Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Clicking of Cuthbert

The Clicking of Cuthbert, by P. G. Wodehouse

I was at the library, and in the mood for some Wodehouse, but they didn't have all that much on the shelf.  The only thing I hadn't read already was The Clicking of Cuthbert, a collection of--of all things--golf stories.  I've never played real golf in my life, and this didn't seem all that promising, even when the stories were by Wodehouse, but I took it home to see.  And (cue Mikey eating Life cereal here)...I liked it!

Most of the stories are narrated by the Oldest Member of the golf club, who comforts, entertains, and dispenses wisdom learned on the links.  There are romances, rivalries, melodrama, and preposterous situations.  My favorite was definitely the one about the avant-garde Russian novelist who comes to town and turns out to be a fanatical golf player, thus boosting the romantic career of Cuthbert Banks.
Let me tell you one vairy funny story about putting. It was one day I play at Nijni-Novgorod with the pro. against Lenin and Trotsky, and Trotsky had a two-inch putt for the hole. But, just as he addresses the ball, someone in the crowd he tries to assassinate Lenin with a rewolwer--you know that is our great national sport, trying to assassinate Lenin with rewolwers--and the bang puts Trotsky off his stroke and he goes five yards past the hole, and then Lenin, who is rather shaken, you understand, he misses again himself, and we win the hole and match and I clean up three hundred and ninety-six thousand roubles, or fifteen shillings in your money. Some gameovitch! And now let me tell you one other vairy funny story...
The final story is a fantasy, set in ancient Mesopotamia, about how the new religion of Gowf takes over a kingdom.


OK, this is not my all-time favorite Wodehouse book, but it's a perfectly fine selection for dipping into, and it contains far more entertainment than you would think.

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