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Life at Blandings

(Blandings Castle #1 & 4)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  3,090 ratings  ·  72 reviews
P.G. Wodehouse entices us into the demesne of Blandings Castle - an apparent paradise where it is eternal high summer, with jolly parties, tea on the lawn and love trysts in the rose garden. But for Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth, there is always something to disturb this tranquil scene.

This omnibus contains Something Fresh, Summer Lightning and three short stories (The
Paperback, 608 pages
Published January 5th 1988 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1981)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  3,090 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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I've had a busy week, and that's just the time to read some Wodehouse. As far as the Blandings Castle books are concerned, one can luxuriate in his rich wit and sunlit prose, his seamless transitions between narrators and points of view, and his engaging plots that are a pleasure to follow but nevertheless don't require 'keeping up' with, for nothing bad really ever happens in them—think Shakespearean comedies, but the texture of candy floss.

The World of Blandings begins at the beginning with S
When I was about 9 or 10 years the local pizzeria. Well it was Hamilton, New Zealand circa 1990, it was a Pizza Hut. A place where the mozzarella could stretch a metre, pineapple was on everything and the bases tasted as if they were deep fried. But more importantly this Pizza Hut Restaurant (are there still Pizza Hut Restaurants?) had an all you can eat desert buffet. Imagine the scene a little girl wearing a home made knitted sweater, pressed jeans, freckles and short curly hair (Mum liked it ...more
Ramya (Idea Smith)
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
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 beg
This omnibus contains Something Fresh, Summer Lighting and Heavy Weather. Reviews for each book are under the individual book title.
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, british
Life at Blandings is a compilation of 3 separate books by P. G. Wodehouse devoted to the family of Lord Emsworth of Blandings Castle.

Something Fresh is the first book in the omnibus. In this story Lord Emsworth's son Freddie is engaged to an American millionaire's daughter (as was much the style in the early/mid 20th century for British second sons). Emsworth's absentmindedness causes a stir in these plans when he accidentally steals his son's soon-to-be-father-in-law's prize collectible scarab.
Widad Oteh
First of all, I'll say this volume is very strangely arranged. Why include the first of the Blandings series, and then proceed with a few short stories from the third, along with the fourth book? I wouldn't have bought it if I'd known it was like that, but then, I seldom think when it comes to books, and I didn't even bother looking it up.

This is my first Wodehouse book, and it had me in fits. Being the sort of person who is easily brought to emotional arousal, and is hyperactive at that, it is
Dinah Küng
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am an enormous fan of the Jeeves and Wooster books, so was a little discomfited to find that the tone of this book, earlier Wodehouse, is more "authorial," and less given to the mixed metaphors and cracked similes that make Bertie's "voice" so entrancing for a reader.
However, with Wodehouse stepping back a little from his characters' absurd dilemmas, we also get a wider frame for a brilliant evocation of his times, starting with 1915. Reread, if you want to see where Downton Abbey has got it
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is what I read instead of fairytales. 'Something Fresh' was published in 1915, 'Summer Lightning' in 1929 and 'Heavy Weather' in 1933. Almost one hundred years later eternal summer still reigns at Blandings Castle. This grand country house is peopled by a familiar cast with a spot of bother or other - which neatly resolves itself at the end of the novel. The reader is wrapped in a glorious glow of nostalgia, safe in the knowledge that the author will deliver the more likeable characters to ...more
Madeeha Maqbool
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My very first encounter with Wodehouse. Before the humour struck, I was starstruck by the way he captures the spirit of London at the turn of the century. After a few pages, however, there were other reasons to remain faithful to one who has turned into one of my favourite authors. I am sure other fans will agree.
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: brit-lit
It is no secret that I love Wodehouse. His language alone is utterly charming and idiosyncratic. Shockingly enough, I had never read any of his Blandings books before, and these three came in one volume.
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english, comedy
Here's a quote:

Mac had many admirable qualities but not tact. He was the sort of man who would have tried to cheer Napoleon up by talking about the Winter Sports at Moscow.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One is supposed to expect to tap on one self’s own shoulder approvingly when one finishes a 800 plus pages book.
Not the case here – you go through these three-books-in-one and it feels like you have just licked the desert plate clean.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Marvellous! I am actually very fond of the 9th Earl of Emsworth. Enjoyed this immensely.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bliss
Reading Wodehouse is pure bliss. His writing style seems simple but it is not. Wodehouse is a genius and he painstakingly creates humor out of ordinary everyday situations. It is not slap stick, satire or comic. It is pure unadulterated humor. Reading Wodehouse is the best stress buster and anti-depressant. He doesn’t claim to very highly literary writing prowess. In his own words “I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring r ...more
Mike Clarke
The World of Blandings. Ahhhh (adopts Stephen Fry mode, warm soothing voice that will not be gainsaid). A world where nothing bad happens, or if it does it's almost always solved before the dinner gong. There's even a description of how to bang a dinner gong, as Marc Bolan never sang. It's lovely stuff and with a greater depth and richness of character than the recent rather two dimensional TV adaptation. In Something Fresh, we have two impecunious but bright young things getting together to put ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of British humour and exquisite language. Anyone who needs a pick-me-up book
Shelves: loved, humour
My first time reading Wodehouse in his original language. And boy, what a treat! His characterisations are superbly-written and humorous and his description of the simplest things or occurrences carry the signature of a great word-master. Not to mention that oh-so-British upper-class language and affectation, so nicely depicted and gently (or maybe not so gently) mocked.

