Thursday, January 18, 2018

Goodreads Review: Uncle Dynamite

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When you are feeling blue and morose and generally displeased with life, pick up the nearest P G Wodehouse you can find, and you are guaranteed to be transported to a world of laughter and wholesomeness, and, if it happens to be one of the Uncle Fred books, of "sweetness and light".

Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, 5th Earl of Ickenham, Uncle Fred to his long suffering nephew 'Pongo' Twistleton and his friends, considers it his sacred duty to bring joy and contentment in the lives of those around him, using unorthodox and highly imaginative methods, never letting trifles like logic and legality hinder him. In this book, his mission quickly becomes to pave the way for marital bliss for his young friends and relative while ensuring they make what he considers the appropriate choice of partners for themselves. He completes his undertaking through a maze of fibs, impersonations, blackmail and adventure, all the while maintaining the impeccably suave air of the English aristocrat. The other characters are superbly entertaining by themselves - the overbearing ex-governor uncle with a fascinatingly alarming collection of African curios, his equestrian wife, his authoress daughter who makes everyone around her wilt before her beauty and her flashing eyes, the intrepid and strong-minded housemaid and her buffoon fiance the policeman to mention only a few. The narrative can almost be termed as a thriller comedy, and the impossible pace of events can leave you a little dazed at the end of it all.

Uncle Fred will probably not become a favourite Wodehouse character for me, because the woolly charms of Uncle Emsworth and the sophistication of the supremely talented Jeeves and his bumbling employer Bertie Wooster are difficult to surpass. However, as always, the world of Wodehouse provides a quick escape to a much happier place, and is the perfect getaway from the humdrum of everyday life.