The Adventures of Sally

By P. G. Wodehouse
Read by Frederick Davidson

7.68 Hours 01/01/2000 unabridged
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Pretty, impecunious Sally Nicholas never dreamed a fortune could prove a disadvantage, until she becomes an heiress and watches in bewilderment as her orderly existence goes haywire. Coping first with her brother’s wild theatrical ambitions, then with the defection of her fiancé and his immediate replacement by a much more appropriate but strangely unattractive suitor, Sally finds that life in New York is becoming altogether too complicated and a trip to England only makes the whole situation worse. But just as Sally was concluding that she has disastrously misplaced her bets, it looks as if a piece of speculation on an outsider might just give her adventures a happy ending. P.G. Wodehouse is in sparkling form, in a story set on both sides of the Atlantic in the Roaring Twenties.

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Summary

Summary

Pretty, impecunious Sally Nicholas never dreamed a fortune could prove a disadvantage, until she becomes an heiress and watches in bewilderment as her orderly existence goes haywire. Coping first with her brother’s wild theatrical ambitions, then with the defection of her fiancé and his immediate replacement by a much more appropriate but strangely unattractive suitor, Sally finds that life in New York is becoming altogether too complicated and a trip to England only makes the whole situation worse. But just as Sally was concluding that she has disastrously misplaced her bets, it looks as if a piece of speculation on an outsider might just give her adventures a happy ending.

P.G. Wodehouse is in sparkling form, in a story set on both sides of the Atlantic in the Roaring Twenties.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Mr. Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.” Evelyn Waugh
“[A] liberal dose of the signature Wodehouse wit and charm. Fans will enjoy his familiar spoofs of uppercrust British stuffiness and mismatched marriages, all with a happy ending.” Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

by Bertie Wooster 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

The Adventure of Wodehouse

The best site dedicated to P. G. Wodehouse that I’ve ever found is, oddly enough, the site from the Russian Wodehouse Society. I generally go there when contemplating an addition to my audio library of the Master’s work. Every book is listed in chronological order by its English and American title, along with lists of characters, synopses, and images of the successive dust jackets and paperback covers that have graced each story as it has been printed and reprinted down the decades. But most useful are the short critical appraisals, usually drawn from that indispensible guide to everything Wodehousian, Plum Sauce, by Richard Useborne. He has never steered me wrong. But in the case of The Adventures of Sally I went against Useborne’s advice and I’m glad I did.

Rather sniffily, Useborne sums up Adventures of Sally thus: “A jerky, choppy book. Mrs Meecher's lodging house in New York is Dickensian. Several short story themes are tied up untidily together, and there is a scrambling of loose ends to finish up.”

Granted, like The Indiscretions of Archie or A Gentleman of Leisure, Adventures of Sally is not Classic Wodehouse. Published in 1922, just as the Jeeves-Wooster axis was getting off the ground, it is more akin to his earlier work: stories of true love that, though it looks dicey for a time, always work out in the end. The Wodehouse formula and the Wodehouse pacing aren’t here. By “formula”, I don’t mean formulaic. I mean a system of putting together a cracking good story that worked supremely well over and over again, to the continuing delight of generations. But though the accustomed magic isn’t fully of display here, there are solid compensations.

We realize what a good writer Wodehouse really was. There are details we don’t get much in the later work: descriptions of dusks and dawns, of city skies and streets, and of the inner moods of characters. Along with the humor that ranges from outright jokes to sly descriptions, there are more serious moments—such as the depiction of a demoralized, self-pitying drunk—that are vividly rendered.

I take Useborne at his word when he says several short story themes are collected here. But as I don’t know those stories it doesn’t bother me. Like Handel and other geniuses, Wodehouse freely borrowed from himself, reworking ideas and storylines to suit his purposes. The story itself satisfies; I felt no jerks or choppiness and could detect no “scrambling” to finish it up.

Possibly the smoothness of the tale owes something to Frederick Davidson’s signature urbane delivery which, as usual, is a delight to hear. But I think not. Even the greatest actor needs a good script, and this script is good.

The biggest obstacle to clicking the “purchase” button, however, was Useborne’s comment about Mrs Meecher's lodging house. Describe anything as “Dickensian” and I usually run the other way. Painfully quaint characters, a smile with a tear in the corner of the eye, a sob for the poor and a sneer for the rich—that’s my general take on Dickens. With the exception of Pickwick Papers his works wears on me like a less that ordinarily comfortable hair shirt. And Useborne’s comment gave me visions of Tiny Tim putting aside his own troubles to help Sally scrape together enough coal dust to heat her hovel on Christmas Eve. In reality, the lodging house has some memorable characters, one of which is a dog, while Mrs Meecher herself is a prototype of a landlady we meet in A Pelican at Blandings, some 47 years later.

These critics should really be more careful. Had I heeded Useborne’s tactless words I would have missed a fine treat. You shouldn’t miss it, either.

Author

Author Bio: P. G. Wodehouse

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881–1975) was an English humorist who wrote novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He was highly popular throughout a career that lasted more than seventy years, and his many writings continue to be widely read. He is best known for his novels and short stories of Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves and for his settings of English upper-class society of the pre– and post–World War I era. He lived in several countries before settling in the United States after World War II. During the 1920s, he collaborated with Broadway legends like Cole Porter and George Gershwin on musicals and, in the 1930s, expanded his repertoire by writing for motion pictures. He was honored with a knighthood in 1975.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Humor
Runtime: 7.68
Audience: Adult
Language: English