Piccadilly Jim

29 Aug

Not one of the best books of P.G.Wodehouse but still a laugh riot. There are two types of people in this world, those who adore P.G W and those who don’t. I belong to the former set. I admire, adore, love,revere,worship P.G.W. P.G W is Pelham Grenvile Wodehouse, but to me, he is Pure Genius Wodehouse.

Ironically, my first PGW novel, during my X Grade, was a huge flop. I tried my hand at one due to constant persuasion from my sister. Couldn’t make heads or tails of it , tried reading it backwards, closed it, started from the beginning, still not understanding,all the time wondering what my sister was laughing about…. Not a pleasant experience, if I may say so. I chucked it with a frown, deciding not to do PG anymore. When I was 23, after my transplant, I was asked to stay home for 2 months with a mask on my face when meeting anyone (Yep !! The one you see people wearing for the Swine flu scare). One of my friends N, lent me his whole collection of PGW to read,saying that might cheer me up. My Oh My !! Thats when I found the real PGW. Brought a smile to my face everyday, made those two months fly away. Even now, whenever I feel depressed and want to lighten up my mood, I go for a PGW. He is the only author who can write a sentence for a full page and God!! the vocabulary !! Just love it.When I sighted this book at Banglore Airport, I bought it in a blink of an eye to add to my collection. It may not have Jeeves, Lord Elmsworth or Psmith ( some of my favourites) , but it is still a PGW.It has all the usual flavours of love,eccentricity and confusion at various thresholds. Regarding this particular novel, it is definitely not his best and you might end up forgetting it.
Browsing the net, I found that Piccadilly Jim has been released as a movie..Cool,huh

This is how it starts…

Chapter 1:

The residence of Mr. Peter Pett, on Riverside Drive, NY,is one of the leading eyesores of that breezy and expensive boulevard. As you pass by in your limousine, or while enjoying ten cents’ worth of fresh air on top of a green omnibus, it jumps out and bites at you. Architects confronted with it reel and throw up their hands defensively , and even the lay observer has a sense of shock. The place resembles in almost equal proportions a cathedral, a suburban villa, a hotel and a Chinese pagoda.

An excerpt :

Mr. Crocker was swallowing convulsively, as if testing his larynx with a view to speech. Like Saul of Tarsus,he had been stricken dumb by the sudden bright light which his wife’s words had caused to flash upon him.

I rest my case.


Posted by on August 29, 2009 in Books, General


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4 responses to “Piccadilly Jim

  1. Anand

    August 30, 2009 at 12:44 am

    PGW is my favourite as well. Like you, I was initiated into PGW, at the tender age of 12, by my sisters. It wasn’t an easy initiation and again like you, the words seemed to be jumbled and incomprehensible. I must have gone through a grand 15 pages before I could no longer sit in one place and read.

    I gave it another shot 5 years later (the same book – Very Good Jeeves, I think) and amazingly, the words sorted themselves out and seemed to make sense! I fell in love with his subtle humour and not so subtle sarcasm. I read the whole Jeeves series in one go and was so influenced by him that many of my characteristics still continue to be influenced by him. Love it!

    • shoba

      August 31, 2009 at 11:11 am

      I can see that your Paris chronicles are slightly influenced by PGW as well.. They were very well written. Keep them coming.

  2. Manohar

    August 31, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    My grandfather introduced me to his collection of PGW during my 10th summer hols. Boy oh boy!! that gave me the biggest conflict ever.. go out and play or read PGW 🙂

    Interestingly most of the initial books I read were not about Jeeves/wooster. It was only much later that I ran across that set of books. Life was never the same afterwards 🙂

  3. Saumya

    September 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Man…..PGW is a class apart. I just LOVE his works! Any time, I want a smile, I can rely on him to deliver it. Old master of farce – what a befitting title!

    Funny, that I borrowed this very title from Manu’s dad last week.


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