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Something Fresh (Blandings Castle, #1)
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Something Fresh (Blandings Castle #1)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  3,776 ratings  ·  301 reviews
One thing that constantly disrupts the peace of life at Blandings is the constant incursion of impostors. Blandings has impostors like other houses have mice.

Now there are two of them – both intent on a dangerous enterprise. Lord Emsworth’s secretary, the efficient Baxter, is on the alert and determined to discover what is afoot – despite the distractions caused by the Ho
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Hardcover, The Collector's Wodehouse, 284 pages
Published April 7th 2005 by The Overlook Press (first published 1915)
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The Code of the Woosters by P.G. WodehouseRight Ho, Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseThe Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseLeave It to Psmith by P.G. WodehouseVery Good, Jeeves! by P.G. Wodehouse
Best P.G. Wodehouse
12th out of 103 books — 93 voters
High in School by Salman AdityaSame Old Truths by Delora DennisWe Got Zombies On The Lawn Again, Ma by Donnie  SmithArmed and Outrageous by Madison JohnsSomewhere Upriver by Patrick Loafman
Surprisingly Funny
7th out of 35 books — 113 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bev
Something New (1915) is the first installment of P. G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle stories. This story follows Ashe Marson into the drafty halls of Blandings Castle, where he will try to make "something new" of his life by purloining a rare Egyptian scarab — all for the best motives, of course.

Ashe Marson is a hack writer who churns out pulp detective stories which involve The Adventures of Gridley Quayle. Tired of this life, but not quite knowing what to do about it, he makes the acquaintance
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Bruce
Delightfully light bedtime reading, a few pages each night. No author is quite like P.G. Wodehouse; he is the master of cliche - cliche of plot, of characters, of description, of dialogue. And yet he manages to accomplish all this with lightness and freshness. Which is what makes him so very droll and delightful. His books are absolute fluff, and what wonderful fluff it is!
Algernon

from the cover of my edition: Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever. . I have no quarell with this Douglas Adams quote, it may set the stakes rather high, but the first book of the Blandings Castle Saga rises to the occasion and provided a jolly good time. Maybe not the best of the series, being one of the author's early books published first in 1915, but a solid introduction to the characters and the setting that would draw the author back for 10 more novels and 9 short stories. And wha
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Margaret
Cross-posted to BookLikes.

"The sunshine of a fair Spring morning fell graciously upon London town. Out in Piccadilly its heartening warmth seemed to infuse into traffic and pedestrians alike a novel jauntiness, so that 'bus-drivers jested and even the lips of chauffeurs uncurled into not unkindly smiles. Policemen whistled at their posts, clerks on their way to work, beggars approached the task of trying to persuade perfect strangers to bear the burden of their maintenance with that optimistic v
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Hana
Great fun and a perfect mid-winter cheering potion. This (I am delighted to say) is the first of a whole series of satiric novels set at Blandings Castle and featuring the absent-minded Lord Emsworth and his clueless son Freddie. If British upper class really was this dumb, and I suspect great swaths of it might have been, it's a wonder the country survived and no wonder at all the the Empire was lost.

Plenty of sharply humorous elbow digs at upstart Americans, the hack publishing industry, overz
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Rusalka
While I was overseas, I finally bit the bullet and started a Wodehouse. This is an important time in every girl's life, and I am very happen that it occurred while I was actually in Wodehouse country. I am really quite serious about that last part. I cannot imagine a better intro to Wodehouse than I have had.

I picked up Something Fresh, the first in the Blandings Castle series, in a bookshop in Oxford. I had luckily discovered that morning, that I had brought the wrong book overseas with me for
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Brad
Imagine Oscar Wilde-lite and you've got P.G. Wodehouse.

Wodehouse isn't as political as Wilde, he isn't quite as scathing in his criticism of society, and he isn't as bitingly funny, but that makes him no less entertaining.

Wodehouse is a master of bright and breezy. Stephen Fry says that Wodehouse is "sunlit perfection," and I couldn't agree more. The first of the Blanding books, Something Fresh, fits this description like the dot on a lower case i.

Something Fresh is light without being lightwe
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Leslie
This first book in the Blandings castle series is a scream! If you like Wodehouse's style then this is a must-read. Only one thing was lacking & that was the pigs... otherwise, Lord Emsworth is at his absent-minded best and Rupert Baxter (view spoiler).
Bill D.
This is my first Wodehouse not including Wooster and Jeeves. Written very early in his career (1915), it is a Blandings Castle story. I didn't find the characters quite as compelling as Bertie or Jeeves, but that may just be due to my familiarity with those characters from early books and the small screen. Whereas the Jeeves stories are told from inside Bertie's head, "Something Fresh" ("Something New" originally in England) Wodehouse narrates himself more traditionally and lets us look inside e ...more
meeners
this is a perfect book.

