The Pothunters is P. G. Wodehouse's first book, originally published in 1902. It's a schoolboy story set in an English boarding school, with a plot involving stolen trophies and much emphasis on school sporting events.
There are some lively moments, humorous scenes, and witty lines, but The Pothunters only hints at what Wodehouse would go on to achieve. There is far too much straightforward story without the extraordinary shenanigans of the later works.
For example, the theft of the trophies – "pots" in schoolboy jargon – is a simple smash and grab, nothing like the hilarious farce of the theft of the silver cow creamer. And the direct descriptions of the schools boxing tournament and field day races are like small town newspaper accounts of real events. They hold no comparison to Wodehouse's riotously funny satire of sporting events, such as The Great Sermon Handicap or some of the games the Drones come up with.
Wodehouse completists will want to read The Pothunters, but initiates should start with one of his later works to avoid wondering what the fuss is about.
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The Pothunters is available in one of the cool new Collector's Editions by Overlook Press.
It is also available as a free kindle download on amazon. It is the first ebook I read and I have to say I didn't care much for the experience. I read it on my iPhone, using the kindle app. I didn't care for the experience and it took me forever to finish as a result.