Cocktail Time
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Cocktail Time (Uncle Fred #3)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  856 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Frederick, fifth Earl of Ickenham sometimes feels that his life-work of spreading sweetness and light or, as some put it, meddling in other peoples business is almost too much for one man single handedly.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 21st 2004 by Overlook Hardcover (first published 1958)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,316)
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Dan Schwent
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
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
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...more
Peter Krol
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
J. Alfred
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
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
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...more
Kenneth Joyner
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
‘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...more
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...more
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...more
Melissa Kunz
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
This one was hilarious! I love P. G. Wodehouse, and this one had me rolling on the floor, laughing my fool head off!
Lord Ickenham is one of my all time favorite characters.
The first of Wodehouse's Uncle Fred novels. Several laugh out loud moments.
Maulin Amin
A snappy Wodehouse classic!
Prickly resistant to English prose, Wodehouse won me over with this breezy skewer. Deceptively breezy. Just when Lord Ickenham bests a dozen foils and is resplendent in his meddling metier, a subtle note flavors the "sweetness and light" he has so freely dispensed and shows him culpable, an arrogant gentry puncturing others of his ilk but never scratching his own imperturbable hide. Takes nothing away from the entertainment. The book remains jolly good fun, but that last glimpse gives it unexpec...more
Charming, witty, very very British. I could easily picture it as a comedy-of-errors-type stage play. Fun & light, with intelligent turns of phrase.
A couple of the short stories in this collection are among my favourites of Wodehouse.
I should have read the other Uncle Fred books before I tackled this one. I think I might have missed a bunch of the jokes. But, nevertheless, it was solidly and hilariously Wodehouse, and I'm glad I took the time on it. One day in the car.
There's not a lot to say about Wodehouse, except that he's brilliant, and that I wish I were him-- without all the getting-kidnapped-by-Nazis-and-forced-to-work-against-your-own-people stuff. That must really have sucked, being Wodehouse right then. Oh well.
Sanjiv Raj
Uncle Fred. "Alls well that ends well".
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.
Bee Ridgway
This perfectly balanced, not-very-dry martini of a book makes perfect reading while you're writing your own scampering type of novel. The main character wrote a novel in a fit of rage and must now live with the consequences. What is more annoying than a novel about novel writing -- usually? This one is is HILARIOUS and by that I mean that it is even more insanely funny than many of his other confections.
The Jeeves books are the Wodehouse books that I'm familiar with so it was fun to read one that not related to them. Apparently, this is related to the Blandings Castle books with a couple of the characters from that series popping up here. This had all the usual Wodehouse elements - romantic misunderstandings, humor, situations that only Wodehouse characters could find themselves in. Loved it!
Highly enjoy­able read. The fast pace with which the novel is writ­ten, the lively char­ac­ters and their choices and actions will keep you read­ing until you are tired laugh­ing. Wode­house has really hit the spot again with this Uncle Fred novel. And if you hadn’t had enough of this lov­able crea­ture that is called Uncle Fred, there is always Uncle Dyna­mite to read.
This is the second P.G. Wodehouse book that I've read. I enjoy the weaving of the plot, the building of humorous characters, the disarray of personal drama, and the winsome old man that manages to set everything right at the end. Ironically, he shot the slingshot that started it all. Clever.
Critiquing Wodehouse's novels on an individual basis seems pointless since he rarely differed in quality from one book to the next. You either like his writing or you don't. I happen to adore his playful tone and bottomless reserve of wit. He makes writing look effortless and fun.
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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 30 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...
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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