Friday, March 23, 2012
Full Moon: Review
Back to P. G. Wodhouse. Full Moon, another Blandings Castle adventure, also happens to have been written in 1947 and, therefore, counts as another candle for my mom's cake in the Birth Year Challenge Honors Edition.
In this particular outing, love is in bloom at Blandings Castle. Lord Emsworth's neice Prudence is on the brink of making a most unsuitable match--with an artist, no less. Her mother bundles her off to Blandings Castle to prevent the horrible event. Freddie Threepwood (Lord Emsworths's younger son) heads to Blandings with Tipton Plimsoll, a rich American bachelor, in tow. Plimsoll had been told by a Harley Street doctor that he is suffering from too much alcohol, needs the rest and relaxation of the countryside, and that if he doesn't follow doctor's orders then he may start seeing things. Plimsoll immediately does start seeing things--the face of a gorilla-like man, to be exact, popping up everywhere he goes. This causes him to take the doctor's advice and head to Blandings. Unbeknownst to Plimsoll, the face isn't a hallucination. It actually belongs to Freddie's long-time friend and god-son of Freddie's Uncle Galahad, Bill Lister.
Lister is, coincidentally, the unsuitable suitor of Freddie's cousin, Prue. Freddie and Uncle Gally come up with a plan to get Lister and Prue back together (and, hopefully, hitched). Lister will present himself to Lord Emsworth as an artist sent by Gally to paint the Empress of Blandings (Emsworth's famous pig) and that will provide him with an entree to Blandings and make the wooing of Prudence as simple as anything. (Anyone who has read any of the Wodehouse books knows how that's going to turn out.) Meanwhile, Freddie and Plimsoll show up at Blandings and Plimsoll promptly falls in love with Freddie's other cousin Veronica. Veronica's parents are much happier about this match for their daughter than the mother of Prue is about her choice. They are, in fact, eager for an engagement to be announced.
But, of course, this is Wodehouse and the path of true love never runs straight in these stories. The artist trick falls through for Lister. Several new plans are devised, much confusion and hilarity ensue. Plimsoll keeps getting glimpses of Lister and thinking his symptoms are reoccurring. He also becomes convinced that Veronica does not love him--she is obviously in love with her cousin (so he thinks)--and he drags his feet in the wooing. Her parents devise several plans to encourage him to propose, much confusion and hilarity ensue. Classic Wodehouse.
This one starts out well. Lots of laugh-out-loud moments--particularly in the early stages of Plimsoll's "hallucination." However, the multiple plots and plans to try and get love's young dream to fruition palled a bit. Wodehouse is funny, there is no denying that, but the formulaic plots are a bit much. I've got a couple more Blandings books sitting on the TBR pile. I think I'm going to let them simmer for a while. Three stars.