Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Challenge: A Book from an Author You Love that You Haven't Read Yet

Book: Mike by P. G. Wodehouse
Pages: 297
Date Read: 01/07 - 01/18/2015
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ 

Other Categories this book could 
have fit into:
A funny book - naturally, it's Wodehouse
A book written by someone under thirty - Plum was 28 when it was first published
A book with a one-word title
A book set in a different country - the U.K. 
A book more than one hundred years old - First published in 1909, though it was republished and added to several times after that
A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit - though I have no particular desire to visit an English boys' school, I should like to go to England

"One of the Georges," said Psmith, "I forget which, once said that a certain number of hours' sleep a day--I cannot recall for the moment how many--made a man something, which for the time being has slipped my memory. However, there you are. I've given you the main idea of the thing; and a German doctor says that early rising causes insanity."
I read this book specifically because it was Wodehouse's favorite that he ever wrote. It didn't necessarily win through as my favorite, but it certainly has all the Wodehouse charm. The humor was right in line with what I'm used to (there was an entire speech that can be found almost word-for-word in A Damsel in Distress, which was published ten years after this book's debut.) It was absolutely on par with his usual work, and I love it to bits.

The only, only complaint I could have against this book is that there was rather too much cricket in it. And, honestly, I might not have minded if I understood cricket. However, since I have no idea how the scoring or play or anything in cricket works, I was left to struggle through several chapters trying to imagine that it was something like baseball, which I actually don't understand much more than cricket. However, the important thing was who played well and who won the game, and that was all spelled out, so I could skim along through those sections without missing any of the plot.

Otherwise, the book is perfect. The characters are all so wonderful it's impossible to pick a favorite -- Mike's brother Bob, Wyatt, Adair, Psmith, or, of course, Mike himself. All were great and realistic and hilarious.

As usual with Wodehouse, there were sections of great wisdom:

One's attitude towards Life's Little Difficulties should be that of the gentleman in the fable, who sat down on an acorn one day and happened to doze. The warmth of his body caused the acorn to germinate, and it grew so rapidly that, when he awoke, he found himself sitting in the fork of an oak sixty feet from the ground. He thought he would go home, but, finding this impossible, he altered his plans. "Well, well," he said, "if I cannot compel circumstances to my will, I can at least adapt my will to circumstances. I decide to remain here." Which he did, and had a not unpleasant time. The oak lacked some of the comforts of home, but the air was splendid and the view excellent.
And some lines of absolute truth:
Man's inability to get out of bed in the morning is a curious thing. One may reason with oneself clearly and forcibly without the slightest effect. One knows that delay means inconvenience. Perhaps it may spoil one's whole day. And one also knows that a single resolute heave will do the trick. But logic is of no use. One simply lies there. 
All-in-all, I was absolutely pleased with this book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Wodehouse -- and, if you haven't read Wodehouse, then I highly recommend you do so if you have a sense of humor at all. And, if you are a cricket fan, you should make a beeline for this particular book (and then maybe explain the process of the game to me, because I'm completely fogged.)

If you would like a free digital copy of Mike, click here.


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