Company for Henry
Read for my My own Reading challenge:
Books Published in The First Years of My Life.
Book published in 1967
ABOUT THE BOOK
Company For Henry is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United States on May 12, 1967 by Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, under the title The Purloined Paperweight, and in the United Kingdom on October 26, 1967 by Herbert Jenkins, London.
Not featuring any of Wodehouse’s wide cast of regular characters, Company for Henry is nevertheless a typically Wodehousean tale of romance and intrigue among impoverished aristocrats, former musical stars and American millionaires, set at a country house. [wikipedia]
Henry Paradene could sell Ashby Hall if anybody would buy it. But he isn’t allowed, by the entail, to sell a rare French eighteenth-century paperweight, an heirloom, which Mr Stickney covets. Henry’s pretty niece is engaged to interior decorator, silky moustached Lionel Green and when Bill Hardy (who looks like a plug-ugly gangster until he smiles, and who wants to chuck his job and write thrillers in a country cottage somewhere) comes along, you know he’ll get Jane in the end, if the end hasn’t dropped off. He rescues a cat up an elm in Valley Fields (we’re back to Ice in the Bedroom yet again) and he gets into Ashby Hall by impersonating the Duff and Trotter bailiff.
There are some good items, verbal ‘nifties’ and incidentals. ‘Bill’ Hardy’s real name is Thomas. As he can’t use Thomas Hardy on the spines of his books, he calls himself Adela Bristow, hoping this might sound, to a bookseller, like ‘Agatha Christie’ and make him stock up with a lot. Otherwise it’s deckchairs on the lawn, swims in the lake, gazing at a girl’s bedroom window in the moonlight, going up to London to hire an instant valet, going for a walk ‘to think’ and going to a bedroom to search it. Even though Lionel Green is a stinker and breaks his engagement to Jane (she is delighted, but no gentleman breaks an engagement), it is good news that he may marry the daughter of an American millionaire client of his shop, Tarvin and Green. [Source: Richard Usborne. Plum Sauce. A P G Wodehouse Companion.] – on the Russian Wodehouse Society, a great webpage for all Wodehouse’s lovers!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
see what I posted previously for this review
MY OWN THOUGHTS
I read somewhere that this is one of the last books Wodehouse wrote. I have to say, it was not too good, the plot was and the characters could have been more funny. But you do as usual with him, stumble onto fun images here and there. It is certainly not as good as the previous Wodehouse I reviewed.
Something I thought uncanny, is that he mentions in it a book I just read and reviewed! Here is the excerpt, p.57:
‘I don’t think she’s rich. I put her down as a poor relation. And even if she’s rolling in money she won’t sneer at us. She’s much too good a sort. Do you ever read Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales?’
‘Well, with one thing ad another…Why?’
‘She reminds me of his Wife of Bath. Breezy and uninhibited. She used to be on the stage.’
‘That sounds all right.’
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE IT TO OTHER BOOKS BY WODEHOUSE?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
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