June 01, 2004

Uncle Fred in the Springtime, by P.G. Wodehouse

Uncle Fred, the Earl of Ickenham, the bane of Pongo Twistleton, congenital imposter, is perhaps my favorite Wodehouse character. And being a congenital imposter, it was inevitable, I suppose, that he would eventually come to Blandings Castle. But I really wish that Wodehouse hadn't done it. Uncle Fred may be a natural visitor to Blandings, but that's rather the point--it's Uncle Fred's job to be as thoroughly and completely outrageous in his imposture as possible, and it's difficult to that in a place like Blandings where imposters are a dime a dozen.

Ah, well. It's still a fun read.

Posted by Will Duquette at June 1, 2004 07:43 PM

Lars Walker said:

Couldn't agree more. I think "Uncle Fred Flits By" is the funniest story ever written in the English language, which is why my (excessively high) expectations for this book were somewhat disappointed. Standard Blandings stuff, which is good indeed, but not Uncle Fred at his highest, widest or most plentiful.

Will Duquette said:

We agree. Although there's a passage from Cannery Row, and a sketch from Garrison Keillor's We Are Still Married that are right up there too.