Friday, 17 September 2010

#67 Wodehouse at the Wicket, edited by Murray Hedgecock (Hutchinson)

I like PG Wodehouse. I like cricket. So Wodehouse at the Wicket, a study into the impact the sport had on the great British novelist, and his writing, plus a selection of articles, was pretty much right up my street. Or aiming right at my stumps, if you prefer a bit of cricketing parlance.

As a newish Wodehouse convert, I must admit that I wasn’t aware that cricket featured so heavily in his work, but thinking back to Psmith Journalist, main character Psmith was only in New York to accompany a friend of his on a cricket tour.

Among the revelations which stood out was that famous butler Jeeves was named after Warwickshire cricketer Percy Jeeves, who was renowned for his gentlemanly ways. The short cricket-based articles with which Wodehouse was able to start his writing career were entertaining, too.

Overall, the Murray Hedgecock-edited tome is mildly diverting rather than enthralling, however. It’s well researched, and there are some great insights, particularly into Wodehouse the schoolboy cricketer, but it’s a little too insubstantial, although not insignificant, to really impress.

So, rating time:

#67 Wodehouse at the Wicket, edited by Murray Hedgecock (Hutchinson) - 6/10

Next up: The Drought, by JG Ballard (Harper Perennial)

  • Click here for the full list of books so far, and their rating
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