Posts Tagged ‘P.G. Wodehouse’



October 10th, 2021 Posted 7:51 am

Sunday is when we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker™. Since yesterday we mentioned Gussie Fink-Nottle’s speech at Market Snodsbury Grammar School in P.G. Wodehouse’s Right, Ho Jeeves, how about today we try The Dog Who Knew Too Much, an in media res beginning where Bernie is giving the keynote speech to the Great Western Private Eye Association? It would be dishonest to say Gussie wasn’t in the back of my mind:

Was I proud of Bernie or what?

True, he’d been pretty nervous going into this gig. I can always tell when Bernie’s nervous – which hardly ever happens, and never when we’re in action – because his smell sharpens a bit, although it’s still the best human smell there is, apples, bourbon, salt and pepper; but now, up on the stage, he was doing great.

“Which, um,” he was saying, “reminds me of a joke. “Sort of. Maybe not a joke,” he went on, turning a page, “more like a – “ and at that moment the whole wad of papers somehow jumped out of his hands, all the pages gliding down in different directions.



Augustus (More)


October 8th, 2021 Posted 8:04 am

Augustus FinkNottle, Chet’s October Friend of the Month, must derive his name from Augustus Fink-Nottle, close friend of Bertie Wooster in P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series, Bertie being a sort of man about town in London and various country houses and Jeeves being his butler. Bertie narrates – a brilliant decision on Wodehouse’s part in comedic terms, since Bertie is very often not quite in the picture and Jeeves is always the smartest character in every book. Bertie has a number of buddies who hang out at the Drones club, getting mildly sauced, although not Gussie, who sticks to orange juice. Except on one occasion in Right Ho, Jeeves, where Gussie is roped into giving the prize day speech at Market Snodsbury Grammar School and fortifies – or over-fortifies – himself to do so. One of the funniest scenes in fiction, and my guess is that our Gussie’s human companion knows it well.



Tomorrow at 1!


September 13th, 2019 Posted 8:18 am

I’ll be at the Barnes and Noble in Framingham Mass. – 1 Worcester Rd. How do we pronounce Worcester in this state? Kind of like Wooster in Bertie Wooster, although not quite. I’ll be talking Chet and Bernie, but what if I veer off into P.G. Wodehouse? You never know!


P.G. Wodehouse and Us


May 3rd, 2012 Posted 8:57 am

“Remember the scene at the beginnning of The Dog Who Knew Too Much?” Admin says. “Where Bernie addresses the Great Western Private Eye Association?”

“I do, as it happens,” says Spence.

“When you wrote that, did you have in mind Gussie Fink-Nottle’s speech at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School awards day ceremony from Right Ho, Jeeves?”

“Depends what you mean by have in mind. I don’t think you can write that sort of scene without being aware of the Wodehouse version. But there are many differences, starting with the point of view, of course.”

“How about a bit of Bernie, from the opening of The Dog Who Knew Too Much? Maybe as he’s wrapping up:”

Bernie shuffled through the papers. “And I guess that more or less … brings us to the end of the prepared remarks.” What was the word for when humans talk but you can’t understand a thing? Muttering? Yeah. Bernie was muttering now. “Happy to take any questions,” he went on, or something like that.

There were no questions.

“Well, then, it’s time to, uh … thanks. Yeah. Thanks. You’ve been a great, um.” Bernie raised his hand in a funny sort of wave, a page or two flying free, and started walking off the stage. Then came the applause. I heard it for sure, but my sense of hearing’s probably better than yours, no offense.



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