P. G. Wodehouse
Penguin Books. First Published in 1947
The n'th time I'm reading this book. I bought it in 1982 (as a PhD student in IISc, Bangalore, probably at Gangaram's on MG Road - I wonder if that book store is still there), though I'm sure I must have read it before that, and have certainly read it many times since. One of Wodehouse's best, it's a Blandings castle story, featuring such wonderful characters as Veronica Wedge (she 'goes on the air' saying 'EEEEEEEEEE') and Tipton Plimsoll. The climactic sequences, first in the drawing room of Blandings castle, and later in various other spots around the castle, are wonderfully described in some of his best writing over about 50 pages and should rank right up there with Gussie Fink-Nottle's speech in 'Right Ho, Jeeves'. Almost the entire book is quotable, but I'll give just one quote here.
'Freddie said that it began to look to him as though there was no such thing as justice in this world. If ever a fellow had been allowed to walk into a snare through lack of inter-office communication, that fellow was himself. Why had he not been told? Why had he not been put abreast? A simple memo would have done the trick and no memo had been forthcoming.It the verdict of posterity was not that the whole thing was the fault of his uncle and that he himself was blameless and innocent, he would be surprised and astonished - in fact, amazed and stunned.'