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Robert McCrum

Teoksen The Story of English tekijä

25+ Works 3,766 Jäsentä 58 arvostelua

About the Author

Robert McCrum is the author of Wodehouse: A Life and the Coauthor of the best-selling book and television series. The Story of English. He is the associate editor of the Observer and lives in London with his wife, Sarah Lyall.

Tekijän teokset

The Story of English (1986) 2,675 kappaletta
Wodehouse: A Life (2004) 468 kappaletta
100 Best Novels in English (2015) 25 kappaletta
The Fabulous Englishman (1984) 22 kappaletta
Suspicion (1996) 19 kappaletta
The Psychological Moment (1993) 14 kappaletta
The Story of English [video] (1986) 14 kappaletta
Millennium Experience: The Guide (1999) 12 kappaletta
Mainland (1991) 10 kappaletta
Jubilee (1994) 9 kappaletta

Associated Works

Love Among the Chickens (1906) — Johdanto, eräät painokset599 kappaletta
The English Language (1985) — Johdanto, eräät painokset476 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




This book is best suited to researchers and truly obsessive Wodehouse fans. For those readers who have simply enjoyed a few Bertie and Jeeves or Psmith novels, this biography will be a struggle.

The problem is that PG Wodehouse was a person of rigid routine who had only a handful of interests (cricket, his old high school, pekinese dogs, and his own writing); he was also a workaholic. This makes for pretty dull reading, but the author did his best with it and managed to wring a real doorstopper out of it all. We learn how many words Wodehouse writes per day, how many words each book contains, how many words were written up in the initial plot outlines, and how many words had to be scratched out from the final copies of every book. Each year's articles, short stories, poems, Broadway show lyrics, script revisions, and books are faithfully reported. His daily routine is laid out in both short and long forms in 21 of the 26 chapters, even though this routine does not change for sixty years.

In fact, we learn a lot about the minutiae of Wodehouse's life without really learning much about the man himself. The overall picture is of a brilliant writer who saves everything for the page, leaving nothing for life itself. Affable and harmless, he comes off as rather simple-minded in this book. This last characteristic leads to the only interesting event in his life, the "Berlin Broadcasts", when he gave a series of radio broadcasts on Nazi radio during WWII. The biographer attempts to justify Wodehouse's conduct by claiming that he is "ill-equipped to deal with the challenge confronting him", and that when asked by friends-turned-Nazis to do the broadcasts Wodehouse "behaved as he always did when confronted by difficult or complex choices, which was to let others take care of the arrangements" (p. 304). For my part, I take the side of Harold Nicolson, who wrote, "I resent the theory that 'poor old P.G. is so innocent that he is not responsible'" (p. 316). It was hard to look at this episode with my modern eyes and feel anything but incredulity at Wodehouse's conduct, and rightly or not it did sour me towards him. As much as the previous chapters had been a slog, at least I was on his side. Afterwards and all throughout the rest of the book I wasn't sure if I liked him at all.
… (lisätietoja)
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blueskygreentrees | 8 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 30, 2023 |
Not what I expected it to be. Sometimes a bit too long winded in explanations, but still an interesting read into our relatability to Shakespeare in the modern world; it definitely gave me something to think about, but I'm not sure if I'll ever revisit it.
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viiemzee | 1 muu arvostelu | Feb 20, 2023 |
Very interesting book on how English developed over the years. The PBS series is also good.
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kslade | 24 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 8, 2022 |
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ByronDB | 24 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 17, 2022 |



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