"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Greatest Writer in the English Language: PG Wodehouse (according to the book buyer at Book Soup)

Shakespeare is very good with the English language, but to be honest, I prefer the works of PG Wodehouse. All you have to do is open the front page of any of his novels, and you are totally swept away to a different area of your brain. The roots of British wild and crazy humor can be traced to Woedhouse's novels of the 1920's.

Which one of his hundred or so novels is his best? A very difficult question, but a simple answer: all of them! The wonderful Overlook Press for the past ten years have been publishing his books in beautiful smart editions. I have ten at home, and have 90 in my desire box. Here is this a random few from the Overlook Press:

Here are a few quotes to capture this man's wit and genius:

"He was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say 'when.'"

"I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don't know what I did before that. Just loafed I suppose."

"It was my Uncle George who discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought."

"She had a penetrating sort of laugh. Rather like a train going through a tunnel."

"The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun."

"It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them."


Undine said...

I can't disagree. However, (not that anyone's asked me,) I'd vote for "The Code of the Woosters" as my favorite novel. I've always thought of it as the archetypal PGW story at his finest.

Daisy said...

I have loved PG Wodehouse for longer than I've loved the Bard.

Daisy said...

I agree.

Tosh said...

PG is a genius there is no doubt about that. Also I think one look at his work as some sort of an image of the British empire, but showing its cracks as well.