(this review may end up sounding like hyperbole, but so be it. my feelings will not be denied!!! as perhaps evidenced by the length of the review...)

there's a bit quite early on in this book when one of the main protagonists meets the other for the first time. the two fall into a random conversation about (literally) a magic wand of death, of all things, and the rest of the passage is mostly just their dialogue - dialogue that's light on its feet and good-humoredly funny
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Kay
While not in the same class as later Wodehouse novels, Something Fresh has the honor of being the first Blandings Castle novel. Enter potty Lord Emsworth (minus pig), the Honorable Freddie Threepwood, and the Efficient Baxter, as well a host of querulous relatives, impulsive lovers, and shady characters. The resulting imbroglio proceeds with classic Wodehousian verve.

To sum up (briefly), Freddie has gotten engaged to an American heiress, but his father, Lord Emsworth, accidentally steals an val
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Sarah
The Hon. Freddie Threepwood intends to marry wealthy American, Miss Aline Peters. Freddie's father, Lord Emsworth is pushing for their engagement and arranges a house party at Blandings, their country home. Both future father-in-laws are collectors and they try to build a rapport through this shared hobby. Guests descend upon isolated Blandings and complications ensue. There are valets and lady's maids with ulterior motives, imposters and a great cast of characters above and below the stairs.

Th
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Srednivashtar
hysterically funny and a surprisingly quick read for early 20th century brit-lit. the characters are all very parodied and sentimental and tongue-and-cheek, but the thing that i so enjoy about p.g. wodehouse (and which greatly differentiates him from many of his peers of the time) is that he is charmingly optimistic underneath that impossibly sharp wit and sarcasm.

i began my self-driven p.g. wodehouse refresher course with "something new" and have since been grabbing every anthology of his work
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Ensiform
A young man and a young woman infiltrate Blandings and compete to steal a priceless scarab Emsworth has absently walked off with, while the family conspires to marry the Hon. Freddie off. But another man loves her, and schemes to win her.

Though inchoate in ways (Emsworth is capable of a coherent speech now and then, and is utterly pigless; there's a lot of detailed class structure), this first Blandings novel starts off in fine form: The Efficient Baxter is thought mad, Emsworth is potty, and im
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Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial:
Two impostors infiltrate Blandings Castle, intent on recovering a valuable scarab which the dotty Lord Emsworth has unknowingly acquired from a dyspeptic American millionaire.
Ruth
This has everything I love about Wodehouse: false identities, potty old peers, multiple people pussy-footing around an English country estate in the dead of night, an overly-starched and self-important servant class, and privileged young idiots such as Freddy Threepwood who have no idea what is actually going on. Add to that petty crime, engagements, broken engagements, elopements, cases of mistaken identity, shots fired in the dead of night, and family spats and you have the recipe for what Fre ...more
Daniela
I was curious to read something from Sir P.G Wodehouse. “Something Fresh” (also published as “Something New”) was one of the earlier books published by this British comic writer (considered to be one of the best comic writers of the 20th century) and its the first book of the Blandings Castle saga. The story is based on a series of misunderstandings about a mistakenly stolen scarab and its smooth recovery and return to its original owner.

"What are scarabs?"
(…) “A Scarab”, he said, “derived from
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Lisa
Great fun ... read it aloud to John on our trip to Baton Rouge/Florence. I've discovered the reason I like reading Wodehouse: it's like listening to music. I enjoy simply the WORDS and sentences in his writing. The combinations tickle and delight. The bits below I could read again and again, just like I could listen to a song again and again.

Bits I liked:

"We may say what we will against the aristocracy of England; we may wear red ties and attend Socialist meetings; but we cannot deny that in cer
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An Odd1
The spark of spring restlessness drives an impoverished young couple to strike an acquaintance and separately decide to incognito steal (back) a valuable scarab absentmindedly pocketed by empty-headed Lord Threepwood. Joan Valentine "wheat-gold hair and eyes brightly blue as a November sky" p 67 competes in resourcefulness and determination "a woman can do nearly everything better than a man" p 168 with handsome athletic Ashe Marson 26. Both pulp writers, her romantic imagination and his detecti ...more
June Louise
"The greater the house, the more does the butler diverge from this type. Blandings Castle was one of the more important of England's show-pieces, and Beach, accordingly, had acquired a dignified inertia which almost qualified him for inclusion in the vegetable kingdom".

This is the first novel in the Blandings Castle series, and from the outset we are introduced to Lord Emsworth, whose kleptomaniac ways land him in the biggest trouble. On absent-mindedly stealing the prized rare scarab beetle bel
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Christopherseelie
Poor Wodehouse is destined to always be compared to his own work and fall short of his best. This one, "Something Fresh" is a fine country house farce with romantic elements that belie his genuine fondness of human frailty. Far from the laugh-a-minute you get when Wooster and Jeeves are on the scene, but there are great comic moments nonetheless. The scene where Lord Emsworth lunches at his club will give you bell-laughs. I will never again be able to look at porcelain figurines and decorative t ...more
Ian Wood
Oct 18, 2007 Ian Wood rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
‘Something Fresh’ is the first book in what was to become the Blanding’s Saga, at the time it was written Wodehouse obviously had no idea how popular the Threepwood family were to become and consequently it does not really fit into the Saga as a whole. In ‘Something Fresh’ Blanding’s Castle is no more than a setting for Wodehouse’s latest farce and Lord Emsworth one of many comic characters to sit in the background to entertain whilst the romance of Ashe Marson and Joan Valentine is played out.

