Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Prefect's Uncle, by P.G. Wodehouse

Another Wodehouse school story, still with quite a bit of cricket. The captain of the cricket team, Gethryn, has a smart-aleck uncle a few years his junior come to his school, and cause some trouble for him. The uncle, Farnie, steals some money (I thought The Pothunters established that such deviousness was beyond the English schoolboy?) and leaves school, and Gethryn has to abandon his team mid cricket match to bring Farnie back and return the stolen money. His teammates are upset, and he is ostracized for much of the football season (which here means Rugby, not association), but in the end everyone does the sporting thing. Some of the pranks (or "rags" as they were then called) are quite humorous and memorable.

Rating: four and a half out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Pothunters, by P.G. Wodehouse

Another book set in a school. This one is a novel, and although it still has quite a bit of cricket, it is not central to the plot (meaning you can get to the end of a cricket section and think, "I have no idea what that meant, but I think I know who won," and you won't have missed anything vital).

The most striking feature of this book: some silver sports cups go missing, and the headmasters suspect some of the boys of pulling a prank, but when it is discovered that along with the cups, the thief also stole two pounds, they know a boy would never steal money, and so they completely turn their attention to outsiders. Oh, how things have changed in 100 years. I cannot even believe there was a time in the world's history when a school full of teenage boys could be completely cleared of suspicion of anything other than harmless pranks. I mean, schools have metal detectors now (and tony prep schools have more drugs than a pharmaceutical convention).

Rating: four and a half out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.