Featured Author – PG Wodehouse

Born in England, an extremely British writer, but lived in America for much of the time between the first and second World War. He is best known for his Jeeves and Wooster series. His short stories make an excellent transition to television, and have been made by the BBC quite frequently. Everyone knows the Jeeves ones, but if you get a chance, lay hands on the Wodehouse Playhouse series–volumes one and two are fantastic.

His work is formulaic to a high degree. Whenever you read a Wodehouse, you know marriage will be in the offing, social comedy will be the order of the day, and the serving class will be triumphant in one way or another. He has a great deal of fun with the language, and his works are light-hearted and a pleasure to read. I keep them in the same place I keep Dave Barry or Donald Westlake: the shelf where you can always find something to occupy a time, ease an upset, or grab when you don’t have anything else to read.

What I try to learn from these authors, especially Wodehouse, is the tight, turn-on-a-dime plotting, where everything comes together, and the way of using dialogue especially for humor. It’s good stuff. Highly recommended!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gary Murning
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 11:46:37

    Yes, from the little I’ve (sadly) read of him, his use of humour-through-dialogue was spot on. I must read more!

  2. asherose
    Jul 12, 2008 @ 19:37:18

    It’s amusing, however, to read his Americanized dialogue. It’s probably more accurate than it sounds, because it’s from the 40’s and I’m not used to that, and also because he did live here after all! Still, to my ear it sounds like someone trying to write American dialogue from a British perspective… unintentionally hilarious. 🙂

  3. Gary Murning
    Jul 13, 2008 @ 10:11:11

    I’ll have to do check that out — see how it “sounds” from my side of the Pond. 🙂

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