Thursday, June 13, 2013

galahad at blandings

Blandings Castle is a funny place. This is my first experience with the comedy of P.G. Wodehouse.

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, was born on October 15, 1881 in Guildford, Surrey, England, was educated at Dulwich College, and went on to banking for a short while before going into writing full time.  Wodehouse wrote over 100 books before his death, and was knighted only just before he died on Saint Valentine's Day, 1975. Galahad at Blandings was published in the US in 1965, and is number 10 in the Blandings Castle series. The US title was apparently, The Brinkmanship of Galahad Threepwood. *

Wodehouse developed a formula for amusing tales most similar to a television or (I guess) as radio serial. Galahad at Blandings doesn't have a particularly strong plot, but is rather another in the proverbial continuing adventures and misadventures of the Blandings Castle players. But nicley done. I found myself laughing aloud at a number of points throughout the narrative.

Galahad Threepwood is the younger brother of the Earl of Blandings, Clarence.  Galahad resides at Blandings to take advantage of the family wealth and prosperity, and, one gets the impression, to look out for his somewhat distracted older brother. Galahad also takes it upon himself in this adventure to try to help some young lovers patch up their differences, brought about by antics that were clearly stolen outright from Wodehouse to script years of TV comedies like Three's Company and Who's the Boss? and their ilk. Wodehouse may have even inspired shows like Faulty Towers and others. One of the things I loved is that he doesn't work too hard for a laugh, and in many cases, only touched on a joke and then lets his reader fill in the blanks. I love being trusted by a writer to bring something to the party.

Wodehouse's works were also adapted for the big screen, he wrote many songs, musicals, and short stories. Here's an interview with him in the Paris Review. The Wodehouse Society seems like a going concern, fueled by the love folks clearly have for this man.

The Guttenburg Project has a number of P.G. Wodehouse works available on line for free.

What a Kick! I'll keep my eye out for more P.G. Wodehouse.

Read this book.

* I borrowed my copy from my office lending library, and it was clearly purchased in England for £1.95, in or around 1982.

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