Sunday, April 10, 2005

Book: The Small Bachelor by PG Wodehouse

The hero of this very typical Wodehouse novel is a Small Bachelor because he lives in what is described as a Small Bachelor Apartment. This book has all the usual elements of Wodehouse stories which even when transplanted from rural England to New York don't change too much. There are the usual Gentlemen of leisure, ineffectual criminals and efficient butlers. There are the lines that drip wit like an overweight jogger. And then of course there is the subtle twists of language that make you realise English is a modelling substance more like clay than Lego bricks.

There is no point in me spouting off about how good the writing is in the bad English that I am often tending to use (illustrative example), it's best to just slip in some of the better lines, albeit out of context...

"His lordship closed the door behind Mrs Waddington and stood for some moments in profound thought. He may have been wondering what was the earliest he could expect a cocktail, or he may have been musing on some deeper subject - if there is a deeper subject."

"Marriage is not a process for prolonging the life of love, sir. It merely mummifies its corpse."

and of course the fantastic exclamation... "Sweet artichokes of Jerusalem!"

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