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Summary

This is the first Blandings novel, in which P.G. Wodehouse introduces us to the delightfully dotty Lord Emsworth, his bone-headed younger son, the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, his log-suffering secretary, the Efficient Baxter, and Beach the Blandings butler.

As Wodehouse wrote, 'without at least one imposter on the premises, Blandings Castle is never itself'. In Something Fresh there are two, each with an eye on a valuable Egyptian amulet which Lord Emsworth has acquired without quite realizing how it came into his pocket. But of course things get a lot more complicated than this...

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Critic reviews

"Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever." (Douglas Adams)
"For Wodehouse there has been no fall of Man....The gardens of Blandings Castle are the original gardens of Eden from which we are all exiled." (Evelyn Waugh)

What listeners say about Something Fresh

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Breathtaking

I am a huge fan of P G Wodehouse, and thought that I had devoured all of his books which were available in audio format. However, when I came across this one I realised that I had missed the jewel of the collection. Something Fresh is, in my opinion, Wodehouse's most enchanting book. The name really says it all; listen and be delighted!

13 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've listened to quite a few of PG Wodehouse's books and enjoyed them all but there was something about this one, the story wasn't quite so fantastical or convoluted, that really made it stand out for me.

5 people found this helpful

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amusing wodehouse

excellent comical story full of eccentric characters and capturing the era.
The readers voice and style is absolutely right for the book.
I would have given it 5 stars other than for one minor irritation.It appears to have been slightly "americanised" as there are instances of flats being rented in dollars and things like people standing on sidewalks.l haven't read the original and I have nothing against American expressions but it doesn't seem to fit with how I assume the characters would have spoken.

2 people found this helpful

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Can't beat it for a bit of a lighthearted frivolous read!

If you love Bertie Worcester and Jeeves then you'll love this too! Just as silly and fun. 😂

2 people found this helpful

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Best Book I've Ever Read/Listened To

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1 person found this helpful

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Wodehouse as perfect as only he knows how

In Wodehouse it is perpetual summer. And so listening to him wonderfully narrated in the best English summer for 40 years adds a layer of perfection that feels impossible!

1 person found this helpful

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Better than Jeeves & Wooster?

Having listened to a lot of Jeeves & Wooster I decided to try another of Wodehouse's series and was pleasantly surprised. This, in my opinion, is even better than Jeeves! While the plot line is similar, the main characters discussed have a little more brain than Wooster who can sometimes irritate one if there is an overdose. I look forward with anticipation to the next books in the series.

The narration, however, is somewhat lacking. The voices are not distinct enough which makes things difficult when there is a dialogue and no "he said"s in between of which there are a good many.

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Thoroughly Enjoyable

Great story yet again about the idle rich written by Wodehouse. Excellent reading bringing the characters to life. I have heard other readings who make the Earl sound too much like a miserable grandad, Cecil does not do this. Likeable characters and will certainly be listening to again.

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Ageless and hilarious

Brilliant, ageless and hilarious. The humour does not date at all and at times I was convulsed with laughter. Makes a long drive a pleasure.

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Bland just about sums it up

Being the huge fan/addict that I am of Wodehouse's 'Jeeves and Wooster' series, picking up the first Blandings Castle audio book (on sale no less) excited me greatly.

Suffice to say, the excitement was not very long lived. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Wodehouse could have saved the ink and removed the 'ings' from Blandings, as 'bland' just about sums the whole affair up.

Wodehouse's charming writing style was still very much there, it just felt like it was lacking the directness of his Jeeves and Wooster works. It was more subdued in 'Something Fresh'. The characters seemed to threaten being humerous in this rather than simply being it as in Jeeves and Wooster.

I felt the whole thing took a good long while to get going, not something I expect from a shortish work such as this. When it did get going, the characters did their level best to make sure they didn't get going very fast.

It's not a bad book, it's just not to the same level of his other works. The story is fairly decent, in which an old man with a memory like a sieve accidentally pockets an expensive heirloom. The whole plot revolves around various parties either trying to get at the thing or to protect it. Fairly straight forward and easy to enjoy. I just wish it had a little more umph to it than it did.

The characters, as is usual with Wodehouse, are a good mixture of the upper classes and the service classes. There's a few good characters that could have been wonderful and, in fairness, the whole ensemble looks promising going forward.

I'm unsure as to whether or not the rest in this series are similarly lacking the same spark that made me love Jeeves and Wooster but I'd happily give the 2nd one a go just to see. I'll probably wait for it to be on sale, though. Just in case.

Jonathan Cecil, as ever, brought the characters to life wonderfully. He was born to read these sort of books and I'd sooner not listen to Wodehouse' works if they were read by anyone else. Absolutely top-draw narrator.

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  • Virginia Waldron
  • 28-05-12

Pure Rollicking Fun

If you want a bit of fun, this book is for you. The narrator is perfect for the story. I enjoyed this book immensely. It has all the elements that you would expect of a P.G. Wodehouse story. If you like this sort of comedy, you won't regret listening to this. Jonathan Cecil really reflects the class and era of the story's setting. Utterly charming and delightful in every way. I loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • "hugoperezlaroche"
  • 29-11-20

Excellent story and performance. Very poor Audible chapter division.

This is a very good story from the Blandings Castle series, and the performance is very good also. However, the Audible chapters do not match the chapters of the story and that degrades the listening experience. The Audible chapters are too long and some include two and a half chapters of the book. That makes the Audible version difficult to use. It’s a pity that a great book and performance is marred by somethinfg so easy to fix. Why can’t the audio chapters division follow rhe book’s division?

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  • Rakhesh Sasidharan
  • 29-05-16

Great story! Wonderful narration.

Loved it! Absolutely loved it!! Excellent narration. Perfect for the story and it's characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-05-10

Lovely

One of the sweeter Wodehousian stories, wherein everyone is paired off with beautiful ease. Excellent narrator. I'm off to add all to my wish list!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 18-12-08

Fantastic!

I bought the Frederick Davidson version of this first and thought it was terrible; then I listened to this version and realized what a tremendous difference a good narrator can make. This is a great Blandings Castle story - the first one in the Blandings series, I think - and has great sub-plots and some truly hilarious lines. And Jonathan Cecil - as usual - does a terrific job of reading it.

Makes me wish that Audible would hurry up and get some of the Blandings series dramatizations, actually (Jonathan Cecil appears in the Jeeves dramatizations, incidentally - he's clearly got a good grasp of the tone of Wodehouse material).

Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Abhay
  • 05-08-08

something less fresh than pg's standard excellence

this is one of the master humourist's lesser offerings.
it sounds a little stale for those who are avid fans. for first meeters with pg wodehouses, it gives a great introdcution.