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Summer Lightning

(Blandings Castle #4)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  4,587 ratings  ·  381 reviews
The Honourable Galahad Threepwood has decided to write his memoir—a tell-all that could destroy polite society. Everyone wants this manuscript gone, particularly Lord Emsworth’s neighbor Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, who would do anything to keep the story of the prawns buried in the past. But the memoir isn’t the only problem. A chorus girl disguised as an heiress, a doubl ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Arrow (first published July 1st 1929)
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Otto Cornejo Don't know if you are still looking for an answer - but, you'll want to start at Something Fresh - and then you can move along to the others, such as …moreDon't know if you are still looking for an answer - but, you'll want to start at Something Fresh - and then you can move along to the others, such as Leave it to Psmith, the short stories, and then Summer Lightning and Heavy Weather. I started with the Penguin "Life At Blandings", which included the big three, in order - Something Fresh, Summer Lightning and Heavy Weather. What a way to the confines of Blandings! (less)
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Start your review of Summer Lightning (Blandings Castle, #4)
Much Ado About Nothing & The Comedy of Errors á lá the inimitable P.G. Wodehouse with thwarted lovers, missing pigs, scandal-manuscripts-to-be-stolen, set in the lovely Blandings Castle as the background and all this in hysterically funny and captivating Wodehouse-prose. ...more
goodreads tells me i've now read seventeen wodehouse books, with sixteen of those being novels and short stories -- the other is a wonderful collection i can only highly recommend, called Wodehouse On Wodehouse that is part memoir of his time writing for musical theatre, and partly selected letters, and also part sort-of autobiography. so it should be obvious that i love a good wodehouse novel. but i'm coming to terms that i have certain favourites and that wodehouse has a cast of archetypes for ...more
Paul Secor
I know that Wodehouse had a short and unsuccessful career in Hollywood but, while reading this novel, I found myself wondering what influence Wodehouse's books and characters might have had on the screenwriters of some of the 1930's screwball comedies. ...more
Greg Brozeit
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wodehouse
I needed a diversion for a couple of days from the national tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes and figured some Wodehouse would help.

Sir Galahad Threepwood is writing his Reminiscences, much to the horror of his sister, Lady Constance Keeble. As she tells her “strangely sinister” sycophant Rupert Baxter, the former hated private secretary to her pig obsessed brother Clarence, Lord Emsworth, she must get her hands on Gally’s manuscript because it “is full from beginning to end of libelous
Vimal Thiagarajan
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm only as reliable as Lord Emsworth when it comes to judging which among Wodehouses's numbers is his best, but I believe this one is right up there among his finest. As if Lord Emsworth, Hon Galahad and the efficient Baxter weren't enough material, there were atleast a dozen other weapons of mass amusement that were thrown in for good measure, on the whole building up enough ammunition to take eons of pent up stress to the cleaners. ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wodehouse
For less than the price of a cup of English tea:

Each book that PG writes, proffers hours and hours of delightful entertainment.

This accomplished and sophisticated writer always delivers.

Highbrow, erudite comedic writing is difficult to summit even once.

And yet, Mr. Wodehouse is a singular Sherpa in this vocation.

A tip of my ‘bowler’ to you, again, sir.
Gary Sundell
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Wodehouse. How did I not read him sooner? What wonderful fun. I now need to find the rest of The Blandings Castle series.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
A joy to read and chortle along. The hapless jealous Ronnie in love with the delightful Sue Brown, the chorus girl with the heart of gold. Galahad Threepwood with his explosive reminiscences threatening Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe career in politics. Clarence with the love of his life the Empress. Throw in Pilbeam a detective with no scruples and Carmody and Millicent.

Combined we have a farce with hilarity. Beach the butler trying to do the right thing. Efficient Baxter not being efficient. The
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even more like A Midsummer Night's Dream fortified with extra McGuffins than all the other Wodehouses I've read so far. Would not be surprised if that was the intention here.

It seems my enjoyment of the Blandings stories is partly dependent on the characters of the [usually young] people staying at the house and causing havoc. Something Fresh remains my favourite of the novels so far because I liked Ashe and Joan so much - nor was anyone else notably objectionable. Ronald Overbury Fish, however,
Although I can see why I don’t usually partake of a steady diet of any genre much less author, there is something to be said for immersing oneself in a ‘serious study’ of comedy. For one thing it recognizes comedy as art and as such not to be viewed lightly, however much it entertains. For another, constant exposure to the medium has the effect of reducing one’s susceptibility to the comic influence through immunity thus allowing for greater objectivity in viewing what has facilitated our mirth. ...more
Dan Schwent
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wodehouse
Summer Lightning is one of Wodehouse's Blandings Castle series, a series which is slowly replacing Jeeves & Wooster in my affections.

Most of the stories in the Blandings Castle series use the same plot devices: a broken engagement (or two), an imposter (or two), and the kidnapping of Lord Emsworth's pig, the Empress of Blandings. Summer Lightning is no different. Wodehouse gets a lot of mileage out of the old formula but it never fails.

