I am in the home stretch, polishing off the final book challenge I signed up for this year. This week I finished several books, but only one of them can I count. Darn it! This week’s selection is Galahad at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse. I read it as part of the TwentyTen Challenge, and am submitting it for the “Older Than You” category, as it was published for the first time in 1965, a full 10 years before I was published.
I first was introduced to Wodehouse by an online acquaintance who sent me a copy of Luck of the Bodkins and later by my father, who loves to read the Jeeves series. I have never gotten into those books, but having remembered the name and thought well enough of Luck, I was browsing at the Acton Library when we lived there (in 2003!) and found Galahad at Blandings as an audio book. I checked it out and read it and enjoyed it very much. The reader was fabulous.
Several years ago, I picked up a print copy and fully intended to read it again, but it has languished on my TBR shelf ever since. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to launch into it, as it is a fairly short book, which is my current criteria for getting these challenges read!
The story revolves around the setting of Blandings Castle, home of Lord Emsworth, a peaceful, pig-raising man earl whose home is overrun by his meddling sister Hermione, a new secretary named Sandy who is cleaning up his mess so he cannot find anything, and his brother Galahad, quite the man about town. “Gally” is a man never without words, he can literally talk his way into or out of anything and can convince others to do whatever he cares to.
Galahad at Blandings is the 9th book in the Castle Blandings series that Wodehouse wrote. I have only read one other book in the series, but enjoyed reading about The Empress, Lord Emsworth’s prize pig, who has a minor role in this story.
This particular book centers around young love—many engagements are broken due to various and sundry misunderstandings, the Empress is found drunk in her sty, a young lover is hiding out under an assumed name at the castle having popped a policeman in the eye and stolen his bike, Hermione is attempting to get Lord Emsworth married off to Dame Daphne Winkworth. Through it all, Gally is running around spouting stories of his wayward youth and attempting to reconcile all the young lovers while helping his brother rid himself of Hermione’s meddlesome guest and restore order to the Empress’s sheltered life.
I have to say that I didn’t enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed listening to the story on audio. The story was vastly entertaining, but I think there is something in the acting-out by a gentleman with a properly clipped accent that lends itself well to “reading” Wodehouse. The twists and turns that the story takes are uproarious, to be sure, and I highly recommend reading this book or other Wodehouse works to anyone who wants a good laugh. A slice of England, a good dose of humor, and an unbelievable plot that even in its complexity is easy to follow. I give this one a solid 3 out of 5 on GoodReads.com.
All I have left for the TwentyTen Challenge are TBR and Bad Blogger. And I’m almost done with Bad Blogger. :-D Hooray!