Tag Archives: P G Wodehouse

Unfinished Books; Why Should I Feel Guilty As Reader

I love reading books and I like reading them in parallel. At any time, I may have 10 of them going on. Depending on my mood I may pick up one of them during my night-time reading. Some of them will capture my attention and I end up reading without diverting to another book. But there are many of them that I have read, left, come back, left again multiple times before I finished reading it. The nature of story and my mood do not coincide always.

What happens when I leave the book midway and unable to return to it for a long time or forever. It is different when I read a small part of the book and do not like it to continue. But in many cases I like the book, continue to read it almost till midway and then lose interest. Currently there are so many of these books that are unfinished. “Sons and Lovers” by D. H. Lawrence, “Museum of Innocence” by Orhan Pamuk, “Social Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, by George Orwell, “Madame Bovary”, by Gustave Flaubert are some of these books that I remember now. There have been many more.

Sometimes even the authors that you like may not capture your attention for some of their books. I love reading P. G. Wodehouse. But there are some books of Wodehouse that I have started and just could not finish them.

I wonder whether I should feel guilty about not finishing these books. Did I not show enough patience to finish the book? How do I really know if the book is good or not by reading only half of it? I can’t be feeling guilty if the story or writing did not keep me engaged. It may be a great book and liked by many others but if I have to struggle to finish it then it is probably not meant to be for me. I may return back to these books someday but till then there are more than enough books and writers to explore and keep me engaged.

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P. G. Wodehouse And Sleepy Reading

It has been few years since I discovered and started enjoying the writings of P. G. Wodehouse and ever since they have never failed to amaze me in their simplicity of story and wonderful English writing. There have been long stretches of times when I have read Wodehouse books before falling asleep and the stories have always helped me to go to sleep.

You might think that these books must be really boring that I go to sleep reading them but that is not the case. These stories relax your mind completely. These are the stories where there are no bad people. The biggest problems in life are related to style of clothing one needs to wear to dinner or in some cases a lover’s tiff. There are times when a pet pig does not eat enough or there is an unwanted guest in the house. These are the simple problems in the world of Woosters and Jeeves or Blandings Castle.

It is such a difference reading Wodehouse books as compared to other stories that consist of thrillers, mysteries, suspense, murders that it hits you in the face. Even if the book is not about secret spy missions or investigation, authors tend to create a mystery around their characters. Of course you enjoy reading these stories but the story keep you on the edge of the seat and are really not great reading if you are trying to go to sleep peacefully.

On the other hand, reading about Wooster fussing over his dress or Earl fussing over his pig Empress brings such a peaceful state in your mind that your eyes start drooping just like Wooster or Earl after a great lunch and enjoying the sun on a hammock. I wonder if there are other such great writers who can claim to bring sleep to you but are not boring or complicated.

Only one thing you need to be cautious about while reading Wodehouse in night is that you may end up laughing out loud suddenly and that can be a problem if your partner or spouse is sleeping next to you. Otherwise you will mostly end up sleeping with a soft and goofy smile on your face.

I recently came across that somebody has tried to recreate the Jeeves and Wooster magic again and a new book has come out. Not sure if somebody can recreate it but it will be interesting to read it.

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“Ukridge”, By P. G. Wodehouse

My fascination with P. G. Wodehouse grows with each new book that I read by him. This time it was “Ukridge”. This is a different character than the earlier ones like Jeeves and Blandings. This is actually a collection of short stories based on the character of Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge. The stories are written from the perspective of his friend Corky Corcoran who is most of the times at the receiving end of Ukridge’s idiosyncratic money-making ideas.

The schemes are great and Ukridge refuses to see any shortcomings in his schemes. He is always most hopeful of grand success but needs just a little help from his friends. He wants to create a dog training college, earn money through accident insurance, selling fake tickets for his Aunt’s club and betting on Battling Billson. Even when he fails in all his schemes, he refuses to accept defeat and is ready with another scheme with the same confidence. He manages to convince his friends to take up completely absurd tasks for him and when it fails he simply ignores the whole incident and moves on. He may not have money in his pocket but he is ready to help anybody all the time.

It is really amazing to read about such a character in this book. There are times in our life when we all have come across such people who want that little help for their grand schemes. As usual Wodehouse is great in those simple conversations, metaphors and use of English language rather than the story idea to make it interesting. Once again a masterpiece of book and great reading.

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“A Damsel In Distress”, By P. G. Wodehouse

Once again a real gem from P. G. Wodehouse. A simple story that has been told in with slight variations so many times but in hands of writer like Wodehouse, it becomes a classic masterpiece. His writing is really a poetry in prose. He manages to use English language in a way that does not existed before him. The new expressions and similes and metaphors are created where none existed. The more I read of Wodehouse, more I become fan of him.

In this book, “A Damsel in Distress”, music director George Bevan meets and falls for young lady from Marshmoreton family. He traces her down to the Belpher castle but ends up with mistaken identity and there is all kind of funny things start happening around him. In the end he meets his love. There are other parallel love stories of Lord and his son as well. The story has all the elements of idyllic English countryside living as is often the case in Wodehouse stories. There are bets being placed in servant’s quarters, helping hands to potential suitors based on who placed bet on whom, strict mothers wanting the best for their daughters and the daughters who are ready to rebel and fly off.

Whenever I pick up a new book of Wodehouse, I think that it is better than the last one. Probably, with each book I understand more of his writing and I am able to enjoy it better. I just found that this book was made into a black and white movie and then later into a musical as well. I should definitely try to watch that and hopefully they would not have screwed it up.

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“Joy In The Morning” By P. G. Wodehouse Is A Sheer Joy

My love affair with P. G. Wodehouse and his characters Jeeves and Wooster continues and become stronger by the day. “Joy in the morning” is a real gem even from Wodehouse standards. It is the best in comfort reading and humor at the same time. There were times when I just burst out laughing while reading this book. The humor is in the situation, characters and most of all in the language that author writes.

The story is as simple as the life of Wooster. He goes on to stay in rural Steeple Bumpleigh to help husband of his Aunt Agatha and ends up in comedy of events. He is trying to help his Uncle in business, trying to help his friend in getting married, trying to avoid getting engaged to his ex-girlfriend, trying to avoid violence from ex girlfriend’s new fiancée who is now a policeman and trying to avoid getting in path of Edwin the boy scout who is on a mission to do kind acts. Of course, there is a lot of goofing around till Jeeves is able to sort it out for everybody involved.

I really wonder how Wodehouse manages to use English language so beautifully. He can write about a simplest situation and describe it in such an involved way that it comes alive in front of your eyes. Actually, it is much more than that. Who can think of describing his friend as “Boko’s a frightfully good egg”? Another one of the great sentence “I paused for a moment to listen to the tootling birds. Then I raised the map, and allowed the beaming sun to play on it”. In another place, Wooster is telling Jeeves to go and have fish so that ideas can be generated to save him.

I can keep on turning pages of this book and find such masterpieces on each and every page. I do not know if there is any other author who could write in a similar way as Wodehouse.

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