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Love Among the Chickens

(Ukridge #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,025 ratings  ·  384 reviews
Written when he was 25, Love Among the Chickens launched P.G. Wodehouse's career as a novelist and introduced the world to Ukridge, one of his most extraordinary inventions. Robert McCrum's introduction shows how this fascinating early book holds within it so many of the themes which Wodehouse was to make his own. This edition uses Wodehouse's 1920 revised edition of the ...more
Paperback, 153 pages
Published 2002 by Penguin (first published June 1906)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Marty Reeder
Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
With each book of Wodehouse's that I finish, it is always with a little bit of regret. Even though P.G. Wodehouse is attributed to over a hundred published works, I've still got quite a bit of my life ahead of me, and it will be a sad day indeed when I've run out of fresh Wodehouse books to read. Oh well, at the very least I can start rereading, and hopefully by then my memory will be going bad, so each reread will feel just like new again.

Anyway, Love Among the Chickens is Wodehouse in true
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Stanley Ukridge is no Jeeves,
His eccentricities make others grieve.
Garnet unlike Corky,
Is dull and dorky.
Phyllis is the one he loves,
Woos her like a lonesome dove.
Creditors swarm the farms,
Rummaging chickens with their arms.
Amongst a mass of satiric bliss,
It is acceptable to give this a miss.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
“We are most of us wise after the event. When the wind has blown, we can generally discover a multitude of straws which should have shown us which way it was blowing.”

Pearl of wisdom or gem of witticism? Probably both. You can always find memorable lines like this in any Wodehouse book, which is why reading his books is always worthwhile. There are numerous Wodehouse books available in the public domain, to read or download for free online. Unfortunately not all his books are in the public
Such a funny story! I really enjoyed the slapstick-style Ukridge and the well-meaning Garnet. They get into all sorts of scrapes and land on their feet time and time again. But of course that won’t always happen. When Ukridge deeply offends the father of the girl Garnet has fallen in love with, Garnet has his work cut out for him. Things at the chicken farm are going to have to go much differently if Garnet hopes to win the fair lady!

Despite too many instances of stupid, I still laughed through
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite deliciously absurd with a sprinkling of genius dialogue and description. The story gets a bit bogged at times (oddly enough, I blame the chickens) but remains thoroughly enjoyable as the poor young hero does everything he can to win his lady love.
Well worth the read.
Evan Leach
Love Among the Chickens represented Wodehouse’s first foray into adult fiction. Prior to Chickens, Wodehouse had focused on children’s or young adult literature, mostly “school stories” set in English boarding schools. These were often humorous, but one couldn’t help but feel like Wodehouse was holding back a bit by fitting his tales to the tastes of younger readers. Happily, that is not an issue with the present novel.


In Chickens, a bored novelist (Jeremy Garnet) accepts an offer from his
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: amusing, fraudio
P.G.Wodehouse - Love Among the Chickens - Complete and unabridged Read by Jonathan Cecil

Jonathan Cecil is my favourite reader for P. G. Wodehouse, mainly for his rich rounded vowels, but also because he reads them unabridged, and Wodehouse is an author who rarely wrote an unnecessary word. Love Among the Chickens opens in London, but most of the action takes place in Dorset, which the irrepressible scrounger Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge and his jolly new wife Molly have identified as an
Hákon Gunnarsson
I’ve said it before, and I expect to say it again, when I feel down Wodehouse is my go-to guy. Love among the Chickens is his first novel to feature Ukridge, who is not the most reliable character when it comes to business. I think that is the politest way to describe him. The storyteller is a not too successful novelist, who Ukridge manages to involve in his latest get rich fast scheme, building up a chicken farm where in Ukridge’s mind the eggs will turn to gold.

It is Wodehouse sixth novel, so
May 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature, humour
I didn't enjoy this one nearly as much as the other Wodehouse novels I've read recently.

