P.G. Wodehouse: Cocktail Time

Omparisons to Stilton cheese and ghostly ectoplasm Wodehouse s vocabulary and diction are both dazzling aided by the elative simplicity of the plot which allows one to sink into the story and just enjoy the writingWodehouse s second element of style is the snappy dialogue he writes for his characters It Jacques Prevert reads like a comedy sketch with short sentences and plenty of interruption as one character plays off another s words The omniscient narratoreveals what everyone is thinking contributing even further to the sense of irony that practically saturates this thin volumeI don t have much else to say about Wodehouse or Cocktail Time It was a nice novel to spend a couple of days eading and now I have a firmer idea of what Wodehouse has to offer I ll ead the next one sometime in the next few months and we ll see how the elationship goes from there I don t like to take things too fast after all Beefy certainly waited a long time and it worked out all ight for him It all started when Uncle Fred pegged Beefy Bastable with a Brazil nut Beefy a prominent barrister with political aspirations writes a scathing novel about the youth of today after Uncle Fred tells him he can t Once completed Beefy The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party realizes that a man in his position can t beesponsible for such a thing and convinces his shiftless nephew Cosmo Wisdom to take credit for it Enter Oily Carlisle and his wife who convince Cosmo that blackmail is the best course of action Cosmo writes a letter that becomes the source of all sorts of trouble Throw in the usual Wodehouse plot elements like impersonation unreuited love people short on money and Uncle Fred weaving a tapestry of lies and you have a hilarious tale on your hands It never ceases to amaze me how Wodehouse manages to weave his tales together You always know everything is going to work out in the end but getting there is never dull The one liners are fantastic and while Uncle Fred is a god among men you are left feeling glad his wife doesn t let him go out in public very often. Stseller and a film script but this is as nothing compared with the entangled fates of the couples that surround him and which only his fabled sweetness and light can unrav.

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What a delightful story Uncle Freddy How to Write Essays really is fantastic Spreading goodness and life wherever he goes My first PG Wodehouse book The back of the book which calls it a hilarious jab at the publishing industry drew me in and while it wasn t as publishing centric as I d hoped it lived up to the hilarious part I was charmed by the characters the humor and the twisting plot This book to uote the first page left me feeling as bumps a daisy as billy o I look forward toeading Wodehouse books Many people have Blue Moose recommended PG Wodehouse to me many times and now I have finallyead one of his books I had no particular eason for choosing Cocktail Time as my first Wodehouse experience I went to a used bookstore for the first time here in my new town and at the back of the shop was a small bookcase full of very new looking Wodehouse books With no idea where to begin I looked to the proprietor for some advice He was the very idea of a used bookstore proprietor older with a somewhat detached air that made it seem like he was always slightly surprised I was still around and of course he only accepted cash My plea fell on deaf ears though He ebuked me I never give ecommendations and proceeded to give a semi helpful lecture on the different strands of Wodehouse s oeuvreSo I shrugged and took Cocktail Time and Carry On Jeeves At least in the case of the former this decision proved fruitful Wodehouse might not have jumped to the top of my list of favourite humorous authors but I can definitely appreciate his sharp satire and keen enthusiasm for creating zany characters and silly situationsFred Lord Ickenham has a youth that belies his older appearance He s the kind of person who looks at a situation and then asks How can I possibly make this interesting Never content to leave things simply to develop on their own Lord Ickenham always has to stir the pot a little The plot gets going when Ickenham s influence causes his brother in law Raymond Beefy Bastable to write a novel also called Cocktail Time. Frederick Earl of Ickenham emains young at heart So it is for him the act of a moment to lean out of the Drones Club window with a catapult and ping the silk top hat off

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Beefy has a beef with today s youth because one of them knocked off his top hat with a catapulted Brazil nut The eal culprit of course is Ickenham who at the time had no idea it would turn Beefy into the secret author of a bestsellerEvents continue to spiral out of control as of Ickenham s social circle becomes involved and that s just how he likes it The action culminates in Dovetail Hammer with a tense auction for a fake walnut cabinet an incriminating letter and Ickenham s hand in matchmaking several couples It s all masterfully executed in such a way that I never felt like I need to look behind the curtain and spoil my disbelief The happy ending is almost assured by the novel s light tone but I enjoyed watching Wodehouse pull all the threads neatly into placeAnd the characters themselves are wonderfully uncomplicated there are villains and ogues and schemers and senile old men They e all types allowing Wodehouse to explore the variations within British society and particularly within the wealthy and well to do But as circumstances shift the characters have to change too Cosimo goes from wanting to eveal the eal author to wanting to keep the charade of his authorship alive after Cocktail Time lands a multi hundred thousand dollar movie deal Several times Ickenham s own schemes go awry and he is forced to improvise swiftly and skilfullyWodehouse s style is twofold First he is a master of what I would call whimisical description He always knows the perfect thing to say often a simile or if no such simple beast is available he springs for a metaphor to elevate any description from mundane to amusing And then there are paragraphs like this which opens Chapter 12OLd Howard Saxby was seated at his desk in his oom at the Edgar Saxby literary agency when Cosmo arrived there He was knitting a sock He knitted a good deal he would tell you if you asked him to keep himself from smoking adding that he also smoked a good deal to keep himself from knittingThe paragraph goes on to invoke Is grumpy in law the distinguished barrister Sir Raymand BastableUnfortunately things don’t end thereThe sprightly earl finds that his action has inspired a scandalous be.

Hilaire Belloc