A Few Quick Ones

P.G. Wodehouse’s A Few Quick Ones (1959) is a collection of ten short stories. None of the stories are directly related, though some have the same characters. The plots range from a pimply millionaire attempting to score big with wrestlers to men wooing women into engagement to golfing tournaments to a fat uncle competition. I found the plots to be rather entertaining, full of humorous coincidence and cleverly concocted catastrophes.

Where Wodehouse really shines is in his writing style. If I had to describe it with one word, I’d say it is “delightful.” If I could use one more word, I’d say “simply delightful.” His novel similies often brought a smile to my lips along with a quiet chuckle. And, see, that’s the thing. It is very rare that a book actually makes me laugh. Wodehouse made me laugh at least a dozen times. His light-heartedness and outlandishness lend a comic flair to just about every character, event, description, or opinion. Here is a fine example:

In these disturbed days in which we live, it has probably occurred to all thinking men that something drastic ought to be done about aunts. Speaking for myself, I have long felt that stones should be turned and avenues explored with a view to putting a stopper on the relatives in question. If someone were to come to me and say, “Wooster, would you be interested in joining a society I am starting whose aim will be the suppression of aunts or at least will see to it that they are kept on a short chain and not permitted to roam hither and thither at will, scattering desolation on all sides?” I would reply, “Wilbraham,” if his name was Wilbraham, “I am with you heart and soul. Put me down as a foundation member.”

I wanted a thoroughly happy book to read, and I got one. I’d highly recommend this book to anybody who wants a light, entertaining read. What other book has character names such as “Mabel Murgatroyd”?

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