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. 


Shilpi said...

Yippee for the blogpost, Pupu.

I had a fond grin of remembrance upon the post and upon seeing the title. But I can't say I quite remember the exploits of Uncle Fred in this particular book. I don't think I read this one. I remember one where Unc' Fred had impersonated that pompous poof-top of a psychiatrist (was he?) Roderick Glossop. Ah - "The impeccably suave air of an English aristocrat..." - that is such a superb descriptor. I rather liked Uncle Fred. He was a favourite along with of course the inimitable Jeeves and I think, Galahad. Bertie - I could only shake my head about (much like one of his disapproving aunts) and as for Lord Emsworth - Egad! he was so woolly-headed - I thought he'd have tufts of wool coming out of his ears, leave alone off the top of his head. But maybe it's only because he felt a little too close for comfort....I could never ever go so gaga over a piggy in a pig-pen though! Jesus Almighty.

It was a lovely surprise to find this post Pupu. Many thanks for sharing it with your readers. And I do hope and pray you don't feel blue and morose too often...I was saving my comment - now I am sending it. Not to be pesky but I do hope you put up a general mixed post too for your readers.

Take care,

TiaHermanaMaggie said...

I came upon your blog because I was looking for a name for my auxiliary, bare-bones cellphone. Being a longtime Durrell fan (I started reading Gerry's books when I was nine or ten years old. I read Larry's 'Alexandria Quartet' in my mid-teens.) the name 'Bootle-Bumtrinket' sprang to mind. I punched it into Google to check the spelling and found your post from 2010 explaining the name of your blog. "How exceedingly cool!",I thought.

Then, because you'd amused and intrigued me, I clicked your 'Home' button, only to find that you are a Wodehouse fan as well! Wonderful! 'Plum' had an extraordinary facility for comedic plotting and for dialogue, in what was a very specific time -
and for a very specific class of people.

But I think his greatest gift was for coming up with perfect names. 'Gussie' Fink-Nottle, 'Bingo' Little, 'Tuppy' and Honoria Glossop, the Drones Club...Absolutely delicious names that so cunningly reflect that these people were a fairly harmless sort, mostly unoccupied by 'honest toil'; somewhere between upper-middle class and aristocracy, and almost completely oblivious to world beyond, save for the brilliant and thoroughly appreciated Jeeves. I read the Wooster and Jeeves novels and short stories long before the British TV series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. And weren't they perfect for those roles?

Anyway, I just wanted to express my admiration for the little I know of your taste in literature. Maybe I'll wander around your blog for awhile and see what else I may wax rapturous about.

Urbi Chatterjee said...

Hello! I am so glad you found my blog and enjoyed reading parts of it. I hope you will have time to explore more of it. I write about books but also about other very different issues.

The names Wodehouse came up with are positively hilarious and perfectly fitting his characters. As for the TV series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, no one can convince me that they were not sent to this earth for the specific purpose of acting in those roles. It was one of those rare occasions when the silver screen did not thoroughly massacre a good piece of literature.