T
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booklady
Something Fresh IS! I can’t remember the last time a book had me laughing out loud—you’d think I’d never read this before. (Guess there’s something to be said for my poor memory after all.) But actually, reading P. G. Wodehouse silently to oneself is treat enough, while listening to his stories performed by Frederick Davidson on the audio version doubles the pleasure.

The first of the infamous Blanding’s novels introduces Lord Emsworth (Clarence Threepwood, 9th Earl of Emsworth) and the castle i
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Kavita
A rich American gentleman with a meek daughter finds an opportunity to ally himself to some blue English blood. He shows Lord Emsworth the jewel of his scarab collection, and from here starts a humorous saga that leads everyone straight to Blandings Castle.

This is the first of the Blandings series, and Wodehouse is just getting started with the characters, which I think get better with the later books. Here, we have the absent-minded Lord Emsworth, the vacuous Freddie Threepwood and the efficien
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Megan
Early Wodehouse, great fun. This is the first Lord Emsworth story and while I was a little disappointed it was pigless and that it took a while to warm up and reach full screwball comedy speed, I was immensely cheered by how the plot resolved. What stood out for me most in this book were the terrific little asides about human nature; Wodehouse was just as good of an everyman philosopher as he was a humorist.

Also, the book contains a terribly awesome declaration of love from a love interest long
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Margaret
Something Fresh, published in 1915, is a prime example of Wodehouse's early style. There are pulp fiction authors, businessmen from Hong Kong, plucky young women, foppish and rich young men, overbearing American fathers, and eccentric old men. Mistaken or false identities abound, and when an object of significant value goes missing, hilarity ensues.

Basically, the first Blandings novel has all the classic Wodehouse elements without some of the post Second World War weariness. It almost sparkles
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Harsha
Now, this is what you call entertainment. My first ever Wodehouse book (and I daresay it will not be the last), and what a delight has it been.
I enjoyed each and every word of it. It had me smiling throughout, and literally laughing out loud at many instants-- making me feel grateful that my roommate is away visiting her parents.
It is the first of the much acclaimed Blandings Castle novels of P.G.Wodehouse. And I haven't seen many authors who have captured the human mind with so much perfectio
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Rebecca Huston
Wonderfully fun read, and the first book in the Blandings series. In a nutshell, Lord Emsworth's younger son needs to get married and settled down before he makes more trouble, and Emsworth has just the right girl in mind -- a rich American girl whose father collects scarabs. There's chorus girls, the staff at Blandings, plenty of satire, would-be writers, and that sort of humour that is pecularly British. Four stars overall, and worth the trouble to find. Recommended.

For the longer review, ple
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Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete DUTRA
Nice, boþ as a romantic comedy & as ðe firſt inſtallment of the Blandiŋs caſtle ſeries.
Keri Roberts
Fun, gotta love PG
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Goodreads Librari...: editions under a different title? 2 16 Feb 06, 2015 07:08AM  
Reading Wodehouse: June 2014 MR: Something Fresh - Discussion 13 10 Jun 12, 2014 03:02PM  
  • Augustus Carp, Esq. By Himself Being The Autobiography Of A Really Good Man
  • England, Their England
  • Before Lunch
  • Topper Takes a Trip
  • Queen Lucia
  • The Unbearable Bassington
  • The Adventures of Gil Blas
  • Slouching Towards Kalamazoo
  • Molesworth
  • Brewster's Millions
  • Mister Johnson
  • Towards the End of the Morning
  • Three Men on the Bummel
  • Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf
  • Less Than Angels
  • Fireflies
  • Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
  • The Mighty Walzer
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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
More about P.G. Wodehouse...

Other Books in the Series

Blandings Castle (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Leave It to Psmith (Psmith, #4 ; Blandings Castle, #2)
  • Blandings Castle
  • Summer Lightning
  • Heavy Weather (Blandings Castle, #5)
  • Uncle Fred in the Springtime
  • Full Moon (Blandings Castle, #7)
  • Pigs Have Wings (Blandings Castle, #8)
  • Service With a Smile
  • Galahad at Blandings (Blandings Castle, #10)
  • A Pelican at Blandings (Blandings Castle, #11)
My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1) Carry on, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3) The Code of the Woosters (Jeeves, #7) Right Ho, Jeeves (Jeeves, #6) The Inimitable Jeeves (Jeeves, #2)

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“As we grow older and realize more clearly the limitations of human happiness, we come to see that the only real and abiding pleasure in life is to give pleasure to other people.” 98 likes
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