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Summary

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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©2014 Nigel Lambert (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Service with a Smile

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely gentle escapism

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.

3 people found this helpful

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Cheerful fun

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.

2 people found this helpful

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Capital!

Gloriously convoluted goings on at Blandings, many blissful Woodhouse phrases (insults it would be a joy to remember at an appropriate moment). Read with vivid characterisation and perfect timing. Tremendous fun.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliance

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. Loads of laughs and great characters.

Read brilliantly and one I will listen to again multiple times.

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Uncle Fred story spreading sweetness and light

I'm a big fan of the Uncle Fred stories that PG Wodehouse wrote. Less well known than Jeeves and Wooster, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

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very entertaining!

P.G. Wodehouse almost never disappoints if ones looks for a pleasant and entertaining listening experience with a plot full of twists and turns.
Nigel Lambert did a fantastic job in reading the book and added a lot to the experience.

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Another Wodehouse classic!

It never ceases to amaze me that Wodehouse can write the same story endlessly and yet make it fresh and entertaining every time. Great narration and characterisation to boot.

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hilarious

hyper complex situation comedy of errors. perfect feel good English fun. lots of lovely characters and silly japes. and a very fine pig.

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excellent telling of a good story

I really enjoyed this book, the quiet humour and gentle lives being shaken up really appealed to me.

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fantastic Wodehouse

takes you into another world of fun and laughter
will enjoy listening many times


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  • Shannon
  • 16-10-05

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."

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David Harris Mitchel Grp
  • 02-03-06

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Janie
  • 18-08-07

Great!

What can you say? I don't think Wodhouse ever wrote a "dud".... the humor is sometimes subtle, but always terrific.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Colby
  • 06-02-12

Talented narrator

What did you love best about Service with a Smile?

Nigel Lambert is in the upper stratum of narrators. He could rivet his audience while reading aloud a card catalog or a telephone book.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

This book is beautifully plotted and the ending ties up all the threads in a satisfying manner

What does Nigel Lambert bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His ability to give unique voices to each character.

If you could take any character from Service with a Smile out to dinner, who would it be and why?

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jenna Moon
  • 28-07-15

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.