Young Men In Spats by P.G. Wodehouse

Young Men in Spats cover

It’s such a long time since I read anything by P.G.Wodehouse, but I bought this lovely hardback at a National Trust booksale recently and although I have loads of books waiting in a queue to be read, this one jumped to the front because I was just in need of something really light and cheery.

It’s a book of short stories and I suppose you could say that the subject of most of them is cherche la femme as they’re all about young men trying to win the attention of bright young things.

They young men are all members of the Drones Club and most of the stories feature Freddie Widgeon, Wodehouse was economical about the other characters, most of whom are categorized as Beans, Crumpets or Eggs. The later stories feature a Pint of Bitter, a Small Bass, a Light Lager – you get the idea I’m sure. So there’s a lot of: A Crumpet said to a Bean…. And it was this mode of writing which made me stop and think – what does this remind me of and of course it was Damon Runyon‘s Tales on Broadway.

Do I hear you say That’s absurd? Fair enough, after all on the surface the only similarities are that they are both books of short stories. They’re set in different continents, the characters are from very different backgrounds but there’s the same sparkling wit, stupid men, fearsome as well as delectable women and lots of fun.

10 thoughts on “Young Men In Spats by P.G. Wodehouse

  1. I love Wodehouse! Have a whole collection on my kindle/iPad.

    If you like Wodehouse, try Joe Keenan. He was one of the writers for the very funny US TV show “Frasier” and has penned 3 books as well. Very light hearted and funny…he’s been called “the gay Wodehouse.”

    I’ve posted my photos from France and from the wedding in Edinburgh. If you are interested, I’ll email you the link to my website.

  2. I think we’re in that parallel universe again. Although I’m reading about four books just now, I had to start reading Wodehouse’s Love Among the Chickens the other day. Like you, I wanted something light and amusing to counterbalance a few non-fiction books and a mystery I’m reading.

    I’m also trying to read a bunch of ghost stories for the upcoming holiday, but I don’t particularly like short stories. Because of their length, they don’t allow me to get involved in them for a substantial length of time. I like to live in a book for hours or days.

    • Joan,
      I like reading short stories at bedtime and these were perfect for that as they’re just pure entertainment that you don’t have to think about!

      I’ve not read much in the way of ghost stories but I want to try Susan Hill and Keating – sometime.

  3. Wodehouse is one of those authors, like Thirkell, who I know I will get around to reading one day, but the time hasn’t been right. His stories sound just so funny! Even the titles of his books and stories are chuckle-worthy đŸ™‚

  4. Oh I do love the Drones! I’ve read the first set of stories (Eggs Beans & Crumpets), but not this one – and you’re making me want to pull it off the shelf.

  5. Just checked and found that our public library in rural Montana, USA, has this book on the shelf. I always listen to the Wodehouse readings on BBC radio but have not read one for a while. This one sounds amusing.

    • Fay,
      I hope you enjoy it if you do read it. I was wondering what rural Montana would look like and if it’s your banner head then it’s exactly like parts of Scotland, hardly a stone’s throw from me. I see you keep an eye on the Guardian books too.

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