Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Big Money

Big MoneyBig Money by P.G. Wodehouse

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Berry Conway falls in love at first sight with a girl named Ann Moon. Too bad she's already engaged to his best friend, "Biscuit" Biskerton. Fortunately, Biskerton is also engaged to a girl named Kitchie Valentine. Throw in a subplot about a penniless noble and a copper mine that may or may not be worthless and watch things come together...

For me, a P.G. Wodehouse novel is like a drive down a familiar road to a well-loved destination. You already know the way but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Big Money has all the usual Wodehouse plot elements, like broken engagements, misunderstandings, and mistaken identity, and still manages to craft a new and enjoyable tale. Even though I had a good ideal how things were going to go down, the plot twists kept me interested. I love good usage of a fake beard.

Even though he breaks most of the supposed rules of good writing, Wodehouse clearly knows how to put pen to paper. There are so many subtly hilarious throwaway lines in his books. Like these:

He looked at her like a cow examining a turnip.

So next year you'll turn 27 and, if my figures are correct, 28 the following year.

I haven't a bean. I only know what a pound is by here-say.

As with most Wodehouse's, I can't help but think that the entire genre of romantic comedy owes old P.G. a huge debt. Wodehouse was perfecting the art before television was even around. While this isn't one of my favorite P.G. Wodehouse books by any means, it's still a good read for people who enjoy dry British humor and stories resembling musical comedies without the music.

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