Full Moon by P G Wodehouse

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Full Moon by P G Wodehouse

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Karen Inskip-Hayward
Reviewed by Karen Inskip-Hayward
Summary: A bit tiring at times, but some clever writing.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 256 Date: May 2008
Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-0099513858

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I have only read one P.G. Wodehouse novel before – a Jeeves one some years ago – but was eager to try another. So after receiving a copy of Full Moon – a book from the series of Blandings novels – from Bookbag, I was looking forward to starting it.

Full Moon is set at Blandings Castle, where an odd assortment of lords, ladies, other family members, staff and hangers-on gather. Each of the characters is caricatured by the author and is definitely of their time - as the men sport monocles or pince-nez – and the upper classes. Wodehouse is great for a bit of hobnobbing with the upper echelons of English society and his comedy and writing style are excellent, if you enjoy that sort of thing. I did appreciate a lot of the satire and farce in Full Moon, but I found some of it rather tiring and 'translating' some of the language was mildly irritating at times.

The characters often have ridiculous names – like the Hon. Galahad Threepwood – which annoyed me too, and all of these idiosyncrasies meant it was harder for me to just get into the book and enjoy it. When I did get into parts of it, it created some visual spectacles in my mind and some very funny situations. It reminded me of a farce in the theatre, with people climbing out of windows while someone else opens the bedroom door.

There are plenty of plots and sub-plots and thwarted dalliances. Lord Emsworth wants a portrait painted of his prize-winning pig, while Bill Lister and Prudence are in love, but her parents don't approve of the match. Veronica Wedge falls in love with Tipton Plimsoll and her sentiments are reciprocated, but Tippy is trying to avoid alcohol, a strange face that keeps popping up - and dealing with doubts that Freddie Threepwood may perhaps be pursuing Veronica himself.

It all sounds rather complex – and it is. I managed to follow it all well enough, but some of the characters are very similar and not always easily distinguishable from one another. The elderly men seem to be loud-mouthed blundering buffoons, while the young ladies are often weak and over-emotional. They do often feel rather formulaic.

The novel itself is fairly short at 261 pages, but it took a while to plough through the text and in the end, it probably wasn't worth the effort. It is okay, nothing amazing, but if you are a big fan of P.G. Wodehouse, you'll love it, of course.

The novel was originally published in 1947, but the novels are being re-issued with new cover art and this one came out in May 2008. The cover is well-designed and has quotes by Ben Elton and Stephen Fry to recommend it.

While I would not rush out to buy or borrow more books of this ilk, I would not rule out revisiting P. G. Wodehouse at a later date. I might prefer one of his other series though. Besides the Blandings Castle novels, he wrote the famous Jeeves books, plus many other lesser-known ones like Mulliner, Uncle Fred and the Golf books.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of The Crime Wave at Blandings by P G Wodehouse.

If you are a Wodehouse fan you will certainly enjoy Thank You, Jeeves by P G Wodehouse.

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Buy Full Moon by P G Wodehouse at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Full Moon by P G Wodehouse at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Full Moon by P G Wodehouse at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Full Moon by P G Wodehouse at Amazon.com.


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