The main character is a bit dull and was not really enough of him to justify the story. The story was a little too hard to believe - I know, I know, all of the stories are hard to believe, but this one wasn't so much involved in that magical world Wodehouse normally creates and so when it went 'over the top' it left me on the other side.

There is an interesting remark made by one of the female characters that
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'd call this classic Wodehouse, if not quite up to his best; and then I realize it's his first novel, written at age 25. Astonishing that he had his characteristic silliness of plot and perfection of tone right from the start. Who else could write such a brilliant three-page description of a man trying and failing to maintain his dignity while trying and failing to catch an errant hen?
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
A writer, his mooching friend and his friend's new wife start a chicken farm. None of them knows anything about chickens, and hilarity ensues.

The best thing about this book is Wodehouse's wordplay in the scenes with the animals, whether it's Bob the dog or that most sardonic of hens, Aunt Elizabeth. No one does it better.

When I looked up my favorite scene (I had listened to this on a road trip) on my kindle, I discovered that the one on my kindle was the original version from 1906. The audio
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kept thinking of Garnet as "the hapless narrator" but then it occurred to me: he really isn't. The things that are happening to him are happening because he's allowing them to. He must know that having the father of the girl he loves nearly drowned so he can rescue the poor man can't end well. He can plainly see that Ukridge is making a mess of things, yet he merely shrugs it off. He's an odd figure, likable enough, yet not entirely sympathetic. Still and all, the book was fun and funny, as ...more
Asha Seth
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Spectacular is not the word for what this novella of a book does to you.
Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge is a scheming character, who is always looking to enlarge his income. But when he gatecrashes in on Jerry Garnet's peaceful morning with a heart to start a chicken farm in Combe Regis, little does Garnet know that his life is going to be changed forever.
This is the first Wodehouse book I've read which also happens to be, probably, one of his first novels he wrote when he was 25. Full of
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor
“Love Among the Chickens” is the first adult oriented Wodehouse story, and introduces Stanley Featherstonehaugh (changed from the original edition spelling: Featherstonhaugh) Ukridge. This is the updated edition of the Wodehouse classic, published originally in May of 1921. This is the better of the editions, as there was a considerable rewrite, tightening up the story, making it more humorous and improving what was already an enjoyable romp. This is the version to read, unless you have a desire ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Garnet decides to go along with his old school friend Ukridge's plan to run a chicken farm and a series of tumultuous events occur...
Neeraja S
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jeremy Garnet is a budding novelist living his modest, literary life in the city. His rambunctious friend Ukridge pays him an unexpected visit with his newly married wife and announces his intention to start a chicken-farm in the country to make a living. Does he know the first thing about chickens? Not much, but Ukridge believes in his hypothesis that eggs are fundamental to every-one's existence, and that if the chickens were given the space to run around and roost and peck a few grains, they ...more
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
One day I'm with my fiancé when he suddenly turns to me and asks, "What would you think if we were to raise chickens some day?" I think he was a little surprised by my response when I burst out laughing because I happened to be reading this book then, and his timing was quite perfect. Having enjoyed watching the TV show Jeeves and Wooster for several years now, I was excited to read this other work from its author, P.G. Wodehouse. In fact, shortly before beginning this book I had been watching ...more
Oct 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1982-to-1989, humour
I will use this "review" for all the P. G. Wodehouse I have read. I read them all so long ago and enjoyed them so much that I have given them all 5 stars. As I re-read them I will adjust the stars accordingly, if necessary, and add a proper review.
When I first discovered P. G. Wodehouse I devoured every book I could find in the local library, throughout the eighties and early nineties. Alas, this means that I have read most of them and stumbling across one I have not read is a rare thing. I'm
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2013-list
Wodehouse, like Chesterton, is mostly in the public domain, so when I found out that one of my favorite current authors, Daniel McInerny, was inspired by Wodehouse, I may or may not have downloaded everything I could find for my Kindle. I picked Love Among the Chickens to read first because, well, I have chickens. It was a delightful read–and I was glad to have read it on my Kindle because I actually looked up some of the words I didn’t recognize. I’ll be reading more Wodehouse, for sure!
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I laughed a lot! This may be my favorite P.G.Wodehouse book yet!
Nov 28, 2015 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.
Renee M
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ukridge is a modern day Micawber with loads of get-rich-quick schemes. Garnet is the lovestruck narrator who chronicles the doings on the farm and tries to win the girl in spite of several mishaps and misguided plans. Many chickens were harmed in its telling, but this was genuinely funny. :D
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wodehouse’s first novel apart from school stories. His plots would become tighter, but his mastery of comic language and scenes is already here.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I SO needed this book in my life right now. It is just light, engaging, and eminently chuckleable. Written in 1906, it is one of Wodehouse's earliest, so it is rather charming and unpolished. Supposedly it was revised in the 20s, but I think the Librivox recording I listened to was the original. It did drag in parts,bogged down a bit by the windy narrator, and at points the character Ukridge was so irritating I couldn't imagine why Wodehouse apparently wrote more books about him! But all in all, ...more
Ailsa Jo.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
One of Wodehouse's early works. The first two thirds of the story is quite uneventful, but the tension gradually builds up, and reaches its climax when Garnet has once again upset the professor by being betrayed by the boatman Hawk. On the other hand, the chaos of the chicken farm finally draws to an end when Ukridge was "There and back again".
That scene in the shallow is hilarious, with Ukridge spinning his arms like a purple seal, and the professor floating upwards and downwards like a
Ailsa. Z
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of Wodehouse's early works. The first two thirds of the story is quite uneventful, but the tension gradually builds up, and reaches its climax when Garnet has once again upset the professor by being betrayed by the boatman Hawk. On the other hand, the chaos of the chicken farm finally draws to an end when Ukridge was "There and back again".
That scene in the shallow is hilarious, with Ukridge spinning his arms like a purple seal, and the professor floating upwards and downwards like a
Dec 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
This took me an embarrassing amount of time to finish, mainly because A) it was on my Kindle and B) It wasn't very good. It's early Wodehouse, and aside from the hilarious title, it was pretty blah. But here're some highlights so you don't need to read it or even think about reading it:

