Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Luck of the Bodkins” as Want to Read:
The Luck of the Bodkins
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Luck of the Bodkins (The Drones Club)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  1,273 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Monty Bodkin's wooing of Gertrude Butterwick on the R.M.S. Atlantic is not progressing as it should. And the cause of all the trouble is Miss Lotus Blossum, the brightest star in Hollywood's firmament. The easy camaraderie of Miss Blossom, coupled with the idea that Monty is the only person who can send the errant Ambrose back to her welcoming arms, is causing Mr Bodkin mo ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 26th 1975 by Penguin Books (first published 1935)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Luck of the Bodkins, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Luck of the Bodkins

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Henry Avila
Mar 16, 2017 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A French farce with English reserve , ( best describes this saga ) well not too much... after all it was written by the great P.G. Wodehouse... Mr. Montague "Monty" Bodkin a wealthy but idle British bachelor with a romantic problem, it seems Gertrude these peculiar names...the gentleman's lady friend has a strange daddy , who insists that rich Monty gets a job or no marriage to his pretty daughter , and the really strange part is she will obey his ultimatum , this transpires in ...more
Nandakishore Varma
“Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to speak French.”

It is such sentences that make me an ardent fan of Wodehouse. He was a master of the English language.

BTW, I get this look whenever I am about to speak Hindi!

Well, I was always a little apprehensive at the prospect of reading Wodehouse. Not sure why. Perhaps I felt I wouldn’t get the humour… Whatever the reason, I really shouldn’t have worried!

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French."

From the very beginning, I was completely taken in by Monty Bodkins, his hilarious manners an
Terence Manleigh
What can one say? Wodehouse is an angel in human shape, dispensing joy and laughter whenever he sits down at the typewriter. I adore him. This book? It's the usual penicillin.
Ian Wood
Dec 23, 2007 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
‘The Luck of the Bodkins’ tells the continuing story of Monty Bodkin and his engagement to Gertrude Butterwick which relies on his remaining in someone’s employ for a whole year. We last met Monty at Blanding’s Castle where he was employed as secretary for Lord Emsworth for the length of ‘Heavy Weather’ rather than the length of a year. Monty left Blanding’s after gaining employment with Percy Pilbeam at the Argos Detective Agency. Monty is on Holiday at Cannes but follows Gertrude on board the ...more
This is a top-notch Wodehouse. Oh, sure, it doesn't have Jeeves and Wooster or Lord Emsworth and Duchess or even Psmith, but who cares? It does have Monty Bodkin (whom I encountered in Heavy Weather as one of Lord Emsworth's endless string of secretaries) and an extra complicated, extra delightful plot, which takes place mostly on a ship from England to America.

Wodehouse is at the top of his form with his marvelous idiom, beginning with the very first, irresistible sentence: "Into the face of t
Lindley Walter-smith
One of the most delightful of Wodehouse's novels, which is saying something. The likeable, idle-rich Monty, still in pursuit of winning his beloved's heart by holding down a job for a year, ends up on a cruise ship pursuing her to America after a little understanding. As a result he is drawn into the complicated affairs of the Hollywood elite, and ridiculous twists and turns follow before the happy ending. Brilliantly funny, well-written and full of sunshine. And alligators.
Read for Anglophiles group.
Jenny Maloney
If you're a fan of early cinema this book--originally published in 1935--is for you. There's plenty of in-jokes geared towards producers, nepotism, and actors. At one moment in the book I had to pause because Monty Bodkin (the Lucky Bodkin of the title) was compared to Leslie Howard and Clark Gable, both of whom were to star in Gone With the Wind four years after Wodehouse mentions them. Shall we give P.G. a pat on the back for smushing such stellar talent together before Selznick?

I know what y
Sep 01, 2012 Lloyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably Wodehouse's longest non-Jeeves/non-Blandings novel, Luck of the Bodkins appears to have started out as a play script or screenplay. If this surmise is correct, we can all shed a tear that Eric Blore never got to play the verbose, fat-headed, good-hearted cabin steward Albert Peasemarch.

Peasemarch, a man capable of quoting Shakespeare, singing The Bandolero to a dubious crowd of second-class passengers with only a day's rehearsal, and running the length of a ocean liner half a dozen tim
Monty Bodkins is in love and engaged to Gertrude Butterwick, now that he has finally managed to figure out how to appear gainfully employed despite being independently wealthy. Her cousin Ambrose Tennyson is engaged to the beautiful American actress, Lotus Blossom, and his brother falls head over heals for Grayce, the sister-in-law, for the man who owns the picture company Lotus acts for. In the meantime, this man, Ivor Llewellyn, is highly stressed because Grayce has let him know, in no uncerta ...more
June Louise
I am a massive fan of PG Wodehouse - his characters are all very memorable and the comic storyline of "The Luck of the Bodkins" really cheered me up on a cold February day.

