COMIC ANTHOLOGY " S if e
What Ho! The Best Of PG Wodehouse
PG Wodehouse (Hutchinson £15.99) * ‘k ‘k *
By his death in 1973. Dr Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse had written more than 90 books. In a career which spanned three-quarters of a century, he created some of the most memorable comic characters in 20th century literature. Don't let anyone tell you any different. Bertie Wooster and his faithful flunky Jeeves are his best known creations and were played on telly by comic duo Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry in the early 905. Fry provides an introduction to this volume, exuding the joys of
Slack comedy: What Ho!
Wodehouse's work in the excitable tone of a dedicated fan.
While Jeeves and Wooster may have been his most recognisable characters, Wodehouse created a whole host of other fantastic beings who often moved in similar luxurious circles as Bertie. The Drones and Lord Emsworth. the master of Blandings Castle number among the fine folks who lived privileged and surreally eventful fictional lives, where the crease on one's slacks was of optimum importance.
Not only a comic character writer, Wodehouse wrote many tales on the dubious topic of golf, succeeding in making the world's silliest sport both witty and interesting. He was also an accomplished musical playwright, at one point having five different shows running simultaneously on
This anthology does not claim to be a definitive selection, but provides a cross section of stories as selected by members of the PG Wodehouse Societies around the world. Something to satisfy the Wodehouse virgins and life-long aficionados alike. (Mark Robertson)
kaleidoscope of neon America. He longs to find the woman behind the fame. So does she.
The two media-exhausted orphans weave in and out of backwater states, shedding the detritus of consumer culture in their wake. Then they accidentally collide, seduced and abandoned in Wyoming. Coupland adds another notch to his literary reputation with this impossible story of fame and destitution. (JM)
COMEDY COLLECTION Pure Drivel Steve Martin (Penguin £5.99) tint
Steve Martin once observed: ’As you
’ get older, it’s harder to be silly on screen.’ This collection of stray thoughts represents Martin’s creative output, which, precipitated a return to filmmaking after a dry period. On the evidence of that period’s films — the uninspired Father Of The Bride Part II, the risible Sgt. Bi/ko and the return to comedic form in Bowfinger — Martin's literary workout seems to have done the trick.
Unsurprisingly then, the writing is pleasingly lightweight. Often surreal, sometimes witty, occasionally banal, it’s in the tradition, if not the league, of Groucho Marx and Woody Allen. ’Times Roman Font Announces Shortage Of Periods’, for example, is meaningless grammatical trickery.
There’s Hollywood-inSpired material, of course: 'The Nature Of Matter And
*tttt Outstanding **** Recommended * t * Worth a try
* * So-so
Its Antecedents’ mentions Sly, Bruce, Demi, Sharon et al, while ’Taping My Friends’ is simply mean and therefore much fun. (MF)
Mrs Slocombe's Pussy: Growing Up In Front Of The Telly
Stuart Jeffries (Flamingo £12.99) *
If you have enough time to read this book, y0u have too much time Go and do some volunteer work, or something. Stuart Jeffries has taken the vrlest cliche of student exrstence ‘- the prolonged, pissed-up discussion about childhood televrsron memories — and spun it out to 347 woefully uninspired pages.
His observations about the shows that made him a man are either blindineg obvrous or entirely personal and, as such, staggerineg porntless. There's little pretence to academic thought; the first person dominates and trivia is all.
Why do we care that it breaks Jeffries’s heart to see Wendy Richard ’mutate from dollybird in Are You Being Served? to rurned WIClOW in EastEnders’? Why do we care about the disgusting process whereby he
used to consume custard tarts while watching Bill And Ben The F/owerpot Men? Only a truly brilliant writer could
make such ephemera gripping. In
; these hands, it’s infuriatineg tedious. (HM)
STAR RATINGS “l
REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE Ally Burt, Paul Dale, Thom Dibdin,
Miles Fielder, Kirsty Knaggs, Joe ; McAvoy, Hannah McGill, Mark Robertson
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A Bear With An Egg In
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Lines Of Most Resistance — The Lords, The Tories (9“ Ireland, 1886—1914
(Controversial new book on the troubles in Ireland)
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