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Wodehouse On Outgeneralling Critics

“A certain critic—for such men, I regret to say, do exist—made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained ‘all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.’ He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have outgeneralled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy.”

P.G. Wodehouse, as quoted in “The Escapist,” from The Atlantic

By the by, Summer Lightning is gripping stuff, a real pip of a story. Treat yourself to the audio version featuring Martin Jarvis for an especially ripping snort.

4 Comments

  1. That takes me back, Sam; it’s the first paragraph of Wodehouse I ever read. After seeing the movie Collision I had to find out who this guy was that Hitchens and Wilson both thought was so bally marvelous. So when browsing at the bookshop one day, I picked up an anthology called Week-End Wodehouse, opened it at random, and the introduction to Summer Lightning was the first passage upon which my eyes alighted. Been hooked ever since.

  2. That’s a neat story, David. I think Summer Lightning is my favourite of Plum’s novels so far. I laughed out loud so many times during it. Funlarious.

    Also, I loved Collision. Doug Wilson and my mother-in-law were my first exposure to PGW about twelve years ago. And what joy has ensued. My first read was Spring Fever.

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