December 23, 2005

Wodehouse & Lewis

Category: Literature :: Permalink

I’ve been reading through P. G. Wodehouse’s works (or at least the ones I have or can get my hands on), roughly in chronological order. The early Wodehouse isn’t as funny — or at least isn’t funny as frequently — as the later, though the discerning eye does spot flashes of that later brilliance. The Inimitable Jeeves, of course, is priceless.

Last week, I finished Ukridge, a collection of somewhat related short stories, all involving James Corcoran, the narrator, and the disreputable Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, always coming up with some new scheme to make a fortune. Some of the stories were better than others and there are some very funny moments or turns of phrase. But somehow the stories didn’t grab me.

So let me ask the Wodehouse fans out there: I know there are fans of Berty and Jeeves, fans of Blandings Castle, fans even of Mr. Mulliner or of Psmith. But … are any of you great fans of Ukridge?

In other reading, I recently read (for the third time) C. S. Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet and loved every minute of it. Each time I read it, I find more in it to appreciate.

From the cover of my old Macmillan edition, however, it’s pretty clear that the illustrator hadn’t read it. The picture shows a man in a space suit standing on a barren wasteland with weird globes floating in the air around him. The cover of the newer edition (linked above) actually attempts to show Ransom in a boat with a hross.

Posted by John Barach @ 10:21 am | Discuss (0)

Leave a Reply