This novel is set on the RMS Atlantic which is sailing to America bearing the Tennyson brothers, their cousin Gertrude Butterwick, the Tennyson's old Eton school friend Monty Bodkin as well as the Hollywood movie magnate Ikey Llewellyn, his sister Mabel Spence, the actress Lotus Blossom (an infuriating character who travels ev
Lady Shockley
Jul 16, 2016 Lady Shockley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Wodehouses. Monty Bodkin and his beloved hockey playing fiancée, Gertrude Butterwick set sail for New York. But oh, what adventures there are to be had on a cruise ship! Smuggling, spies, broken hearts and renewed hopes for happiness; just the things a Wodehouse novel should have. All that and an alligator named Wilfred. What could possibly go wrong?
Dan Schwent
Feb 16, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wodehouse
I'm going to go out on a limb here and rank Luck of the Bodkins as my third favorite Wodehouse novel, just below Leave it to Psmith and Code of the Woosters. It's the longest Wodehouse book I've read yet and probably has the most twists. Highly recommended.
Lady Drinkwell
Aug 18, 2016 Lady Drinkwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jolly good fun. At first I did not like the fact that this took place on a boat instead of a lovely stately home with aunts, pigs etc. However it soon grew on me and the humour was relentless.
John Machata
Oct 31, 2015 John Machata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading and re-reading PG Wodehouse, one English's great wordsmiths. One of the best opening of any novel every written:

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French."

-- The Luck of the Bodkins, by P.G. Wodehouse
First Second Books
This is one of PG Wodehouse’s screwball comedies – there are five or six twenty-something protagonists who are variously in love with each other, plus a customs-avoiding jewelry-smuggling multi-millionaire, all trapped on a cruise ship from London to New York. Many hijinx ensue. Sadly, no one gets thrown off the side of the boat.
May 22, 2011 Vamsee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wodehouse at his absolute best...the man never fails to brighton up ur mood, using simple situation and amazing language to represent everyday characters.
Ivor Llewellyn is shocked when his sister-in-law Mabel announces her sister Grayce has bought a $50,000 necklace she expects Ivor to smuggle into the U.S. without paying duties. Of course he can afford the price he's president of Suberba-Llewellyn Motion Picture Corporation, but Grayce threatens a Paris divorce if Ivor doesn't comply with her wishes. When Monty Bodkin, the unfortunate former secretary of Lord Emsworth and erstwhile detective for P. Frobisher Pilbeam, asks Ivor how to spell a wor ...more
Jan 11, 2014 Franc rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great books unsually start with great 1st sentences, and Luck of the Bodkins doesn't disappoint with this classic Wodehouse gem:

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French."

How can you possibly put a book down that starts like that! And it only gets better.

The eponomous hero Monty Bonkin is also a minor character in the Blandin
Aaron Wittwer
Sep 03, 2016 Aaron Wittwer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hail the return of Monty Bodkin. Introduced previously in the Blandings Castle novel, Heavy Weather, here Bodkin gets his own spin-off. It's been a few weeks since the events at Blandings seemed to put him on track to wed Miss Gertrude Butterwick. But, as they tend to do, complications and misunderstandings galore arise to threaten the couple's happiness.

