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Something New (Blandings Castle #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  5,638 Ratings  ·  463 Reviews
Ashe was reading listlessly down the column when, from the mass of advertisements, one of an unusual sort detached itself.WANTED: Young Man of good appearance, who is poor and reckless, to undertake a delicate and dangerous enterprise. Good pay for the right man. Apply between the hours of ten and twelve at offices of Mainprice, Mainprice & Boole, 3 Denvers Street, Str ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published January 20th 2006 by Echo Library (first published 1915)
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Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mainstream
“Ashe's first impression of Beach, the butler, was one of tension. Other people, confronted for the first time with Beach, had felt the same. He had that strained air of being on the very point of bursting that one sees in bullfrogs and toy balloons. Nervous and imaginative men, meeting Beach, braced themselves involuntarily, stiffening their muscles for the explosion. Those who had the pleasure of more intimate acquaintance with him soon passed this stage, just as people whose homes are on the ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, english
(3.5 stars) A light, amusing snack between meatier meals, this is the first installment in Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle series and every bit as silly, witty and delightfully early 20th century (published in 1915) as the other books I’ve read by him (though I think I prefer Jeeves & Wooster).

The characters who people the Blandings series are the dotty Lord Emsworth, his no-good but basically harmless son, Freddie, an officious secretary, Baxter, and Beach the butler. However, the two main cha
Jul 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic-lit, humor
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
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something Fresh, first instalment of the Blandings series, is a brilliant comedy. Once again, Wodehouse succeeds in juggling with several convoluted plot threads to great entertainment. It is truly amazing how he doesn't get entangled!! 

Lord Emsworth, the forgetful and kleptomaniac earl of Blandings Castle, has appropriated himself of the prized possession of a wealthy American collector, who happens to be the father of his youngest son's fiancee. One can only imagine the ire of the hypochondria
4.5 Ashe and Joan Stars!!

Ashe and Joan, because they were my favorite characters in this book. This is my first PG Wodehouse book and it was so much better than I expected it to be!!

This book is about a gathering in Blanding Castle where three people are after a scarab for their own purposes. The owner of the scarab is a very absent minded person and does not really care about the scarab so it is only those three people who will be at loss if the scarab is stolen by a forth unknown person. The
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
Vimal Thiagarajan
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book that marked the transformation of Wodehouse from a good writer to a phenomenon.Its an amazing experience to see him effortlessly driving into every turn in the language and painting every shade of humour that can ever occur to the human mind.
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

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
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
Sep 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous
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
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

(Of course.)

Though I miss the zing of Wooster's slangy dialogue, there was an abundance of the sort of wacky mayhem for which Wodehouse is known and loved. A betrothal, a house party, a stolen artifact, and several attempts to break up young lovers and restore the artifact all add to the fun.
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Fun and witty. A different feel from the Jeeves and Wooster books though since our hero and heroine in this book are completely capable instead of like our dear Bertie who is an absolute imbecile. It's not to say that there aren't imbeciles in this book. There are plenty. They just don't have a star role.
Susan in NC
I like to start at the beginning of any series, so I was grateful my library had this, the first Blandings novel. I love Jeeves and Wooster and own several books collected over the years, so decided to expand my Wodehouse repertoire, as it were!

This was eventually fun, but got off to a slow start for me. We first meet a charming couple scraping by, separately, in a shoddy London boarding house by writing pulp fiction for the same publisher. They meet cute and through a series of mishaps, end up
Madhulika Liddle
The none-too-nimble-minded Freddie Threepwood is engaged to marry Aline Peters, daughter of an American multi-millionaire. When Freddie’s absent-minded parent, Lord Emsworth, goes to meet Mr Peters (and be shown the man’s huge collection of scarabs), our dotty old earl mistakenly pockets the gem of Mr Peters’s collection, a fine Cheops scarab of the Fourth Dynasty or some such. Lord Emsworth being what he is, he guesses Mr Peters has gifted him the scarab for the little museum at Blandings Castl ...more
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about this book (like Jeeves) is that its the first book of a long series so yeah im in for a never ending comical treat. My introduction to the world of Blandings Castle finally! Almost all the characters (except the group of maids and valets) were interesting and had a touch of eccentricity enough to tickle your funny bone. I thought there was a change of tone in writing compared to the first wodehouse book I read which was My Man, Jeeves but the writing was solid with lots of q ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review is for this audiobook edition only. For my thoughts on the book, see my Kindle edition.

I love Jonathan Cecil's narration for Wodehouse & this is no exception. One aspect I noticed is that Chapter 9 & 10 differed a fair amount from the text in my Kindle edition from Project Gutenberg -- I wonder if the Gutenberg edition was a revised 'American' edition...
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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).
[4.5] Truly delightful.
Most other people must be experiencing something like this when they read Wodehouse. My opinions of twenty-odd years ago aren't much changed, it seems: repeating myself, but I'd read part of a Jeeves book in the public library and didn't quite understand what all the fuss was about, yet a while later borrowed Service With A Smile and loved it. Just took me an inordinately long time to get round to more. So it's not that I can't quite warm to Wodehouse, it's that I can't q
Ashe Marson is a hack writer of detective fiction and bored to death with his job. He meets Joan Valentine, another hack writer who hates her job. Joan has worked as an actress, a lady's maid and any other work she can get. She encourages Ashe to find something new. Mr. Peters, a brash American businessman is about to marry his only daughter Aline to the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, younger son of Lord Emsworth of Blandings Castle. Freddie is terrified a past indiscretion will come to light and caus ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bill D.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny
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
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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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Guardian Newspape...: Feb 2017 - Something Fresh 15 19 Mar 11, 2017 01:50PM  
Goodreads Librari...: editions under a different title? 2 18 Feb 06, 2015 07:08AM  
Reading Wodehouse: June 2014 MR: Something Fresh - Discussion 13 10 Jun 12, 2014 03:02PM  
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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
  • 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)

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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.” 138 likes
“Mr Beach was too well bred to be inquisitive, but his eyebrows here not.
'Ah!' he said.
'?', cried the eyebrows. '? ? ?'
Ashe ignored the eyebrows.
Mr Beach's eyebrows were still mutely urging him to reveal all, but Ashe directed his gaze at that portion of the room which Mr Beach did not fill. He was hanged if he was going to let himself be hypnotized by a pair of eyebrows into incriminating himself.”
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