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Service with a Smile (1961)

by P. G. Wodehouse

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Uncle Fred (book 4), Blandings Castle (8)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7701428,553 (4.03)41
The description of his ancestral seat as an earthly paradise would, at present, have struck its proprietor as ironical, full as it was with unwanted and troublesome inhabitants. What Lord Emsworth needed above all was a rugged ally at his side to remove from Blandings its superfluous guests, leaving him in peace to tend his beloved pig, Empress of Blandings. However, when Lord Ickenham is on a sweetness-and-light-spreading expedition, there's always apt to be trouble.… (more)
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» See also 41 mentions

English (12)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Humor and romance with a slice of sarcasm. Fun stuff and a pleasurable read. Terrific narration. Clean — it’s a classic. ( )
  C.L.Barnett | Dec 7, 2023 |
4.5 stars for this audiobook edition, narrated by Martin Jarvis. While I still have a slight preference to hear my Wodehouse narrated by Jonathan Cecil, Jarvis did an excellent job with this 9th entry in the Blandings Castle series.

This one not only had Lord Emsworth & his pig but also Uncle Fred -- a delightful combination! ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
Spending time with Uncle Fred is never wasted - although I think I prefer him at a distance! In this he invites himself to Blandings Castle, home of Lord Emsworth & his prize winning pig. Also, at present, home to Myra Shoemaker, Lavender Brigs and the Duke of Dunstable. Into this comes Uncle Fred, spreading sweetness and light in certain directions. The romantic couples end up with the right partners, the pig is in her alloted space and it is just the Church Lads that seem to be omitted from the spreading of sweetness and light. Its entirely frivolous, but so well crafted that you just go along with the fun. ( )
  Helenliz | Jun 13, 2023 |
Wodehouse, P. G. Service with a Smile. 1961. Norton, 2013.
Pongo Twistleton’s Uncle Fred, the fifth earl of Ickenham, inveterate spreader of sweetness and light, makes his last appearance in Service with a Smile. He hasn’t changed a bit. He still creates mischief on his way to tweaking the pretentious and making sure each unmarried youth ends up with the proper girl—not usually the one he started out with. As Uncle Fred says, “I always strive, when I can, to spread sweetness and light. There have been several complaints.” ( )
  Tom-e | Jul 21, 2020 |
Blandings is my favourite Wodehouse series, and Lord Emsworth my favourite Wodehouse character, but “Service with a Smile” isn’t one of my favourite Wodehouse novels.

Somehow, it lacked the charm I expected to find. Also, it felt too similar to previous books in the series. Yet again, someone plans to steal Lord Emsworth’s pig. This has been a plot element too many times now. Also, we have lovers being separated because one is rich, the other poor, which is by now unoriginal.

A few more scenes featuring Lord Emsworth would’ve made it funnier, but several new plot ideas is what this really needed. ( )
  PhilSyphe | May 5, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. G. Wodehouseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cox, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lambert, NigelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salmaggi, CesareTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The morning sun shone down on Blandings castle, and the various inmates of the ancestral home of Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth, their breakfasts digested, were occupying themselves in their various ways.
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He liked, as he often said, to spread sweetness and light or, as he sometimes put it, give service with a smile. [p. 22]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The description of his ancestral seat as an earthly paradise would, at present, have struck its proprietor as ironical, full as it was with unwanted and troublesome inhabitants. What Lord Emsworth needed above all was a rugged ally at his side to remove from Blandings its superfluous guests, leaving him in peace to tend his beloved pig, Empress of Blandings. However, when Lord Ickenham is on a sweetness-and-light-spreading expedition, there's always apt to be trouble.

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Book description
Uncle Fred Book 4, Blandings Castle Novels #8
Lord Emsworth needs Blandings Castle to himself so he can tend his beloved pig, Empress of Blandings. Lord Ickenham sets out to help him remove the unwanted guests. Pongo Twistleton predicts that there will be trouble. Lord Emsworth needs an ally at his side to remove the superfluous guests from Blandings, leaving him in peace to tend his beloved pig. Lord Ickenham jumps to the rescue, but when Lord Ickenham gets involved, there is bound to be trouble. Frederick, fifth Earl of Ickenham descends like a genial genie of the lamp on Blandings, restoring to his host the wonder pig that evil men had sought to steal — the Empress of Blandings.
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