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Summary

Château Blissac, on its hill above St Roque, is in a setting where every prospect pleases. But it doesn't please its current occupier, J. Wellington Gedge. Mr Gedge wants none of it - and particularly none of the domineering Mrs Gedge's imperious wish that he should become American Ambassador to Paris. Instead he pines for the simpler life of California, where men are men and filling stations stand tall.

Mrs Gedge has powerful allies - including the prohibitionist Senator Opal. But will she get her way? And will the Senator's delightful daughter Jane get her man?

In a plot which involves safe-blowers, con men, jewel-thieves and even a Bloomsbury novelist, few are quite as they seem. But the heady atmosphere of France in the 1930s makes for one of Wodehouse's most delightful comedies.

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©2002 Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie
  • 20-06-10

One of my favorites from audible

Hot Water, and narrator Jonathan Cecil, are lots of fun. Wodehouse's way with words and joyful tone delighted me the entire time I read this book. There are lots of twists and characters who are full of surprises. Many of the characters are American, and most of the action takes place in France, so there isn't as much emphasis on the British aristocracy as is usual (in the Jeeves/Wooster or Blandings series.) Fans of other Wodehouse novels probably will be as delighted as I was. I plan to listen or read the book again to catch anything I missed!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 30-07-13

A Novelist, A Playboy, Criminals & A Lizard Suit

Wodehouse is most famous for two series, the Bertie and Jeeves novels and stories and what Wodehouse himself once referred to as “the Blandings Castle saga”.

Those who have explored the Master’s canon a little more deeply are familiar with two other delightful recurring characters: Ukridge (“that foe of the human race”) and the nephew-rich Mr. Mulliner. Below that strata are what might be identified as the “Valley Fields Chronicles”, a series of loosely-connected novels that revolve around that much-abused suburb, including such gems as Sam the Sudden (1925), Big Money (1931) and Ice in the Bedroom (1961).

Then there are all the, for lack of a better term, “one-offs”: novels with characters that never recur elsewhere, each set in a place that seldom if ever figures in other tales. Among these particular delicacies, Hot Water is one of the most delectable.

Admittedly, Gordon (“Oily” to his friends) Carlisle and Gerty (the tree on which the fruit of his larcenous life hangs) are recurring characters (most delightfully in Cocktail Time, 1958). But the main characters, Packy Franklyn, Lady Beatrice Bracken, Blair Eggleston, Senator Opal, his charming daughter Jane, the Gedges and the “Veek”, while all recognizable Wodehouse types, are all indigenous to this one story.

And what a tangled, funny, sweet, ridiculous story it is. There’s no point in summing up the plot because that would ruin the fun. Just imagine what a U.S. Senator, having been elected and re-elected for years on a sound “Dry” platform, would do if a woman—a woman who wants him to grant her husband a particular political favor—suddenly came into possession of his latest letter…to…his…bootlegger.

Jonathan Cecil is very near the top of his game on this one—not quite as good as his performances on Young Men in Spats or Uncle Fred in the Springtime, but very close. Occasionally he fails to pace himself, running out of breath on some of Wodehouse’s longer sentences but, while disappointing, this doesn’t get in the way of the fun. Every character comes through your earphones as a three-dimensional individual, and no nuance is missed.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • peggy bourque
  • 16-05-15

So memorable oneliners in this one..

another great story by PGW and no better narrator than J Cecil!
His stories ate like alphabet soup. By putting one "letter" i.e. story element with another "letter" he crafts a whole new story using all the same elements! His humor is superb! And "...you sound like a basketful of puppies!" is the BEST description of an overly zealous young woman when telling her tale!

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  • Valentino
  • 04-02-15

Always Wodehouse

Brilliant reading, as always with Cecil, and though Hot Water isn't Wooster and Jeeves, Mulliner, or even Blandings, it does stand out in its phraseology as distinctly a mature Wodehouse, written with all the tambre brio of some of his wittiest stories, as well as classic plot confusions and enough impersonating to have even Shakespeare a bit crosseyed.