Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Review: A Prefect's Uncle by P. G. Wodehouse
A Prefect's Uncle is P. G. Wodehouse's second published book. Like his first, The Pothunters, it is set in an English boarding school for boys. Except in the long passages describing cricket matches, it is a charming and funny book that hints at the hilarious style Wodehouse later perfected.
The initial gag about the Prefect's uncle arriving at the school provides the title and is quite funny. But that storyline peters out and the main plot involving a poetry contest is not as clever.
The big weakness of the book is Wodehouse's unrelenting concentration on cricket. He describes cricket matches play by play and devotes pages to cricket strategy and other bits of cricket minutia.
Diehard Wodehouse completists may be willing to skim over the cricket passages to glean the funny bits. But those new to Wodehouse should start with one of his later, more popular books.
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A Prefect's Uncle was one of my books for the MT. TBR CHALLENGE (hosted by Bev on My Reader's Block) and the OFF THE SHELF CHALLENGE (hosted by Bonnie on Bookish Ardour).