Summer Lightning by P.G.Wodehouse
Created: Sat Mar 20 14:52:30 2010 | Last modified: Sat Mar 20 14:52:30 2010
I haven't really read much of P.G.Wodehouse but one of those books that I have is "Summer Lightning", set in Blandings Castle and is a humourous, well-paced, well-crafted situational comedy.
P.G.Wodehouse loves to take humourous digs at the hollow life of British aristocracy as seen through his eyes and Summer Lightning is a wonderful, light-hearted novel involving many comic twists and turns, misunderstandings and humourous interludes involving the prize pig of Blandings: the Empress of Blandings - the apple of Lord Emsworth's eye.
The characters are very much caricatures of English society in Wodehouse's times and Wodehouse has a distinctly skillful touch in crafting plots that allow for unique and hilarious twists. His prose is also quite funny: in the way he uses high-flown language to describe trivialities and also the way he puts his characters in their places by using sharp, cutting and comical adjectives. A good example is Lady Constance Keeble, who is the very image of an English aristocratic aunt: stern, snobbish, unbending and disdainful of common society. Wodehouse never fails to poke at her and provides the reader with a few chuckles. He is an expert at using hyperbolic techniques to deliver his comedy and this works wonderfully in this novel.
The novel is fun and light. One good thing is that Wodehouse manages to make a (fairly) believable story out of soap-operaic situations and in the end, the book is full of pages that will make you laugh aloud more than once. With unique, interesting characters like the nosy, despicable detective Pilbeam, the "efficient" but accident-prone Baxter, the harrassed neighbour of Blandings, Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe, the unbelievably irreverent and unaristocratic brother of Lord Emsworth Sir Galahad Threepwood whose youth was colourfully disreputable and who causes deep distaste in lordly, dignified circles, the novel is extremely easy to read. Nowhere does the novel become slow-paced or heavy. In spite of so many characters, P.G.Wodehouse cleverly manages to integrate all of them within the plot and gives them their due. This is where I rate this book highly.
I recommend this book to anybody who wants a few hours of light, relaxing humour. P.G.Wodehouse excels in this genre!