Moreover, his stories are upbeat and uplifting, making for a great read during a gloomy autumn/winter month when nothing seems
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wodehouse is one of my favourite authors, someone you just keeping going back to for comfort (the real equivalent of comfort food!) and a few light-hearted moments. All hos books are wonderful, some more than the others, of course, but what strikes one is his total mastery of the English language. He sort of twists and turns the phrase but always falls back on his feet, coming out with some incredible and never-thought-of constructions. What I say here is valid for almost all his books. He portr ...more
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
This omnibus contains the first three Blandings novels, being Something Fresh, Summer Lightning and Heavy Weather. In many ways the Blandings novels have the same formula as the Jeeves and Wooster books; it is a winning formula as far as I'm concerned and again I would recommend a reading of them. Did I mention, they're also very entertaining and contain a portrait of a life in England that has all but vanished. ...more
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Technically, I only read the first two of the three short novels in this collection, "Something Fresh" and "Summer Lightning." I enjoyed the first one and dearly loved the second. The characters are a bit more cemented; plus, you have the Hon. Galahad, the bounder. I decided to save "Heavy Weather" for another time. I toyed with typing "rainy day," but it's trite, isn't it? ...more
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was the first P.G. Wodehouse book i read and immediately fell in love with his writing...reading this book was like entering into 19th century england aristocracy and laugh as they try to maintain a sense of propriety while scheming against one another! And Galahad seems to be on our side, an observer who loves to laugh at others and himself...
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading PG Wodehouse is a silken, honeyed unalloyed pleasure. Haven't reread the Blanding stories as often as the Jeeves & Wooster but gave it a go when I heard about the telly adaptation pending. They'll never capture the perfect comedic tone & prose of the omniscient narrator, I thought. And they didn't, sadly. Wonderful stories for a cold Winter's day! ...more
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This omnibus edition contains three complete P.G. Wodehouse novels: Something Fresh, Summer Lightning, and Heavy Weather, all of which take place at "Blandings," a quintessential English country estate. No Jeeves or Wooster, but similar characters abound. Worth reading, and very enjoyable for any Wodehouse fan. ...more
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I like the Blandings series for its characters - it used to take away all stress and leave me in helpless laughter, lost in a world he created for his readers.

It hardly matters if it in fact does exist, or if one can find it - I prefer to belive it is right there and it is enough one can find it in the Wodehouse writings.
Jayesh Desai
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The usual brilliance of P G Wodehouse - the Blandings menagerie ranks amongst the best creations of Wodehouse - ahead of Wooster but maybe just behind Ickenham and Psmith. The only way this compilation could have been improved would have been by including the Ickenham and the Psmith combos with Blandings
Dec 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone clever!
My sense of humor--witty like Coward, and a thoroughly enjoyable escapist guilty pleasure. (This is the "War & Peace" of Wodehouse novels in that it is about 1000 pages.) I'm on the very last story/novel and thoroughly enjoying it! ...more
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had a Penguin paperback edition of these three...loaned it to someone and never got it back, I guess. Such fun. Apparently there are at least three OTHER Blandings castle books--including "Leave It To Psmith", which I'd forgotten, but which is one of my favorites. ...more
Trudy Ackerblade
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love a good English farce and P.G. Wodehouse produces the best English farces. This edition is a complilation of three novels. I read it straight through. Though, I recommend taking a break between novels. I throughly enjoyed this book.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Although it's hard to really choose, I think this may be my favorite P.G. Wodehouse. The characters at Blandings are among the best he ever created, and it has all of the delightly light, amusing, brilliant, and bizarre Wodehousian amusements that one would expect. ...more
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
THIS is the book you start with. All readers who love Wodehouse or those who are thinking about starting, should start with this one. THREE books in one and all are about LIFE AT BLANDINGS. These cast of characters are his best. I’ve read about 20 Wodehouse books
Eirwen Powditch-remick
Love to pick up Wodehouse on blue days. This book is a favourite. Best line is near the end. Hugo to butler after being told his lady is unable to come to the phone. 'She is on the soup course Sir.' 'I don't care if she's bathing in it fetch her you scurvy knave' ...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

Other books in the series

Blandings Castle (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Something Fresh (Blandings Castle, #1)
  • Leave It to Psmith (Psmith, #4)
  • Blandings Castle
  • Summer Lightning (Blandings Castle, #4)
  • 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)

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