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Galahad At Blandings (2000)

Galahad at Blandings (2000)

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4.25 of 5 Votes: 5
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0140284648 (ISBN13: 9780140284645)
penguin books

About book Galahad At Blandings (2000)

What is the cure for over a thousand pages of French literature? Just a couple hundred of a solid P.G. Wodehouse tale. Sorry, that was set up like a joke, but it's just a sincere answer. I feel bad. I suppose I should include a joke somewhere in this review to make up for it. Anyway, my point is, I'd just had a tortuous (though commendable) journey through Victor Hugo's unabridged Les Miserables. I needed something light. I needed something silly. And, because it has been over eight months since my last Wodehouse adventure, I desperately needed the master of literature's most earnestly frivolous escapades: the mighty Plum himself.What better place to return to than the place where I initially fell in love with Wodehouse: Blandings Castle. Of course, I'd been a fan of P.G. Wodehouse since my sister generously poured out his greatness upon me with Jeeves and Wooster. But with Wodehouse's Pigs Have Wings, I found a cast of characters so completely endearing that I felt that Wodehouse and I were meant for each other. (Perhaps I should tone down the praise ... my patient wife might be raising her eyebrows.)Anyway, on to Galahad at Blandings. Wodehouse sets up the normal shenanigans of hopelessly in love couples with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Enter Galahad, the absolutely charming meddler of other people's affairs, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. The victims--er--objects of his help: Tipton (wealthy heir to a chain food store) and Veronica (Galahad's niece), Sam Bagsworth (son of an old Galahad mate) and Sandy (newly minted secretary to Lord Emsworth), and Wilfred (nephew? or something) and Monica (the stout pig keeper). That's enough to keep anyone reeling--anyone, that is, but Galahad. He meddles with the best of intentions, and perhaps he muddles things up here or there (the advice to go undercover as his brother's favorite pig care book author being among his less successful endeavors), but how can you fault a man so entirely chipper and well-meaning? Well, his sister Hermione can, but we can't. The guy is so dang fun to be around--his long, irrelevant deliberations, his startlingly consistent monocle, and his poor, health-defying diet and habits ... all make him irresistible.As clever and unflappable as Galahad is, at the end of the tale Wodehouse throws him some definite curve balls, offers us a couple of dead end red herring solutions, and jumps from one mounting non-issue issue to another until we're sure that even Galahad the Great can't get himself out of this one. I kept thinking ... oh, this is it. The impervious Galahad is finally going to blush or snivel or cough ... but, I can state with the greatest admiration, Galahad pulled it off, right up until the very end, against all odds. After I read the final sentence, I closed the back cover on the story with a smile on my lips and satisfaction in the air. Galahad, and Wodehouse, triumphed once more. In their pleasant company, I plan on visiting Blandings Castle for many years to come.P.S. Don't let all of this Galahad talk deceive you into thinking that he was the only cat's pajamas in the tale (tail? ... does that count as my joke? no? fair enough). Lord Emsworth, as always, is delightful as the pig-obsessed benevolent overlord of Blandings. Beach provides his great moments as the weight-and-watch-obsessed, forcefully reserved butler. Hermione does her job well as the overbearing older sister antagonist (in a phrase: "A psychiatrist, seeing her, would have rubbed his hands gleefully, scenting lucrative business." ... I'll count that brilliant phrasing as your joke, by the way). Of course, the narrator, Mr. Wodehouse himself, is as breezy as he is eloquent. It's a fantastic cast of characters that makes you wish more romantic couples could run into trouble within their scintillating sphere.

