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A Prefect's Uncle by P. G. Wodehouse

A Prefect's Uncle (1903)

by P. G. Wodehouse

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A more benign view of life in Engliſh public ſchools at the beginniŋ of the XX century, in Wodehouſe’s pleaſant humour. ( )
  leandrod | Feb 10, 2015 |
Another school story. Gethryn known as the Bishop; Norris; Marriott; Wilson, Reece. Bullies Monk and Danvers. Farnie, who though several years younger, turns out to be Gethryn's uncle. Plot synposis, spoilers: Farnie gets into trouble, as he always does in his serial school career, and runs away. Gethryn abandons a cricket match to retrieve him, and upon his return cannot explain to anyone why he left the match, in order to protect Farnie. The First Eleven lost the match during his absence, and Gethryn is shunned by the captain Norris and left off the First Eleven. Farnie does not return next term, leaving Gethryn free to explain to his study mates what happened the day he abandoned the match. However, it would be too awkward to explain to Norris. Good egg Wilson has overhead and undertakes to tells Norris the honorable reason Gethryn left the match, upon which Norris forgives Gethryn in dramatic fashion on the football field. This would be even better if I understood cricket better. I just kept imagining baseball. ( )
  charliesierra | Sep 17, 2014 |
Simply God-Awful. All British boy's schools and cricket matches and pip pip cheerio crap. His earlier works were bad, but it's still interesting to see the progression. ( )
  AliceAnna | Aug 17, 2014 |
“A Prefect's Uncle” was P. G. Wodehouse’s second publication and was first released in 1903. This isn’t a novel with a single plot featuring a hero and a heroine – in fact no female characters appear – but is rather a series of events, featuring several characters, held together with a stream of continuity.

This is nothing like the tales Wodehouse would become famous for writing but his unique style is apparent nonetheless. The story is set in an all-boys’ college. Most characters are aged 17-18, except for the prefect’s uncle, who is 14. Lengthy descriptions of cricket and football matches feature here and there, all of which I skipped with me not being a fan of either sport.

Having not been keen on Wodehouse’s first publication – “The Pothunters” – I expected this book to be on par with that one, however, this tale was more appealing to my tastes. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Apr 20, 2014 |
Not much of a plot in this one. I hope you're a cricket fan if you read it! It looks like from many of the reviews that this is nowhere near what Wodehouse's popular works are like, so I won't write him off completely. Plus, you have to give someone a second chance when Douglas Adams has called him the greatest comic writer ever.

Some bits of this book here and there were delightful to read, but most was "beastly". (That would be one of the delights of the book for me, whenever someone called something "beastly".) I'm glad it was short.

On a stupid American note, as this was a British school story, I learned that some of the things about Hogwarts were not original; they are just standard in the British school system (or the old system? I don't know how much has changed and what percentage of kids go away to school since this book was written) - the school is divided into different houses, and they compete against each other for a cricket cup. And then there are prefects of course. Up until now Harry Potter has been my only glimpse into British schooling.

And I just realized there are no female characters in this book, but that is kind of to be expected in a boys' school story. ( )
  __Lindsey__ | Apr 17, 2013 |
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Marriot walked into the senior day-room,and finding no one there,hurled his portmanteau down on the table with a bang.
Most people, on finding themselves in a strange and empty room, are seized with a desire to explore the same, and observe from internal evidence what manner of man is the owner. Nowhere does character come out so clearly as in the decoration of one's private den. Many a man, at present respected by his associates, would stand forth unmasked at his true worth, could the world but look into his room. For there they would see that he was so lost to every sense of shame as to cover his books with brown paper, or deck his walls with oleographs presented with the Christmas numbers, both of which habits argue a frame of mind fit for murderers, stratagems, and spoils. Let no such man be trusted.
He had been engaged in cleaning up the House against the conclusion of the summer holidays, of which this was the last evening, by the simple process of transferring all dust, dirt, and other foreign substances from the floor to his own person.
Skinner's reply was to sit down heavily on the floor, and give him to understand that the fight was over, and that for the next day or two his face would be closed for alterations and repairs.
About two hours afterwards Gethryn discovered a suitable retort, but, coming to the conclusion that better late than never does not apply to repartees, refrained from speaking it.
His spirit was willing, but his will was not spirited.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159020414X, Hardcover)

At Beckford College, where the pupils seem to be spending most of their time playing cricket, Gethryn is faced with this younger uncle arriving at the school.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

After mischievous prankster Farnie arrives on campus of tony Beckford College, he reveals that he is the prefect's uncle.

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