough, but I d rather read about Jeeves and Wooster or Lord Emsworth If not for the masterful personifications of the animals, this might have been of a 3 star book.
I highly recommend this on audio.
Love Among the Chickens represented Wodehouse s first foray into adult fiction Prior to Chickens, Wodehouse had focused on children s or young adult literature, mostly school stories set in English boarding schools These were often humorous, but one couldn t help but feel like Wodehouse was holding back a bit by fitting his tales to the tastes of younger readers Happily, that is not an issue with the present novel.
In Chickens, a bored novelist Jeremy Garnet accepts an offer from his boorish friend Ukridge to assist with the latter s latest business misadventure, a chicken farm in Dorset Garnet signed on largely for the opportunity to play golf and swim in the sea, but ends up finding romance in the country as well Unfortunately, Ukridge s appalling behavior complicates things for our hero, forcing Garnet into a very unorthodox courtship.
There is plenty of hilarity here the mercurial Ukridge and his sweet, loving wife, unconventional chicken farming, Ukridge Garnet s stoic, deadpan servant, and much I thought that this was notably funnier than Wodehouse s previous books, and the plot while simple was interesting and entertaining One note this book was apparently revised, perhaps substantially, by Wodehouse in 1921 I read the revised version, which appears to be the one most widely circulated today Perhaps the original 1906 version was less polished, but the revised version at least should definitely appeal to fans of Wodehouse s later, famous work 4.
0 stars, recommended Written When He Was , Love Among the Chickens Launched PG Wodehouse S Career As A Novelist And Introduced The World To Ukridge, One Of His Most Extraordinary Inventions Robert McCrum S Introduction Shows How This Fascinating Early Book Holds Within It So Many Of The Themes Which Wodehouse Was To Make His Own This Edition Uses Wodehouse S Revised Edition Of The original Such a funny story I really enjoyed the slapstick style Ukridge and the well meaning Garnet They get into all sorts of scrapes and land on their feet time and time again But of course that won t always happen When Ukridge deeply offends the father of the girl Garnet has fallen in love with, Garnet has his work cut out for him Things at the chicken farm are going to have to go much differently if Garnet hopes to win the fair lady Despite too many instances of stupid, I still laughed through the story and enjoyed the crazy ride.
I ve said it before, and I expect to say it again, when I feel down Wodehouse is my go to guy Love Among the Chickens is his first novel to feature Ukridge, who is not the most reliable character when it comes to business I think that is the politest way to describe him The storyteller is a not too successful novelist, who Ukridge manages to involve in his latest get rich fast scheme, building up a chicken farm where in Ukridge s mind the eggs will turn to gold.
It is Wodehouse sixth novel, so it is pretty early on his career considering that he would pen 99 books It has a lot of the elements of his best work, romantic complications that I think only Wodehouse could come up with, crazy schemes, people with rich relatives they depend on for money, and funny situations His first books had been set in schools, but stories like this one made his name It is often laugh out loud funny, like all of Wodehouse that I have read, but he hasn t quite got his formula right at this time The build up is a little rocky, and sometimes it takes a little longer than in some of his later novels to get from one joke to the next, but it still gives me what Wodehouse always does He makes me smile, he makes me laugh, and that s all I ask of him He is never a waste of time.
Wodehouse Love Among the Chickens Complete and unabridged read by Jonathan CecilJonathan Cecil is my favourite reader for P G Wodehouse, mainly for his rich rounded vowels, but also because he reads them unabridged, and Wodehouse is an author who rarely wrote an unnecessary word Love Among the Chickens opens in London, but most of the action takes place in Dorset, which the irrepressible scrounger Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge and his jolly new wife Molly have identified as an ideal place to set up a chicken farm Counterpointing him nicely as protagonist is the nervous novelist Jeremy Garnet O my sainted aunt , who gives Wodehouse lots of opportunity for home truths about being an author.
I didn t enjoy this one nearly as much as the other Wodehouse novels I ve read recently.
The main character is a bit dull and was not really enough of him to justify the story The story was a little too hard to believe I know, I know, all of the stories are hard to believe, but this one wasn t so much involved in that magical world Wodehouse normally creates and so when it went over the top it left me on the other side.
There is an interesting remark made by one of the female characters that the narrator who is also a young novelist doesn t write very convincing female characters And, do you know what, none of the female characters in this book are at all convincing And now I think of it, I would doubt there would ever be a play called Wodehouse s Women Then again, in this book particularly, none of the male characters were very convincing either If you are thinking of reading some Wodehouse, my only advice would be to not start here There were moments but I ve come to expect so much than just moments from this man.
