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Cocktail Time (Uncle Fred #3)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  1,315 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
If Lord Ickenham had not succumbed to the temptation to dislodge the hat of irascible QC, Beefy Bastable, with a well-aimed Brazil nut, the latter's famous legal mind might never have been stimulated to literature. But the incident provoked Beefy to write his expose of the younger generation, a novel so shocking that it caused endless repercussions for its hapless author a ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 4th 1991 by Penguin Books (first published 1958)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 17, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wodehouse, favorites
It all started when Uncle Fred pegged Beefy Bastable with a Brazil nut. Beefy, a prominent barrister with political aspirations, writes a scathing novel about the youth of today after Uncle Fred tells him he can't. Once completed, Beefy realizes that a man in his position can't be responsible for such a thing and convinces his shiftless nephew, Cosmo Wisdom, to take credit for it. Enter Oily Carlisle and his wife, who convince Cosmo that blackmail is the best course of action. Cosmo writes a let ...more
Ben Babcock
Dec 04, 2012 Ben Babcock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, owned, 2012-read
Many people have recommended P.G. Wodehouse to me many times, and now I have finally read one of his books. I had no particular reason for choosing Cocktail Time as my first Wodehouse experience. I went to a used bookstore for the first time here in my new town, and at the back of the shop was a small bookcase full of very new-looking Wodehouse books. With no idea where to begin, I looked to the proprietor for some advice. He was the very idea of a used bookstore proprietor: older, with a somewh ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Shauna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first PG Wodehouse book! The back of the book, which calls it a "hilarious jab at the publishing industry," drew me in, and while it wasn't as publishing-centric as I'd hoped, it lived up to the hilarious part. I was charmed by the characters, the humor, and the twisting plot. This book, to quote the first page, left me feeling "as bumps-a-daisy as billy-o." I look forward to reading more Wodehouse books!
Oct 19, 2015 Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What ho, what ho! Now this is more like it. After the bloated and overly-convoluted Uncle Dynamite (to my taste, anyway), this is a return to form for Wodehouse: Just the right level of everything, and not too much of anything. A comedy masterpiece. Read it.

Collected in the Utterly Uncle Fred omnibus.
Peter Krol
Jun 14, 2009 Peter Krol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I often say that the plots in Wodehouse are not very diverse. However, this book was cut from a different mold.

There were the usual escapades of unrequited lovers. Couples couldn't marry because of not enough money. Others had misunderstandings getting in the way.

However, most of the plot centers around a novel, entitled Cocktail Time, about the foolishness of England's youth. The book creates a stir in the general populace after a bishop denounces it from the pulpit. The author of Cocktail Time
Jeff Crompton
Another reviewer here said that he should have known better than to read a Wodehouse book written after World War II. That's a little extreme, in my opinion, but it true that later Wodehouse seldom reaches the heights of Plum's best work from the 1920s through the 1940s.

The first few chapters here, which set up the premise, are vintage Wodehouse. Fun-loving Lord Ickenham (Uncle Fred) is visiting his nephew at the Drones Club. While there, he amuses the members by wielding a slingshot and a Brazi
Dan Glover
Nov 17, 2014 Dan Glover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites, humour
I would give this 4.5 stars if I could. This "Uncle Fred" story was nearly as good as the best of the Wooster & Jeeves books, but not quite. There were some elements that made this a notch above many of Wodehouse's other non-Jeeves stories. There were some very funny running literary jokes throughout, such as the repeated reference to various things happening in a manner resembling the US Marines arriving just in the nick of time to rescue someone from a sticky situation and the repeated ref ...more
Aug 02, 2012 Emlen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bah. I should have known better than to try a Wodehouse book written after World War II; but the one exception to that rule that I know of (Uncle Dynamite) is an Uncle Fred, so I thought I'd risk it. No luck: Lord Ickenham impersonates someone else precisely once in Cocktail Time, deceiving only one person, for a space of about four pages. The whole novel is like a dreary, half-hearted attempt to imitate P.G. Wodehouse.

However, a few notable things that I had otherwise never seen, and never expe
Jan 30, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cocktail Time is a late (1958) entry to the Uncle Fred canon, and it’s incredible to think that Wodehouse wrote it at the age of 77. While it might not reach the sublime heights of Uncle Dynamite or Uncle Fred in the Springtime, it’s still full of wonderful Wodehouse wit and sparkle, and a plot that runs like a piece of well-oiled machinery. Uncle Fred is his usual irrepressible self, always up for an adventure in his quest to spread ‘sweetness and light’ all around him, and there is a rich cast ...more
Oct 19, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love laughing out loud when I read, and I certainly did in this book. I give five stars to any book that can do that!