This is not the story of the girl who said to her betrothed ‘I will not be dictated to!’ and then went and got a job as a stenographer, it is rather the ninth Blandings novel continuing the saga with the characters Timpson Plimsoll and Veronica Hermoine whom we previously met in ‘Full Moon’. Once again Galahad Threepwood must re-unite them as well as bringing wedding bells to his nephew Wilfred Allsop and Sam Bagshott whom have fallen in love respectively with Lord Emsworth’s pig girl Monica Simmons and secretary Sandy Callender. Blandings Castle which, as has been noted previously, has imposters in much the same way other Castles have mice and here is no exception with Sam appearing as legendary pig authority Augustus Whipple, author of ‘The Care of the Pig’. The Butler, Beach, is aware of the deception but initially struggles to be taken seriously.And so mistaken identity and misunderstanding build this into a typical Wodehouse farce which leaves us gasping as Galahad manages to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s before the sun sets on Blandings.

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I have a theory that early in 1881 God looked down upon the earth and had mercy. He saw the 20th century nearing its dawn and knew, of course, what calamities and cruelties awaited mankind: world wars, genocide, tyrannies unbound. He knew we were to be a people desperately in need of laughter. And so, that October, God gave us P.G. Wodehouse. What a gift!He just makes me happy, this Wodehouse fellow. To return again to Blandings is to take a deep breath of something wholly comforting, yet also to plunge headfirst into something deliciously bracing. These books are similar enough not to withstand much in the way of binge-reading; however, spaced delicately apart, they become oases of reassuringly madcap hilarity, aye, and certain they are to heal the weary soul and lift a troubled heart.Galahad Threepwood, denizen of Blandings Castle, younger son, wastrel, and rogue is the driving force behind most of the plot in this one. He juggles the many trials and deceptions of the many young couples under his spell with elegance and ease, and it is no spoiler to say that everything comes out just right in the end. For any fan of Wodehouse, it is a no-brainer to say that this is one of his reliable diversions and an excellent choice to while away a few hours. For those who do not yet know the magic of the 20th century's greatest comic writer, pick up this volume or any of the other ninety-odd and you cannot go wrong. Just get on with it already. The 21st century has its own woes to drown in Wodehouse.
—Justine Olawsky

P.G. Wodehouse je britanski Nušić... Kao što postoji osoba s Balkana koja nije čitala i volela Nušića tako ne postoji osoba s engleskog govornog područja koja nije pročitala makar neku Vudhausovu knjigu... Ovo je prva njegova knjiga koju sam kupila i pročitala i kupio me je za ceo život... Koliko sam mogla uspela sam da zarazim i neke ljude iz moje okoline... Sjajan vrcav humor, i iako govori o Britancima, njihovim navikama i stilu života osvojio je čitaoce širom sveta... Najpoznatiji serijal knjiga mu je o Dživsu i Vusteru (sjajna ekranizacija s maestralnim Hjuom Lorijem i Stivenom Frajom) a meni lično najdraži je serijal o Blandings Castle (nedavno su Britanci uradili i seriju po tim knjigama)... To je jedini pisac koga mogu da čitam do 101 i nazad i da uvek iznova uživam (inače nikad ne čitam neku knjigu dva puta)... MUST READ! MUST READ! Knjige mu nemaju više od 150-200 strana i gutaju se u dahu... Još ne gubim nadu da ću naći izdavača... Dva puta sam bila na ivici da mi to pođe za rukom... Doduše, nekadašnji izdavač Puna kuća objavila je pre desetak godina 3 naslova na srpski, i dobri su prevodi...
—Tea Jovanović

It's worth reading simply because it's Wodehouse. But it never grabbed me. It still made me chuckle audibly a few times, however."[Hungover] Tipton shook his head, and uttered a sharp howl. There are times when shaking the head creates the illusion that one has met Jael the wife of Heber, incurred he displeasure and started her going into her celebrated routine" (p.9)."'You're going to try to touch Lord Emsworth?' he gasped.Gally frowned.'I dislike that word "try". It suggests a lack of confidence in my powers.''But you can't ask him to lend a stranger like me five hundred pounds!''You are perfectly right. I shall make it a thousand'" (p.182).
—Peter Krol

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