As a peer of the realm, Clarence, Ninth Earl of Emsworth, has an occasional duty to leave the Empress of Blandings, surely the most considerable pig in the whole world, and travel to London for the opening of parliament. It comes hard to him, for he has a proper sense of the priorities in life, which rate pigs and flowerbeds higher than politicians.
But no sooner has he returned to Blandings than his real problems begin: the dastardly Duke of Dunstable is out to steal the Empress. His sister Lady Constance has inflicted on him a particularly nasty new secretary. And the Church Lads' Brigade are camped all over his lawns.
Thank God for the Earl of Ickenham, better known as Uncle Fred, whose own particularly devious brand of sweetness and light aims to banish blackmailers and pig-stealers and restore true love all over the castle grounds.
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©1961 P.G. Wodehouse; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
After downloading two other Wodehouse books here, both of which had disappointed because of the readings, this was a real joy. It made me laugh out loud and chuckle away whatever my mood had been on starting to listen.
Some books I listen to with my children. Some I listen to alone.
Misunderstandings and cheerful complications, entertaining characters and happy endings. A light-hearted listen. I found it highly enjoyable and it left me with a warm happy feeling.
You have got to love Wodehouse! Great story , loved the twists and turns, great characterization. Really enjoyed the narration. Go on, treat yourself!
I love the characters that Wodehouse creates I love the timeless gentle world he writes of that I can slide into. To be honest I find them very good therapy just to be carried into their lives of Blandings and the trials and tribulations of the characters engagements, let alone the Empress the show pig.
This is well read and I really enjoyed it
"Pair with _Uncle Dynamite_ to double your pleasure"
I've long been a fan of Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster, and I knew and liked Lord Emsworth, but Lord Ickenham, the master manipulator in _Service with a Smile_ may be my new favorite. Lord Ickenham (Uncle Fred to his friends and relations) believes in "spreading sunshine" wherever he goes. He also believes that there's nothing quite so fun as traveling under an assumed name. In this book he return to Lord Emsworth's domain to help out yet another star-crossed lover. In the course of his sunshine spreading, he reunites the lovers, recovers a kidnapped pig, assists a hardworking blackmailer and ruins the plans of one of the most unpleasant and unscrupulous characters I've ever encountered in a Wodehouse novel. The yuks flow easily and, as always, at the end of the book all's right with the world. Nigel Lambert's narration is excellent, providing easy differentiation between the various characters (both male and female.) I never fully understood how befuddled Lord Emsworth was until I heard Mr. Lambert's comically appropriate "Hmms?" and "Hrmphs."
"Two Earls in One"
If you like Wodehouse, you'll like this. If you don't like Wodehouse, you won't. If you've never read Wodehouse, this is a pretty decent introduction.
Two of his regular characters -- the earls of Ickenham (Uncle Fred) and Emsworth -- come together in various interlocking plot lines that involve (of course) attempts to purloin a pig, to get money out of tightfisted relatives, and to overcome the obstacles to true love. It's fluff, but brilliant fluff, and the reading, while not my favorite Wodehouse reader (Frederick Davidson or Ian Carmichael), is quite fine.
Nigel Lambert is in the upper stratum of narrators. He could rivet his audience while reading aloud a card catalog or a telephone book.
This book is beautifully plotted and the ending ties up all the threads in a satisfying manner
His ability to give unique voices to each character.
The Earl of Emsworth would be a stimulating dinner companion, primarily because of his pig-obsession, but I would also be interested to hear how his sisters got the upper hand in his relationship with them.
What can you say? I don't think Wodhouse ever wrote a "dud".... the humor is sometimes subtle, but always terrific.
"Love Wodehouse but disappointed in narration"
The story is another great Blandings adventure. Unfortunately, I don't care for the narrator's interpretation of several characters In particular, his Lord Ickenham lacks the the depth and subtlety that Jonathan Cecil gives him. Also, Myra Schoonmaker comes across as a whiny ninny.
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