Hugo Carmody and Ronnie Fish both end up on the outs with th
Scot Ryder
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Blandings Castle books are often overshadowed by the more popular Jeeves and Wooster series, but deserve a visit in their own right. As is true of most Wodehouse, the zaniest of machinations fail, then succeed, true love wins in the end, and the aristocracy bumble their way through life saved only by the wisdom from the service class. Very enjoyable characters and strong writing throughout. Very, very funny.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." (191)
The essence of Wodehouse as described by the man himself.
2016 reread:
2.5 stars for this audiobook edition (review below); 4 stars for the book itself.

I was disappointed that I couldn't find a Jonathan Cecil narration of this second book in the Blandings series (GR includes the Psmith books in the Blandings series but I prefer the Fantastic Fiction" organization of Wodehouse's books). John Wells was truly terrible in his choice of voices for these characters, making Lord Emsworth sound like a petulant teenaged girl, his niece Millicent talk with a lisp
3.5 stars
Would have been 5 stars in my adolescence, perhaps age has jaded me.
Earlier, I used to laugh out loud at all Wodehouse books , irrespective of time or place . This time round , I found him humorous , but my mirth didn't escape out .
The background of this story is my favourite Blandings Castle , Lord Emsworth , his chirpy brother Galahad and one of his many scary sisters, Constance Keeble.
Then come the love birds sundered apart and jumbled up - Ronnie, Hugo, Milfred and Susan .

Of cours
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, humor
2019 reread via Kindle library book: 4.5*
I can't decide which parts of this Blandings Castle book I like best - is it the humiliation of the Efficient Baxter, returned to Blandings at the request of Lady Constance, or is it the ups and downs of the 2 romances, Hugh Carmody & Millicent and Ronnie Fish & Sue Brown, or the wonderful scene in which Clarence and Galahad confront Sir Godfrey Parsloe-Parsloe about the theft of that prize-winning pig the Empress? It doesn't matter - it is all delicious
Emma Rose Ribbons
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cosy
Absolutely wonderful. It's my first Wodehouse novel since I finished the Jeeves books and it didn't disappoint, it's just as hilarious and lovely. I very much enjoyed the language in this, as well as the characters (going so far as growing very fond of a pig). Great stuff, I'm so happy I finally stepped into Blandings! ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I had a jolly good time reading about the mishaps of the Blandings Castle crowd. Such joy in the use of language and such spirited comedy of errors feels to me very fresh today and has picked up my mood considerably. I will make sure to check out more of Wodehouse writings in the future.
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Perfect book for lazy Sundays, warm afternoon and, lots and lots of tea.

Light, funny, tongue in cheek, witty and absolutely hilarious.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe it was the New Critic, F. R. Peavis, who said Wodehouse’s swinish prose reflected a lack of moral seriousness.
Feb 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the preface to this book the author writes,
A certain critic... made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.' He has probably now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have outgeneralled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A humorous, entertaining, delightful read about Galahad Threepwood’s threatened reveal all memoirs, a stolen pig and two love trysts. Lord Emsworth is his doddery self and the ex secretary, nosey parker Baxter provides some slapstick comic relief.

P.G. Wodehouse fans will enjoy this book.

Here are some amusing quotes from the novel:
‘She looked like something that might have occurred to Ibsen in one of his less frivolous moments.’
‘When you have been just told that the girl you love is definitely be
Ram Kaushik
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
It is simply blasphemy to criticize the master of the comic farce at his best.

Stolen pigs? Check.
A horde of imposters at Blandings Castle? Check.
The hapless Rupert Baxter thwarted at every turn? Check.
Beach at his pig-stealing best? Check.
Crossed lovers going through torment? Check.
The redoubtable Galahad to smooth things over. Check.
All's well that ends well? Indubitably.

Sheer reading ecstasy.
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
Until last month I had never read any Wodehouse books but certainly knew about the Wooster and Jeeves characters. This month I was introduced to his Blandings Castle series through Summer Lightning, which is just as funny and madcap as the more famous books.

The book is full of inventive, well-timed and silly dialogue. The characters are not distinct or unique, but the expected nature of the events that befall them is a perfect formula for entertainment and laughter. We have engagements and break
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Nevertheless, it seemed to me that they, like you, lacked vision, This pig, you see, is a prize pig. Don't picture to yourself something with a kink in its tail sporting idly in the mud. Imagine, rather, a favourite daughter kidnapped from her ancestral home. This is heavy stuff, I assure you. Restore the animal in time for the Agricultural Show and you may ask of Lord Emsworth what you will, even unto half his kingdom." ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
It was going to be a three-star, but after those last few chapters, with Lord Emsworth brandishing a gun, Baxter under the bed and people generally sprinting in all directions through the halls of Blandings, I had to tack on the fourth. :)
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
I just can't get enough of Wodehouse's books! He really is the funniest writer ever and the Blandings series sees him at his very best! ...more
Eddie Watkins
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-fiction
If you've forgotten (or sadly have never known) what it's like to read something smartly light and funny and delightful give this little piggie a go. ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Re-read as audio book.
Wodehousian sprightly dialogue and wordplay with standard characters and situations and very little in the way of plot. Delightful, but nothing here to make it stand out of the pack.
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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
  • 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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