Idea Smith's Reviews > Life at Blandings

Life at Blandings by P.G. Wodehouse
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Apr 19, 10

Read in April, 2010

At first glance, an omnibus of Blandings castle stories seems delightful. The only flaw is that reading them back to back brings up a sense of repetitiveness, even though the characters are different. The same lovestruck young men, headstrong young women, iron-willed aunts, imposters, secretaries, theft plots and the pig Empress. Each of these elements is a delightful characteristic of Wodehousian plots but perhaps it's better to take them in smaller doses to fully appreciate them.

The series begins with Something Fresh and sets the tone of tangled hearts with Wodehousian newcomers Ashe Marson (he of Larsen exercises) and Joan Valentine. The second book, Summer Lightening continues the tone, this time flowering into the tangled hearts of Ronald Fish, Sue Brown (chorus girl, daughter of Dolly Henderson who made Gally Threepwood's heart beat), Millicent and Hugo Carmody. The third book, Heavy Weather, does rather lay it on thick as its name suggests, this time revolving around the dubious memoirs of Gally Threepwood and a good old-fashioned pig-theft plot thrown in (for what would a Blandings book be without a quest to nobble Empress of Blandings?).

My favorite of the three is Summer Lightening since it blossoms where Something Fresh only hints at and what Heavy Weather withers away. Read with breaks in between books.
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