Written as early as 1917, when Wodehouse was first plying his trade on both sides of the Atlantic, this novel takes place in London, New York and on board ship Baseball and cricket are both discussed Already a master of the complicated but easy to follow plot, this is terrific Our hero actually has to pretend to be not only someone else to his intended, but to pretend to be himself to other people at the same time Do you follow me Burglary, kidnapping, high explosives, private detectives, yapping dogs, guns, henpecked husbands, all abound The life of the American Jimmy Crocker in England for the last five years has been little than one drunken brawl after another His formidable Aunt Nesta has had enough of his antics and decrees that the young Crocker must return to New York and be reformed However, Jimmy has fallen in love and decided to reform himself Unfortunately, to win the heart of his intended, who he, as a named but unseen newspaper critic, mortally offended years ago, Jimmy must pretend to be someone else and take part in the kidnapping of Aunt Nesta s loathsome offspring Ogden The reformation of oneself can be a decidedly tricky business.
The Fall Brings Four Antic Novels From Comic Genius, P G Wodehouse In Picadilly Jim Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture , Jimmy Crocker Has A Scandalous Reputation On Both Sides Of The Atlantic And Must Do An About Face To Win Back The Woman Of His Dreams Uneasy Money Sees The Hard Up Lord Dawlish Off To America To Make A Fortune, While In Cocktail Time Events Turn On The Fate Of A Filmscript Spring Fever Is A Light Hearted Comedy Involving Love And Various Complications Bertie Wooster is fond of remarking to his butler, after the latter has extricated him from yet another hole, Jeeves, you stand alone This could just as well be said about the author, P G Wodehouse He stands alone No other author approaches his perfection of the turn of the phrase, his talent for comic timing, his ability to string together remarkably complicated plots, and the individuality and personality he endows in each character Remarkably, no two Wodehouse heroes are exactly the same though he does have a weakness for repeating a certain archetype of the Wodehouse heroine So if one is to compare a book by Wodehouse, the only fair comparison is to other books by Wodehouse Even by this comparison, Piccadilly Jim stands alone Piccadilly Jim was the first Wodehouse I read It has long been my favorite work by Wodehouse I suspected perhaps part of it was a sentimentality towards the first book I read So recently when I went back and re read it, having sampled everything else by the master, I expected that I would find myself wiser, and my praise for the book tempered I have been told by many other Wodehouse lovers that their favorite book by the master is Sam the Sudden Pshaw, I say to them, and double pshaw Piccadilly Jim is such a finely crafted perfection of a novel that it transcends the category of novels and can only be compared with fine cheeses, and first flush teas, and other such rare works of art.
Verdict Smashingly written and exquisitely crafted Fop y Fun.
Any friend of Stephen Fry s is a friend of mine as life mottos go, it s not a bad one so I was happy to indulge in this, my first literary taste of Wodehouse I say literary because I ve previously encountered it in other media namely the exquisite Jeeves and Wooster series and a stack of book on tape cassettes my father periodically digs out to entertain the family during road trips to Colorado Had I my druthers I would have started with a book from this Jeeves category, but patrons of second hand book stores can t be choosers so Piccadilly Jim it was.
It was charming I defy anyone to not appreciate Wodehouse He is a master craftsman of an author building dizzyingly complicated plots with each intricate bit dovetailing perfectly into the next and composing dazzling dialogue that falls somewhere between fencing and dancing The whole effect is of an unusually amusing Swiss watch, or perhaps a coo coo clock I won t say too much about the story itself, partly because my words pale beside Wodehouse s but mostly because it s impossible to explain the plot without puppets and diagrams It could perhaps be summarized as variations tessellations fractals on the theme of mistaken identity.
