“Crazy days and reckless nights, limousines and bright spotlights…”

Title from Ringo Starr – Never Without You (song)

As the Hon. Galahad resumed his stroll, setting a course for the sun-bathed terrace, his amiable face was wrinkled with lines of deep thought. The poignant story to which he had been listening had stirred him profoundly. It seemed to him that Fate, not for the first time in his relations with the younger generation, had cast him in the role of God from the Machine.
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Full Moon is again another farce which deals with Fate in a convoluted yet rollicking way; but some elements of the plot set my reading experience apart from other “hoosegow” stories. Although Freddie Threepwood is still the Nature’s prune in Guv’nor’s and aunts’ sore perspectives, he is now an junior vice-president post in Donaldson’s Inc. to promote the interests of Donaldson’s dog biscuits around the reclusive country houses in England after his nuptial ties to an American tycoon’s daughter. Despite the supposedly formulaic plot that it is Uncle Gally who saves the day, Freddie’s alacrity in nosing other people’s businesses with his silver-tongued eloquence are put into good use, and it is a joyful consolation for me to view his accelerating confidence and “potential growth” in Freddie as if reading a coming-of-age novel. “It was not often that the Hon. Galahad found himself commending the shrewdness and intelligence of a nephew whom from infancy he had always looked upon as half-witted, but he did so now…” (p. 162) One day Freddie would be fruitfully reminiscing his reckless youth like Uncle Gally.

The Hon. Galahad snorted sharply. Himself a bachelor, he was unable to understand and sympathize with what seemed to him a nephew’s contemptible pusillanimity. There is often this unbridgable gulf between the outlook of single and married men.

There are characters such as Colonel Wedge, Freddie Threepwood as the “docile” husbands under the “tyrannical governance” of Lady Hermione and Aggie, with Tipton Plimsoll the American millionaire and Bill Lister the heavyweight champion as the most ever faithful lovers to Veronica Wedge and Prudence. Women are once again depicted as powerful opponents to masculinity in the aspect of love and matrimony. Quoting what Freddie says – “I love her with a devotion which defies human speech, but if you were to place before me the alternatives of disregarding her lightest behest and walking up to a traffic cop and socking him on the maxillary bone, you would find me choosing the cop every time. And it’s no good calling me a bally serf.” (p. 211) Indeed, the imagination of analogy and juxtaposition regarding aspects of human relationships that Wodehouse draws has a very sweetening and lyrical tone to readers’ ears and inspiring to the minds. Uncle Galahad, of course, is the admirable hero, but young generations are thrown into limelight, and he functions as the strategic guardian who has the warm heart to restore perfect endings of the light-hearted and good-natured lovers back on the right track.

In this case of Full Moon, it scores ten out of ten, due to the fact that the avuncular’s tone concerning different aspects of humanity and mentality is not expressed by the Fathers, Uncles, and Butlers, but through the bright, young, clever, but sometimes unscrupulous, reckless, distrait, downcast and quixotic striplings, and they are the ones continuing to win and melt our hearts.

The Art of Theft in The Little Nugget

953237Perhaps it might sound ridiculous that Wodehouse makes motives of “thefts” sound all the more fun, beautiful  and reasonable! I like a sparkling of camouflage and disguises with a twinge of “fate”, so on an aesthetic level, Wodehouse’s works of contrivances and plots reach full marks on the scale of ten; on the rational ground, except the unintentional cases of Egyptian scarab (Something Fresh) and Beach’s pocket watch (Galahad at Blandings), dealing with the stealing of Empress of Blandings in Summer Lightning and Service with a Smile, or Lady Constance’s necklace in Leave it to Psmith…many of which are all committed for solicitous considerations of Lord Emsworth’s sporadic absent-mindedness, and celebration of human irrationality called “love” that befalls on those exuberant youths.

The Little Nugget is a very satisfactory read, Wodehouse yet again crochets a splendid theft. It is a plot of vengeance and kidnapping of an American brat called Ogden Ford (the only disturbance of this novel is that I fretted and appalled by peals of scream this Little Nugget had caused, and then reminiscing the docility of Empress of Blandings), which stretches in most hospitable roof within and without an English Preparatory school called Sanstead House erected in the suburbs. Normally three characters at most would play crook-in-a-cloak game in his novels; this time there is an affable character pulling off more than one disguises of identities as an adventitious occurrence and ingenious plan! As to the reason of theft, it is altruistic than ever, especially when it is done not by an amateur but in the hands of a professional’s,

  • “In a sense, you might call me a human benefactor. I teach parents to appreciate their children. You know what parents are. Father gets caught short in steel rails one morning. When he reaches home, what does he do? He eases his mind by snapping at little Willie. Mrs Van First-Family forgets to invite mother to her freak-dinner. What happens? Mother takes it out of William. They love him, maybe, but they are too used to him. They do not realize all he is to them. And then, one afternoon, he disappears. The agony! The remorse! (…)”

Apart from the dark deeds and illicit dealings, The Little Nugget teems with wondrous figurative expressions and inimitable depictions of daily circumstances, which I think they resonance so much in mine. Perhaps it is not the best solution to jot them all down in this post, because it definitely will not emulate the beauty of copying them down in my notebook. In this case, I’ll end this post here to leave the others intrigued and resort to get them a copy of The Little Nugget on the shelf. Enjoy! 🙂