“Except that her ears did not stick up and that she went about on two legs instead of four, Phoebe Wisdom was extraordinarily like a white rabbit, a resemblance which was heightened at the moment by the white dressing jacket she was wearing and the fact that much weeping had made her nose and eyes pink...”

“It was at this moment that the door opened again and Mrs. Phoebe Wisdom
Chet Makoski
Apr 08, 2015 Chet Makoski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
P. G. Wodehouse wrote almost 100 novels and collections of short stories. He is perhaps the greatest comic writer of the 20th Century best known for his stories featuring young British dilettante Bertram "Bertie" Wooster and his wry valet Jeeves. "Cocktail Time" is a novel featuring another of Wodehouse's unique characters, Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, fifth Earl of Ickenham, commonly called Lord Ickenham or Uncle Fred. The story begins in the smoking-room of the Drones Club. "An Eg ...more
Jan 15, 2011 jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Johnny Pearce can't get married because his fiancee refuses to live with Johnny's old nursemaid, Nanny Bruce. Nanny won't leave until Johnny gives her 500 pounds, which he doesn't have. Respected barrister Beefy hates the younger generation, but they love his risque novel, Cocktail Time. Once Beefy's mooching nephew finds out who wrote it, he turns to blackmail. And setting up most of these complications is Uncle Fred.

Most of my Wodehouse reads have been of Wooster and Jeeves, but I'm glad I fin
Jul 14, 2013 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
When I'm in need of rollicking humor and clever plot twists, there is no author finer than Wodehouse, in my opinion.

In this, a chain of events start with a Brazil nut and catapult in the hands of none other than dear Uncle Fred. That this innocent Brazil nut could lead to a chase among con artists, a reluctant author, his oft-broke nephew and a doddering senile publisher is a farce that Wodehouse pulls of triumphantly.
Dec 03, 2016 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, audiobooks
4.5* for this audiobook edition narrated by Jonathan Cecil

This 3rd book in the Uncle Fred series was hilarious! His nephew Pongo Twisleton having been married in the previous book, Lady Ickenham (Uncle Fred's wife) has no choice but to deposit him with his godson Johnny while she is elsewhere (she doesn't trust him on his own, for good reason!). Typical Wodehousian convolutions occur but one aspect of this that stood out for me is the fun Wodehouse has with authors, publishers and critics in thi
Andrew Pritchard
A decisively different plot that most Wodehouse offerings, and though not as funny as the Jeeves and Wooster stories, this is still a well written and thought out tale.
Jan 08, 2017 Datatater rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Wodehouse, who has been a favorite of mine pretty much since I learned to read.
Alexander Kosoris
Apr 21, 2016 Alexander Kosoris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, comedy
Boy, do I love me some Wodehouse. Of course, I have only read two of his near one hundred works, so this love could be highly conditional and potentially fleeting, but, so far, he’s batting a thousand. For, so far, his stories possess a great mix of wit and absurdities, in both characters and plot, that makes for brilliant comedy.

Cocktail Time concerns the events following the publishing a novel by the same name. It very nearly fell into obscurity, until a Bishop ranted about its indecency from
Scott Taylor
Subtitle this book "The Indefatigable Lord Ickenham." This was my first foray into the non-Jeeves section of the Wodehouse section of the library. In Cocktail Time, Wodehouse displays a mastery of dry satire that is both cutting and palatable. Many of the little quips are nuanced and go by so quickly that if you "blink" while reading, you're likely to miss them. This book is worth digesting slowly and with care to not miss out on the fun.

Who would have thought that the launching of a Brazil Nut
Feb 14, 2011 Shari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd been putting off reading this book until I'd had the opportunity to go to the grocery store and buy mixers for the spiced rum sitting on my counter; I'd had this vague, romantic notion that it would be extra amusing to read Cocktail Time while sipping cocktails. (What can I say, I'm just that uncool.) But after an especially trying day, I could feel a case of the mean reds coming on, and I cast about desperately for something to stave them off.

And so it came to pass that I curled up in an ar

Description: A Brazil nut playfully flung through the window of the Drones Club catapults Uncle Fred into action in P. G. Wodehouse's jab at the publishing industry. An anonymously penned novel about the nut incident has nobody suspecting the culprit and everybody scrambling for the royalties . . . then the movie rights come up for sale.

It's summer so of course there must be an encounter with Wodehouse and Heyer at some point!