Typically I don t care for mistaken identity stories I am of the unfortunately empathetic disposition whereby I am made physically uncomfortable by the by the cringing of fictional entities If you suffer a similar affliction then be at peace, Piccadilly Jim is safe The discomfiture of the characters never really reaches the cringe level, no one knows enough of the whole story to grasp how embarrassing their predicament could be The effect is jolly, madcap, slapstick fun Piccadilly Jim is fun, fun to read and I expect fun to write as well I recommend it, though I can t see my way to giving it above a 3 It s stolidly Light Entertainment very amusing but not much of anything to say Maybe this makes me a snob, I don t know The book seems fine with itself, though Happy with it s own cleverness and not harbouring illusions of grandeur I respect it for that I like Wodehouse and I think I ll have to try and get my hands on The Code of the Woosters for my next foray Now though, in keeping with my self imposed and somewhat arbitrary rules I m off to read a depressing grown up book Stay tuned and find out if We Need To Talk About Kevin.
This was delightful as in really, genuinely funny Mr Wodehouse had an inexhaustible gift for the turn of phrase It would be difficult to find a goofier premise, but it all works out by the effervescent end.
I will use this review for all the P G Wodehouse I have read I read them all so long ago and enjoyed them so much that I have given them all 5 stars As I re read them I will adjust the stars accordingly, if necessary, and add a proper review.
When I first discovered P G Wodehouse I devoured every book I could find in the local library, throughout the eighties and early nineties Alas, this means that I have read most of them and stumbling across one I have not read is a rare thing I m sure that through this great site I will joyfully find at least a few I have not read, and be able to track them down.
My records only began in 1982, so I do not have a note of any I read before then I m sure I will enjoy re reading them.
It s Wodehouse Those who know, know that s enough of a review.
To win the girl he loves, rich playboy Jimmy Corker hides his identity behind an alias however, due to the vagaries of fate, he ends up impersonating himselfin short, vintage Wodehouse Indian filmmakers take note this story is perfect for plagiarising.
G Wodehouse being mentioned He truly deserves to be mentioned With Piccadilly Jim, PGW is probably at his descriptive best and the book contains ample amount of the sunshine filled hat tip Stephen Fry language that is known to flow out of his mind.
Plot wise I wouldn t say that this book would stand well in a Sumo wrestling match against some of his other champions, but the Wodehousian charm is strong and pervasively permeating in this one.
I loved the characters drawn in this book Mr Pett Sensational Turning Of A Worm, Miss Trimble, Mr Crocker, Jimmy, Jerry Mitchell, Ann with her red hair and the nature which generally goes with red hair , and even Ogden for that matter are beautiful He had the plethoric habit of one to whom wholesome exercise is a stranger and the sallow complexion of the confirmed candy fiend.
On a slightly unrelated note, the Kindle Gutenberg version has chapter titles that are missing from the printed book The titles do add to the fun part Few gems from the book An exile from home splendour dazzles in vain.
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again The birds singing gaily, that came at my call,Give me them, and that peace of mind dearer than all Mr Crocker had never lived in a thatched cottage, nor had his relations with the birds of his native land ever reached the stage of intimacy indicated by the poet but substitute Lambs Club for the former and members for the latter, and the parallel becomes complete.
Have you packed everything I shall want Within the scope of a suitcase, yes, sirIt is but rarely that any one is found who is not dazzled by the glamour of incivility.
It is one of the effects of a successful hunch that it breeds other hunches.
And this one is particularly romanticTo a girl with your ardent nature some one with whom you can quarrel is an absolute necessity of life You and I are affinities Ours will be an ideally happy marriage You would be miserable if you had to go through life with a human doormat with Welcome written on him You want some one made of sterner stuff You want, as it were, a sparring partner, some one with whom you can quarrel happily with the certain knowledge that he will not curl up in a ball for you to kick, but will be there with the return wallop I may have my faults He paused expectantly Ann remained silent No, no he went on But I am such a man Brisk give and take is the foundation of the happy marriage Do you remember that beautiful line of Tennyson s We fell out, my wife and I It always conjures up for me a vision of wonderful domestic happiness I seem to see us in our old age, you on one side of the radiator, I on the other, warming our old limbs and thinking up snappy stuff to hand to each other sweethearts still If I were to go out of your life now, you would be miserable You would have nobody to quarrel with You would be in the position of the female jaguar of the Indian jungle, who, as you doubtless know, expresses her affection for her mate by biting him shrewdly in the fleshy part of the leg, if she should snap sideways one day and find nothing there I enjoyed reading this book a lot.