P. G. Wodehouse (Magill's Literary Annual 1983)
If one were to attempt to explain P. G. Wodehouse to someone who had never heard of him, one would have a most difficult task indeed. It is probably impossible, even in the abstract, to conceive of a novelist who could write more than ninety novels, covering seventy years of twentieth century history and dealing with the English upper and upper-middle classes, and never concern himself with a single political, economic, or social idea, never write of crime or violence except in the most juvenile fashion, and never write a single line that would bring a blush to the cheek of a young person. Yet, this is a reasonably accurate description of the literary career of Pelham Grenville Wodehouse. For at least sixty of those seventy years, Wodehouse was one of the most widely read and best-selling novelists in the language; his works were translated worldwide, and he counted among his admirers persons as diverse as Evelyn Waugh and Great Britain’s Queen Mother.
Wodehouse, the creator of the famous Drones Club, would have stood little chance himself of election to that noted body, or, if he had managed to slip in, would regularly have been pelted with buns. The purveyor of innumerable laugh-filled tales was, as this biography makes clear, a preternaturally dull chap, almost completely devoid of close friends, who was of limited emotional sensibility. He was definitely not an Egg or a Bean.
Wodehouse was, and probably remains, the master of the light...
(The entire section is 2196 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1983)
The Atlantic. CCXLIX, June, 1982, p. 100.
Christian Science Monitor. July 9, 1982, p. 16.
Library Journal. CVII, April 15, 1982, p. 812.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. July 4, 1982, p. 1.
National Review. XXXIV, April 16, 1982, p. 434.
The New York Review of Books. XXIX, September 23, 1982, p. 22.
The New Yorker. LVIII, August 23, 1982, p. 87.
Times Literary Supplement. November 12, 1982, p. 1239.
(The entire section is 47 words.)