Leave It to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse

32-23I cannot recall saying anything calculated to bring the blush of shame to the cheek of modesty.

I feel such an urge to say that Leave It to Psmith by Wodehouse has undoubtedly the most winding and giddiest plots I have ever read of a Blandings Castle. All those untrammeled possibilities lying before me and I absolutely lose count on the immensity of the crimes as well as innumerable purloiners and impostors who devilishly lurk around the Castle. Although the novels in Blandings Castle always are teeming with blighters and plotters, never up to reading this one have I been aware of some incurring plots and themes that might somehow echoes the memories I have had in reading other novels by others authors (providing the limited stock of books I have read, clearly I know whom and which I am talking about). But I don’t tend to “analyse such sunlit perfection”, I merely read and observe!

  • For an instant she debated with herself the chances of a dash through the darkened hall up the stairs to her room. But the lights might go on again, and she might meet someone, Memories of sensational novels read in the past told her that on occasions such as this people were detained and searched…Suddenly, as she stood there, she found the way, close behind her, lying on its side, was the flower-pot which Psmith had overturned as he came to join her on the terrace wall.

I think this remind me of a big 4 novel by Wilkie Collins’s called The Moonstone. Nothing similar concerning the plots but it is also about the disappearance of the necklace and the veiled mystery each character is endeavouring to bury within! However Lady Constance Keeble’s one is without the curse and somehow makes it no less delightful than any other ones! Apart from that, there are also some resemblances of Wilkie Collins’s works and Wodehouse’s novels, for instance, the skulduggery of prying and swapping identities with different walks of lives in the House…makes them more or less a brain-twisting and spinning stories.

I also like the mentioning of “Fate” throughout the novel.  It is my favourite notion in relation to lives on various insuperable books and fiction, ranging from light or heavy, classical and modern. They all interestingly instill and involve this precious idea within and gets them very thought-provoking indeed. It is just the matter that incomparable Dickens used to be brooding as observed by John Forster,

  • On the coincidences, resemblances, and surprises of Life Dickens liked especially to dwell, and few things moved in fancy so pleasantly. The world, he would say, was so much smaller than we thought it; we were all so connected by fate without knowing it; people supposed to be far apart were so constantly elbowing each other; and to-morrow bore so close a resemblance to nothing half so much as to yesterday.

or Wodehouse,

  • The fact that many writers in their time have commented at some length on the mysterious manner in which Fate is apt to perform its work must not deter us now from a brief survey of this latest manifestation of its ingenious methods…(Chapter 11, Leave it to Psmith)

Compared with Something Fresh (the first Blandings Castle), which in the end there is also an interesting conversation pertaining to the idea of lives and fate,

  • Do you ever get moods when life seems absolutely meaningless? It’s like a badly-constructed story, with all sorts of characters moving in and out who have nothing to do with the plot. And when somebody comes along that you think really has something to do with the plot, he suddenly drops out. After a while you begin to wonder what the story is about, and you feel that it’s about nothing–just a jumble.

Leave It to Psmith culminates the idea into a higher level, from beginning to the end. Although Fate without gainsaying plays a heavy part in all his novels, I find this one amazes me tremendously and feverishly on different characters and occasions. I would not delve on quoting more references, lest I would unveil more plots right away.

Anyhow, it is the most joyous and heart-soothing moment to read this book at any time; and as long as there is Efficient Baxter prowling around I am satisfied. Of course, I am attracted to the charisma of Psmith as well with his likable and eccentric character, and it is always an entertainment to indulge in his seemingly self-loving tirades. After writing this review, I am going to highlight and copy more lines of Leave It to Psmith onto my notebook, for instance, 

  • Lady Constance conveyed the impression that anybody who had the choice between stealing anything from her and stirring up a nest of hornets with a short walking-stick would do well to choose the hornets.

and by the by, I have borrowed Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh from the library, as I think there are still more thoughts to be deluged in with the book after watching the movie. It will be my first read on Evelyn Waugh. Better exhume them soon!

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Wong Sarah

Making reading the essential part of my life

2 thoughts on “Leave It to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse”

    1. I hope it is! 🙂 Thank you! Have you read Brideshead Revisited? This is the book which is to be read on my list very soon!

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