The Bibliophile: Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse
If you consider yourself an avid reader, then there is a great possibility that you have heard of a certain author by the name of P. G Wodehouse. And if do consider yourself to be an avid reader, but somehow by chance of ill-luck and misfortune you have failed to have heard of this name, then I regret to break it to you: you are not, even by the slightest, an avid reader.
This book, Something Fresh, was Wodehouse’s first attempt in writing a novel. And his first attempt, if I might say, had pretty much shaken the foundations of literature.
Honestly, I don’t believe I’ve read a book with language more fluid and humour so self deprecating and a book that is just simply so bloody English. It felt like Downton Abbey in black and white, only much better.
Coming to the book, it boasts the introduction of the lovable Earl of Emsworth, his bone-headed son- the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, his secretary, the Efficient Baxter and his butler Beach, who together form 1/4 of the residents at Blandings Castle. Then there are the non-residents-the valet Ashe Marson, the lady's maid Joan Valentine, the wealthy American Mr. Peters and his daughter Aline and of course, George Emerson who is in love with Aline.
And then the major screw-up begins when a certain scarab which belongs to Mr. Peters' found itself in the hands of Lord Emsworth. This is of a time and place when direct confrontation was considered rude, and the only source was to seek what belonged to him (Mr. Peter) was by employing the impoverished Ashe Marson to carry out the deed. Conflicts arise when his daughter (who is engaged to the Earl’s son), unknowingly engages an old friend (Joan Valentine) to do the same bidding for a certain sum. And is it really possible to do so when the Efficient Baxter, for he was called Efficient for a reason, was at his best having sensed the undertones of a scheme? This is the sort of the complications and sub-plots that you would actually appreciate.
This book is engaging and if you get it right, you would laugh your ass off. (An apology for not finding the appropriate word.)
Amazing book, and pretty much what Stephen Fry so eloquently said, You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection, you simply bask in its warmth and splendour.
If you haven’t read this book, I actually beg you, do read so. Because well, you are missing out on quite a good bit of literature.