"Ukridge was the sort of man who asks you out to dinner, borrows the money from you to pay the bill, and winds up the evening by embroiling you in a fight with a cabman."

"'My dear old son, he didn't mind being
Apr 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I didn't mean for this to be my first Wodehouse, but it's what the library had and I needed a book.
Entertaining, with some genuinely funny moments. The characters were unrealistic and uncreative, but the story was funny. It actually reminded me of Northanger Abbey, how Austen is making fun of romance novelists in it. Wodehouse does the same thing here, disparaging the predictability of love stories while playing one out for you. It was intentional, of course, but drawing the reader's attention
Hilary G
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I can't believe I am giving a PG Wodehouse book only 2 stars, but I am. I have read all the Jeeves and Wooster books, and some others (Lord Emsworth etc) but this was my first encounter with Ukridge. Based on this book, I don't mind whether I ever encounter him again as I found him obnoxious rather than funny.

I think this might have been the very first Ukridge story, so perhaps the later stories are an improvement. Perhaps I would have liked the book more if I had read it instead of listening to
Lets be fair- any time I read Wodehouse and it isn't a Jeeves story, I miss the regular caste. All the upper class in portrayed in a very Bertie Wooster fashion, but I love my favorites. Still, this was an excellent Wodehouse work. It had all of his usual hilarity and enthusiasm. I even started laughing aloud several times. I'd recommend this as a good departure from the Jeeves collection, even if it is still in the same vein.


I’m a huge Wodehouse fan. This is a newly discovered author
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "Love Among the Chickens" by P.G. Wodehouse 1 1 Nov 26, 2013 06:22PM  

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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Ukridge (7 books)
  • Ukridge
  • 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)
“If there is one thing I dislike, it is the man who tries to air his grievances when I wish to air mine.” 347 likes
“I am not always good and noble. I am the hero of this story, but I have my off moments.” 228 likes
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