Wednesday, June 5th, and time again for Shelf Control. Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile and write a post about it. Link back to Lisa’s page. and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks!
A new month, but this time I pushed forward the reading theme I had picked since I had a few books left over from the last couple of months that I still haven’t got down to, so this is basically going to be a ‘catch up’ month for me (June reading plans here). So my picks for this month’s Shelf Control posts are going to be more random, rather than sticking to the month’s theme/genre. This week’s pick, as you’ve seen in the picture is Uncle Dynamite by P.G. Wodehouse, one of my favourite authors.
Uncle Dynamite (1948) is the second book in P.G. Wodehouse’s series featuring Uncle Fred, or Frederick Altamont Cornwallis Twistleton, the fifth Earl of Ickenham, but his first full-length adventure on his own. The first book Uncle Fred in the Springtime is set in Blandings Castle, so is more a part of that series, although also the start of this one.
In this one, Uncle Fred’s nephew Reginald ‘Pongo’ Twistleton is in trouble (no surprise there!). At the home of his future father-in-law, Sir Aylmer Bostock, he has smashed an item from Sir Aylmer’s collection of African curios, and worse, has also smashed a coveted bust of the man himself. So it must of course be replaced, but the replacement he has chosen is no ordinary bust, but a vessel for smuggling, full of jewels, fashioned by his former fiancée, Sally. When Sally tries to substitute yet another bust for the jewel-filled one, more trouble ensues, and Uncle Fred must intervene. And he does–how else but in true Wodehouse style as an impostor!
This (a paperback edition by Arrow) was once again ordered online just a couple of months ago, in April.
Wodehouse is an author I enjoy very much (which I’m sure you’ve noticed from previous posts)–his plots, even if in a similar mould at times, have enough twists and turns to keep one hooked, but essentially, it is his writing that makes one go back to him over and over–whether its rereading old favourites or picking up ‘new’ ones (He’s written about a hundred, so there are quite a few ‘new’ ones I still have to get to). In many of his books, he quotes Pippa Passes–“God’s in his heaven, and all’s right with the world“, and in Wodehouse land, that is the feeling that is with one at all times. You may be doubling over with laughter at times, but even when not, even when things in the story are going wrong for the characters, one always knows that all will be set right, and one is in a peaceful place where all is right with the world. [Just as Stephen Fry says, “You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour”.]
And then of course, there is Uncle Fred himself. He is such a fun character, and I love watching how he pulls people out of the soups they get themselves into (like poor old Lord Emsworth, often for no fault of his own), or Pongo as in this book or in Uncle Fred in the Springtime. Of course, mischevious and energetic (somewhat like Emsworth’s brother Galahad), he attracts his own share of trouble too!
Have you read Uncle Dynamite? How did you like it? Or any other books featuring Uncle Fred? If so which ones, and how did you like them? Looking forward to reading your thoughts!