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Bill the Conqueror von P. G. Wodehouse
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Bill the Conqueror (2008. Auflage)

von P. G. Wodehouse (Autor)

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253782,945 (3.75)8
Sir George Pyke is quite disappointed in his son Roderick's business acumen. Roderick, unlike his old man, lacks the aggressive drive required of a business tycoon. So the elder Pyke resolves to marry him off to the sprightly Felicia, who has enough spark to manage any man and may just do him a world of good. All is going well until Bill West arrives from New York. Felicia recognizes in this strong, ambitious chap the man for whom she should forsake all others-but making their way to the altar may be easier said than done. This romantic comedy from master humorist P. G. Wodehouse is sure to delight, whether you're new to his work or a longtime fan.… (mehr)
Mitglied:chilperic
Titel:Bill the Conqueror
Autoren:P. G. Wodehouse (Autor)
Info:Everyman (2008)
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:
Tags:Everyman Wodehouse, English literature

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Bill the Conqueror, His Invasion of England in the Springtime von P. G. Wodehouse

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Not the best Wodehouse novel I’ve read, but it’s still worthwhile giving it a look.

The humour is in evidence, but it’s a bit sparse. At times, the narrative drags too much for my liking. It’s a novel that’s better in parts than on the whole.

One thing that irritated me was the overuse of the filler word “seems” and its derivatives. The author overuses this word in all his books, but I don’t recall it ever cropping up as much as in this one. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jun 11, 2020 |
He who tires of Wodehouse is tired of laughing and life. How affirming to read about young people who aren't wringing their hands over microaggressions or sulking in Starbucks trying to finish their screenplays about the quest for social justice. While this isn't as good as any of the Jeeves books (because we don't have Bertie's narration), it's great fun to read and light in the best sense of the word. It's a musical comedy where the reader supplies his own songs or, rather, where the PGW touch on many of the sentences supplies them for him. It includes the Wodehouse staples of imperious aunts, eggheaded academics, cute girls with hearts all a-flutter, deadly hangovers, and a plot more complicated than that of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. The title character is what the criminals in The Friends of Eddie Coyle call "stand up." I had a million things to do this morning but put them off so I could finish the last 100 pages in one sitting. I'm glad I read this as a tonic to the depressing news of the world. ( )
  Stubb | Aug 28, 2018 |
This was classic Wodehouse -- funny, charming, full of coincidences, mistaken intentions, and all the wrong people running into one another at exactly the wrong times.

The eponymous Bill, lazy and without direction, fancies himself in love with a gorgeous dame named Alice, whose brother (and Bill's top pal), Judson, is a drunk. Out of infatuation for Alice, Bill volunteers to take Judson to England to dry him out for a month or so while carrying out some vital business for his Rich Uncle on the side.

Once there, Bill runs into Flick, who has been in love with him of a sort since he saved her life five years before, only Flick has been coerced by her aunt and uncle into agreeing to marry Roderick, a stuffed shirt who is constantly afraid that he will be beset upon by hooligans seeking to beat his head in for libel. What with Roderick being in love with a stenographer, Flick being in love with Bill, Bill being in love with the idea of Alice (a love that is vague, obsessive, and dim), and Judson being in love with a spot of port, insanity is obviously just around the corner. Being Wodehouse, Bill has barely set foot upon English soil before shenanigans ensue, and of course it takes a few clever and tenacious women to even begin to sort out the mess.

There was actually quite a bit of character development in this book. Some characters remained fairly static: Roderick was spineless the whole novel, Uncle George remained a bully convinced of his own moral superiority, and Flick remained exasperatedly clever and determined throughout. However, the uncles were forced to act on their own actions and inactions, Bill went from hazy to determined, and Judson changed from a truly pathetic waste of human space into a rather hilarious, exasperating man quick to act when affronted. I found myself laughing hysterically at Judson's antics halfway through the novel and never fully stopping.

