Englischsprachige Literatur

Wodehouse P.G.

Uncle Fred in the Springtime

Arrow Books/Random House, London 2008


P. G. Wodehouse was born 1881 and wrote more than hundred books and plays in his long life, before he was finally knighted in 1975 and died shortly after.

He seems to have created numerous funny, excentric characters of the British upper class and is admired, not surprisingly, by Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and J.K. Rowling.

I get to know him at the age of 58 as Uncle Fred alias Lord Ickenham, who does everything in his sheer unlimited power to wreak havoc amongst his many relatives and friends, always intending to achieve the best for them and with a devilish grin on his face. One of his victims is his dear nephew Pongo Twistleton, whom he intends to help with his financial troubles, not by giving him the needed money, but by tricking others out of it.

All the involved characters meet at Lord Emsworth´s Castle Blandings, where Uncle Fred, Pongo and a young lady friend arrive under false names and play a fulminant charade, before everything is settled to Uncle Fred´s satisfaction and the total exhaustion of everybody else, including the Empress of Blandings, an enormous pig.

No wonder Douglas Adams adores Wodehouse. Uncle Fred would be just as non-chalantly at home in the Hitchhiker´s Guide to the Galaxy.