REVIEW Hot Water: P.G. Wodehouse


This is one of my favorite Wodehouses which does not star Emsworth. It's not as well-known as his other works, but a laugh riot nevertheless.

Packy Franklin, an American millionaire and sportsman, is engaged to Lady Beatrice Bracken. A chance meeting with the famous Dry legislator Senator Ambrose Opal causes all hell to break loose when a letter written by Senator Opal to his bootlegger, falls into the hands of Mrs Wellington Gedge, who uses it to blackmail him to appoint her husband Ambassador. Packy helps Senator Opal's daughter Jane to sweeten her father by posing as her fiancee and visiting the Gedges' home, Chateau Blissac, to recover the letter.

Hot Water is one of the lesser known Wodehouse novels, but there is nothing less in terms of the writing. As usual, it's a comedy of errors, with Packy in the thick of some laugh-out-loud impersonations. He is a younger version of Galahad, "spreading sweetness and light" wherever he goes. Also starring in this novel are a pair of safe crackers, "Soup" Slattery and "Oily" Carlisle, who have their eyes on Mrs. Gedge's jewels, and who join the motley crue at Chateau Blissac. Add to that a perpetually drunk Vicomte, and a timid, America-loving Mr Gedge, and you have all the trappings for a good show. Everybody falls in and out of totally ridiculous situations, engaging in the mischievous but good-natured antics that are typically Wodehousian. This has been one of my most frequent re-reads, a book I return to again and again.

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

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6 Responses
  1. Lezlie Says:

    I haven't heard of this one, but I love Wodehouse's Jeeves books (of course :-), and I've read another of his that is part of a series, but it's been awhile and I can't remember what it was. Wodehouse is wonderful!


  2. Amanda Says:

    Agh! The problem with having a ginormous TBR pile is that you keep seeing books that you know you should have read months ago. Technically, not this book, but this author. I really want to read something by Wodehouse, and haven't.

  3. Violet Says:

    I have read just one book by him 'A Damsel in Distress' and loved it. I'm always looking out for Wodehouse recommendations that are not Jeeves books. Thanks for the review, I'll keep it in mind.

  4. Certainly not as well known as most of his other books but still laugh out loud funny.

  5. Nymeth Says:

    I still haven't read any Wodehouse! Clearly there's something wrong with me.

  6. Andreea Says:

    I haven't heard of these books. Thanks for mentioning them!

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