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The Luck of the Bodkins
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The Luck of the Bodkins (The Drones Club)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  963 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Fans of P. G. Wodehouse's comic genius are legion, and their devotion to his masterful command of hilarity borders on obsession. Overlook happily feeds the obsession with four more antic selections from the master.

Blandings Castle is a collection of tales concerning Lord Emsworth and the Threepwood clan, while Jeeves in the Offing finds Bertie Wooster in yet another scrap
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Hardcover, Everyman Wodehouse, 358 pages
Published September 12th 2002 by Everyman (first published January 1st 1935)
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Ian Wood
Dec 24, 2007 Ian Wood rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Margaret
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
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Lloyd
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
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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
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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
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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.
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.
Franc
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
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Vamsee
Wodehouse at his absolute best...the man never fails to brighton up ur mood, using simple situation and amazing language to represent everyday characters.
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
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Caron Allan
What can I say - wonderful stuff as always from P G Wodehouse. Full of rich and hilarious language, silly situations and a fine cast of odd-ball characters. Also, very usefully, a short discourse on the correct way to pat a girl on the head, and what to expect if arriving by ship in New York. My favourite phrases: 'snail-like eyes', 'Mabel jerked an impatient chin', 'A large mop came in, followed by Albert Peasmarch'. But probably the best speech in the whole book: "I love you like the dickens." ...more
Harker US Library
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
Chris
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, there ...more
Dan
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
Sean Brennan
By no means his best, but has it's moments especially in the character of Archie Penddleton the first class steward from Hell!
R.
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
Jinny Chung
"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
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Padmaja
One of Wodehouse's funniest...
Alasdair Peterson
Great stuff. Typical Wodehouse magic, this time half way across the Atlantic.
Sharen
Witty and amusing as one would expect!
Denise
Delightful! I read this after reading a recommendation in last week's Week in Review from Barnes and Noble. So glad I did. Amazing that something written in 1935 retains all its humor. His use of language is amazing. His descriptions allowed me to see his characters and setting as plain as day. And his dialogue is spot on.
Jessica
Wodehouse's reminds me of Pratchett's. The turn of phrase to describe the events in this comedy of errors adds much to the humor. The cast had such great names too: Reginald, Ambrose, Llewelyn, Lottie, Gertrude... You really don't know for sure if the characters will get what they want in the end either.
Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Who knew the fate of so many could rest on the shoulders of a plush Mickey Mouse? I listened to the audiobook, and I could perfectly envision each character as if they were moving around on a stage. And the book does have the quality of a stage play -- very dialogue-centric. A brilliant farce.
Dan Schwent
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.
Sagnick
one of the best comedy plots I've read. the humor is subtle at times and sometimes more obvious but it makes you laugh in either case. some parts are more hilarious than others. the scenarios are somehow believable and not too OTT. a fun read..
Melanie
I like books about sea voyages. I don't know why. And I like Wodehouse, because he's funny. Everything goes wrong in the Wodehouse world, but by the end of the book, everything is right again. It's a comforting, if unrealistic, worldview.
Brian
Not out of the top drawer of PGW but maybe the next one down. Amiable young drone Monty Bodkin sets sail on the SS Atlantic and his love life becomes bewilderingly complicated until ship steward Albert Peasemarsh comes to the rescue.
Havva
Your normal comedy of errors, something that normally starts to annoy me halfway through because we all know that the boy gets the girl at the end so why are we all still here.

But,

Oh, the dialog!

Oh, the alligator!
Tom
I quite enjoyed this but did put it down and came back to it a few times. There are some excellent pieces but it does seem a tad overlong, still there's no faulting the writing and plenty of laugh out loud moments.
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7963
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

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)
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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“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.” 49 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
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