Bill managed to avoid the Wodehouse trope of the useless, bumbling fool who somehow gets the girl. It's fairly obvious why Flick likes him: in addition to being a bit dashing, he's very determined once he puts his mind to something, and while he's no strategist, Bill is a dedicated, solid bloke with a slow temper. He is very protective of his mates (even while being completely fed up with Judson) and, once someone points out a serious flaw in his reasoning (idleness, inattentiveness, missing something obvious), he goes about trying to correct the problem, including admitting that he was wrong. This is very attractive in a main character: the ability to admit to a flaw, then trying to fix it or at least get past it.

Bill didn't have so many of the ridiculous petty jealousies that seem to plague Wodehouse's Blandings men, and he possessed acute clarity of purpose whenever a blatant plot point fell into his lap. By the end of the book, I wanted to clap Bill on the shoulder: here is a character who realizes he's not as clever as the people around him, but he doesn't fret about it too much.

Overall, a fun, quick read for a snowy day spent inside. I think non-series Wodehouse novels are my favorite! ( )
  eldashwood | Apr 17, 2013 |
Entertaining romance set on both sides of the Atlantic. An early appearance of Percy Pilbeam as a sub-editor on the tattle sheet "Society Spice". However, the rich and foppish American, Judson Coker, is not quite up to Bertie Wooster standard. ( )
  ianw | Sep 13, 2008 |
The disintegration of my copy of the old Mayflower paperback was a good excuse to add another Everyman hardback to my PGW collection. As usual, I like everything about the Everyman except the cover art, which for some reason depicts a slightly uglier version of Elizabeth II, ca. 1960, meeting a man in his socks. The paperback is just as bad: it has what appears to be a scene from The Avengers on the front cover...

This is a fairly early Wodehouse novel (1924), perhaps not quite as self-assured as what he was writing ten years later, but still well worth the effort. The plotting is a little bit loose, we cross the Atlantic a few more times than are absolutely necessary, and the criminal gang is a bit too clever for its own good, but the central characters (Bill, the kind-hearted but not-very-clever football hero; Flick, the clever, sympathetic and enterprising Wodehouse Girl; Judson Coker the party animal and Prudence Stryker the pugilistic chorus girl) are out of the classic Wodehouse mould. In a later book we would probably have seen more of Prudence (she would have married Judson). A particular delight is that this book marks the first appearances of Percy Pilbeam, the greasy journalist (later to become a pig-detective extraordinaire) and his employer Sir George Pyke (Lord Tilbury). I'm not sure if Flick is the first Wodehouse Girl to jump to the wrong conclusion after seeing her fiancé dining with a chorus girl at Mario's, but she certainly isn't the last!

As nickhoonaloon says, there are lots of classic Wodehouse images to enjoy. One thing I noticed: as far as I'm aware, this is the only place where Wodehouse gets the title of Browning's poem right: everywhere else the good news is brought from Aix to Ghent, but here some publisher's editor seems to have stepped in and got the messenger to go from Ghent to Aix as Browning intended. Maybe it's because Wodehouse played a bigger part in my early education than Browning, but I've always thought "Aix to Ghent" sounds better... ( )
1 abstimmen thorold | Aug 26, 2008 |
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With a sudden sharp snort which, violent though it was, expressed only feebly the disgust and indignation seething within him, Sir George Pyke laid down the current number of "Society Spice" and took up the desk-telephone.
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Sir George Pyke is quite disappointed in his son Roderick's business acumen. Roderick, unlike his old man, lacks the aggressive drive required of a business tycoon. So the elder Pyke resolves to marry him off to the sprightly Felicia, who has enough spark to manage any man and may just do him a world of good. All is going well until Bill West arrives from New York. Felicia recognizes in this strong, ambitious chap the man for whom she should forsake all others-but making their way to the altar may be easier said than done. This romantic comedy from master humorist P. G. Wodehouse is sure to delight, whether you're new to his work or a longtime fan.

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