I d call this classic Wodehouse, if not quite up to his best and then I realize it s his first novel, written at age 25 Astonishing that he had his characteristic silliness of plot and perfection of tone right from the start Who else could write such a brilliant three page description of a man trying and failing to maintain his dignity while trying and failing to catch an errant hen Stanley Ukridge is no Jeeves,His eccentricities make others grieve.
Garnet unlike Corky,Is dull and dorky.
Phyllis is the one he loves,Woos her like a lonesome dove.
Creditors swarm the farms,Rummaging chickens with their arms.
Amongst a mass of satiric bliss,It is acceptable to give this a miss.
Org, the formatting is very neat and superior to the same book formatted by Project Gutenberg not that Gutenberg does a terrible job Love Among the Chickens is the story of Jeremy Garnet, an author of pulp detective novels Just when Garnet is in need of a change of scene and inspiration his friend Stanley Ukridge entices him to assist him in a chicken farming venture in Combe Regis, in Dorsetshire Garnet readily agrees and while en route to Combe Regis he meets beautiful Phyllis Derrick and is immediately smitten He gets on well enough with Phyllis who enjoys reading his fiction, but her father, Professor Derrick is a highly cantankerous gentleman, and getting on his good side is very difficult Garnet s attempt to befriend the professor is not helped by the unwanted assistance of his friend Ukridge who is a loudmouth idiot without social graces Desperate to make some headway with the professor Garnet stages a faux rescue that initially pays dividends until his scheme is rumbled The course of true love never did run smooth but Garnet s situation is ridiculous.
For me any Wodehouse book without Jeeves and Wooster is immediately second tier or below There is magic in Jeeves wonderfully convoluted manner of speaking and his ingenious solutions to problems The contrast when he is paired with his boss Bertie Wooster whose daft antics always land him in the soup makes for some comedy gold All Wodehouse protagonists land themselves in the soup at some point in the narrative but only Bertie has Jeeves to fish him out Unfortunately for Garnet he has Ukridge, one of Wodehouse less prepossessing recurring characters He is extremely stupid, opinionated, and always very insistent on having his ways He seldom stops talking long enough for anybody to get a word in For me, Ukridge is the weak link of the novel, he just rubs me the wrong way I have met people like him in real life and always find them unbearable However, whatever flaws exist in a Wodehouse novel, the book as a whole is always salvageable, thanks to the author s wit and charms In spite of the title Love Among the Chickens does not place much emphasis on the romance, scenes of Garnet s awkward courting are few and far between The comedy is reliant on high jinx involving rampaging chickens or creditors, Wodehouse also gets a lot of mileage from Garnet s ill considered scheme to ingratiate himself with the professor I read Love Among the Chickens as an e book as well as an audiobook mostly simultaneously It makes for pleasant and amiable bus journeys to work While not exactly side splittingly funny it made me chuckle a few times and is never dull A second or even third tier Wodehouse is still a worthwhile read.
Note The audiobook is nicely read by Mark Nelson, download free from Librivox Thank you Mr Nelson QuotesThe sight of the table, when at length we filed into the dining room, sent a chill through me It was a meal for the very young or the very hungry The uncompromising coldness and solidity of the viands was enough to appall a man conscious that his digestion needed humouring A huge cheese faced us in almost a swashbuckling way I do not know how else to describe it It wore a blatant, rakish, nemo me impune lacessit air, and I noticed that the professor shivered slightly as he saw it It is a peculiarity of situations of this kind that the ideas of debtor and creditor as to what constitutes a good time never coincide The man who lays a hand upon a woman, save in the way of kindness, is justly disliked by Society so the woman Muspratt, culpable as she was, was safe from me You are swimming splendidly this morning, I went on perseveringly, feeling that an ounce of flattery is worth a pound of rhetoric I had not imagined Ukridge capable of such an excursion into metaphysics I saw the truth of his line of argument so clearly that it seemed to me impossible for anyone else to get confused over it I had certainly pulled the professor out of the water, and the fact that I had first caused him to be pushed in had nothing to do with the case Either a man is a gallant rescuer or he is not a gallant rescuer There is no middle course I had saved his life for he would certainly have drowned if left to himself and I was entitled to his gratitude That was all there was to be said about it If there is one person I dislike, it is the man who tries to air his grievances when I wish to air mine