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Henry's grote liefde by P. G. Wodehouse

Henry's grote liefde (original 1967; edition 1969)

by P. G. Wodehouse (Author)

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184464,254 (3.78)3
Title:Henry's grote liefde
Authors:P. G. Wodehouse (Author)
Info:Spectrum (1969), Utrecht, Paperback, 187p.
Collections:Your library, To read, Buy and Get 2011, Unread, Readable
Tags:humor, england, fiction

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Company for Henry by P. G. Wodehouse (1967)



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There are a lot of characters in this one, but their plots all weave in and out of each other, so it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Henry has inherited the family estate in the English countryside, but his lack of finances to keep it up make him wish he could unload the place on some unsuspecting relative. Enter Wendell Stickney, Henry’s wealthy American cousin. Wendell wants to be rid of his meddling sister, Loretta, and his embarrassing aunt, Kelly, so that he can collect eighteenth century French paperweights in peace. Meanwhile, Henry’s niece, Jane, is concerned that her fiancée, Lionel, may not be as enamored with her as he could be, and her lazy brother, Algy, spends all his time thinking up one get-rich-quick scheme after another and trying to convince anyone with money to invest in them. Algy’s friend, Bill, falls in love with Jane the instant he meets her, and his despondence at learning she’s engaged leaves him unreceptive to Algy’s investment opportunities.

This was not as laugh-out-loud funny as Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster novels, but it was entertaining nonetheless. The humor is very British and therefore more subtle to American eyes, but as long as you’re paying attention, you’re sure to get a laugh out of it.
( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Amusing wit.
Noted during my 1980's attempt to read every book in my small town library.
  juniperSun | Dec 5, 2014 |
A pleasant tale, near the end of PGW's output, of broke but landed gentry off-loading the family pile on a handy American millionaire while the niece dispenses with an unsatisfactory fiance and finds her true soul mate. The book is a good example of Plum's recycling skills, of plots, people and other tit-bits. Characters we have met before include Algy Martyn, a member of the Drones (The Little Warrior) and schoolfriend of thriller writer Thomas "Bill" Hardy, our hero, Lionel P Green, handsome but effete interior decorator, also at school with Algy and Bill and affianced to Jane Martyn, our heroine, and Orlo Tarvin, Lionel's decorator partner. The last two are straight out of Money in the Bank, in which Lionel has exactly the same role vis-a-vis the heroine and thriller writer (another one!) hero, who, again, was a contemporary at school. There is a butler named Ferris who seems familiar and the impecunious house owner's wine merchants, whose efforts to have a long overdue bill paid are central to the plot, are Duff and Trotter, previously known (Quick Service, Money in the Bank) as purveyors of London's premiere ham and pork pies.

The story coasts agreeably along until everyone has got what he or she wants - all except Lionel, but I am unconvinced that he really wanted the girl (or, indeed, any girl) in the first place. All in all, not bad for an 82 year old.

An unusual pun caught my eye. I don't think of PGW as a great punner and, although there are plenty of literary quotes and allusions around, I can't remember a reference to one of his contemporaries. On p.169 of my Penguin edition we have the following: '......there's a portrait of him in the picture gallery and he looks like Nero Wolfe'. 'Stout?' 'Bulging. I'm surprised he....'

The book was first published in the USA as The Purloined Paperweight. ( )
1 vote abbottthomas | Mar 17, 2011 |
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UK title 'Company for Henry', US title 'The Purloined Paperweight'
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0933756097, Hardcover)

A zany story of eccentric characters and humorous plot twists about one man's obsession with paperweights.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:36 -0400)

"Everyone in 'Company for Henry' wants to escape from something. Hard-up Henry Paradene would like to unload his hideous country house on his millionaire American cousin, J. Wendell Stickney. Wendell wishes he could be rid of his embarrasing aunt Kelly, while Kelly wants to escape her financial dependence on Wendell. Henry's niece, Jane, needs to part from her glamorous but ghastly fiance, Lionel, while Bill Hardy, who falls for Jane, needs no convincing to abandon the bachelor state. Jane's brother Algy, meanwhile, spends his time thinking up dodgy schemes to lift himself out of poverty. Everything ends happily ever after for most of them, but only when they have been put through the hoops of a classic Wodehouse plot"--Back cover.… (more)

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