TR The Man With Two Left Feet (Jeeves 0.5)
WL My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #
Kenneth Joyner
Sep 13, 2012 Kenneth Joyner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Wodehouse was Cocktail Time during a night I'd sought to quit alcohol and replace my habit with a caffeine overdose, one that quite nearly did away with my life at a massive book retailer you probably visit. My curiosity had brought me to begin this novel and by the time of closing was done with about three chapters alongside two double espressos, three 'black eyes' (espresso and coffee?), two regular coffees, a chocolate chip cookie and a Red Bull. It was a good time initiall ...more
Ian Wood
Mar 27, 2008 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
‘Cocktail Time’ is the third Uncle Fred novel and finds him spreading sweetness and light as he had as Roderick Glossop at Blandings in ‘Uncle Fred in Springtime’ and as Major Plank at Ashenden Manor in ‘Uncle Dynamite’.

This time Uncle Fred is acting under his own name due to the hearts he needs to join including his wife’s half brother Sir Raymond Dunstable and literary agent Barbara Crowe, his godson Jonathon Twistleton Pearce and Bunny Farringdon and Phoebe Wisdom and Albert Peasemarch, whom
May 04, 2016 Vlad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was not as funny as I though it would be. I think I got one proper laugh out of it, but that was about it, by the end I was racing through just to get it done and over with.

The setup for the story is OK, but for something that relies on the structure of a comedy of manners, it's relatively weak. Some of the situations are unbelievable even for a comedy, and all too often the comedy comes out of characters actually doing bone headed things. Better comedies rely on situations where the charac
Jun 11, 2012 Smilingplatypus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, fluff
If you haven't read anything by P.G. Wodehouse, you're missing out. He was a master of the English language and his uniquely bubbly way of writing just rolls off the tongue (and would have done for me, if I had dared to besmirch the phrases by reading them aloud in a Canadian accent.) His famously sparkling prose is in high form in Cocktail Time. The plot is an overly convoluted series of coincidences involving a best-selling book, a couple of con artists, and a bunch of upper-class airheads, al ...more
Dec 28, 2013 Raj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, classic
The fifth Earl of Ickenham is easily bored. And he has taken it upon himself to spread sweetness and light amongst all those of his acquaintance, or as some of those acquaintances might put it: meddle and interfere in others' business. This book starts with Lord Ickenham shooting a brazil nut at his half brother-in-law 'Beefy' Bastable with a catapult. From then, a long, improbably Wodehousian chain of events is set in motion with, as they say, hilarious consequences.

This book is what happens wh
Todd Martin
Nov 20, 2014 Todd Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Cocktail Time has everything you’d expect from a Wodehouse novel: unlikely situations, coincidences and humor, but what else do you think you would find? Wodehouse, having found a formula for his books, stuck to it like a barnacle with attachment disorder.

Given that the themes are all identical let’s look at what makes Cocktail Time different from Wodehouse’s other novels.

Uh …

Ah hmmm …

Well …

Zzzzz …

Anthony Peter
Dec 13, 2015 Anthony Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another jolly read. Not much to add, really. What I particularly liked was the relative absence of concentrated activity. I find that, generally, Wodehouse concentrates his action into a few days, and I find that reduces my capacity to enjoy the story because I'm left, as it were, breathless. The action in this story is spread over a longer period of time, although the end is full-force-farce pace. There also seemed more-than-usual threads that the wheeler-dealer author had to pull together, and ...more
Jun 08, 2013 ideallaedi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really a Wodehouse novel I hadn't read before and not simply a title in the list of my "comfort-books" that I borrow from the library periodically to read.

It stars THE Lord Ickenham, whom I like even better than Gally. Sadly, Pongo Twistleton apart from being rather flabbergasted in the first chapter has no role to play in the book. There's a sensational book "Cocktail time" with its (in)famous thirteenth chapter, written because of the episode of the Brazil nut, expounding Beefy's, aka
Melissa Kunz
Feb 18, 2008 Melissa Kunz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands down one of the greatest Wodehouse books of all time. So many people read the Wooster stories and praise Bertie for his clever language and near-escapes--and while it's true that he's a gift of a character, I think no one comes close to the utter hilarity that is Uncle Fred. Cocktail Time features the classic Wodehouse catalyst--knocking the hat off someone important--but mixes it up by giving good old Fred a slingshot and a Brazil Nut. Intrigue, best selling novels, disguises, and more th ...more
J. Alfred
Jul 31, 2014 J. Alfred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a member of that favored class of mortals who possess an Uncle Fred, I laughed quietly to myself when I discovered that Wodehouse has a group of books called the Uncle Fred novels. When I began reading one of these books, I laughed much more loudly, because Fredrick Twistleton, Earl of Ickenham, is simply unlike most other Uncle Freds, or indeed, anyone. He happens to be someone whose self-imposed goal is to spread sweetness and light, and misadventures and those events known to some as hi-ji ...more
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Uncle Fred (4 books)
  • Uncle Fred in the Springtime
  • Uncle Dynamite
  • Service With a Smile

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“It has been well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo.” 29 likes
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