The events of the book all take place on a transatlantic boat trip from France to New York, and feature some of the best examples of Wodehouse
Nov 01, 2016 Himi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I’ve heard of a few of his titles, but I’ve never connected them to be written by the same person. And it’s only been a year since I read his name to the point of committing it to memory. But now that I’ve had my first taste of Wodehouse, I feel like the 30-odd years that have come before now were lacking in some way. I don’t understand how I’m getting into him only now. I get that his style doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it’s totally my kind of humor–terribly British. So many layers of story c ...more
Harker US Library
Jul 13, 2013 Harker US Library rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monty Bodkin is happily engaged to Gertrude Butterwick – for the time being. The same can be said for actress Lotus Blossom and writer Ambrose Tennyson. Reggie Tennyson hopes likewise for him and spitfire Mabel Spence, sister-in-law of the successful movie producer, Ivor Llewellyn. Llewellyn hopes Customs won’t catch him smuggling his wife’s pearl necklace into the States. Amid hysterical misadventures and droll misunderstandings, Wodehouse injects a measure of social criticism, focusing mainly ...more
Jul 05, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Aboard the RMS Atlantic en route from Southampton to New York, lovers quarrels and misunderstandings abound.  The affable Monty Bodkin is engaged to honest, kind-hearted Gertrude but she suspects he likes actress Lotus Blossom who is quite smitten with Ambrose Tennyson, whose trouble-making brother Reggie has just fallen head over heel for Mabel, sister-in-law of American movie mogul Ivor Llewellyn, who is desperate to avoid smuggling a necklace through Customs for his wife.  As Monty says, ther ...more
Mar 11, 2013 R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, notable-2013
This is a sequel to Heavy Weather, but because it takes place on a boat and not at Blandings Castle it's struck from the official series list and branded as a standalone Monty Bodkin novel. But what a standalone: I enjoyed every page - there were only 358, and I wanted 358 more. This is Plum at peak form; published in 1935 when - relatively speaking - the Talkies were still cooing their first words, The L. of the Bodkins provided Tinsel Town a template for the Golden Age romantic comedies of the ...more
Jan 24, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rare Wodehouse that lost a bit of luster on re-reading. I recalled it from 20 years ago (my early days as a Plumaniac) as perhaps the funniest of all non-Wooster Wodehouses, but can't hold a candle to the best of Mr. Mulliner or the Blandings Castle crowd (especially Uncle Fred). There are plenty of funny lines here, but way too much plot for my taste: it's one of Wodehouse's self-proclaimed "Musical Comedies without Songs" where he spends too much time and energy jumping through the boymeetsg ...more
Jinny Chung
Aug 12, 2010 Jinny Chung rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Reggie Tennyson was the sort of chap who, discovering that you went to Butters & Butters for your socks, would wonder that you didn't know that Mutters & Mutters were the only firm in London who supplied the sock perfect: and when, having rushed off to Mutters & Mutters and stocked up with socks, you then bought a shirt or two in addition, would say: 'Not shirts, old boy. Not Mutters & Mutters for shirts. Stutters & Stutters. The only place.' "


"Monty was beginning to experi
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
A convoluted plot, plenty of misunderstanding, a little bit of smuggling, attempts at spelling, and a pet alligator- but horror of horrors- NO IMPOSTORS! An excellent novel full of laughs- but of course, being Wodehouse- what else could it possibly be.
Feb 05, 2017 Waleed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a misfire. Goes on too long, and lacks the wit of its prequel Heavy Weather, perhaps because most of the action takes place on a ship rather than Blandings Castle. Wodehouse's best 1930s farces depend on strong characters and/or a charming setting; this lacks both.
Jonathan Palfrey
I wasn't sure about this book. My first impression was that it was a book about the trivial antics of a small group of upper-class twits trapped in each other's company on a transatlantic voyage; and indeed that's what it is.

As I got further into it, I realized that the characters were going through a whole series of contortions to try to get out of their various problems, and each time landing themselves deeper in embarrassment and what they would see as trouble. Some people find this sort of t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Don't Ask Me Why
  • The Perpetual Astonishment of Jonathon Fairfax
  • Wodehouse: A Life
  • Hello From the Gillespies
  • The Worshipful Lucia (Lucia, #5)
  • The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and Other Plays
  • Summer Half
  • All My Friends are Superheroes
  • Casebook
  • Jeeves and the Wedding Bells (Jeeves, #16)
  • The 2 1/2 Pillars of Wisdom (Portuguese Irregular Verbs, #1-3)
  • Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel
  • Favorite Father Brown Stories
  • Paradise Postponed
  • The Complete Plays of Gilbert and Sullivan
  • Master Humphrey's Clock
  • Blott on the Landscape
  • Captain Hornblower R.N.: Hornblower and the Atropos / The Happy Return / A Ship of the Line
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE, was a comic writer who enjoyed enormous popular success during a career of more than seventy years and continues to be widely read over 40 years after his death. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of prewar English upper-class so ...more
More about P.G. Wodehouse...

Other Books in the Series

The Drones Club (7 books)
  • Mr. Mulliner Speaking
  • Young Men in Spats
  • Lord Emsworth and Others (Blandings Castle, #5.5)
  • Eggs, Beans And Crumpets
  • Nothing Serious (Blandings Castle, #7.5)
  • A Few Quick Ones (Jeeves, #11.5)
  • Plum Pie (Jeeves, #13.5)

Share This Book

“Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to speak French.” 70 likes
“In private life, Lottie Blossom tended to substitute for wistfulness and pathos a sort of “Passed-For-Adults-Only” joviality which expressed itself outwardly in a brilliant and challenging smile, and inwardly and spiritually in her practice of keeping alligators in wickerwork baskets and asking unsuspecting strangers to lift the lid.” 3 likes
More quotes…