This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.
The Clicking of Cuthbert is a collection of ten short stories by P. G Wodehouse, in full, Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse. All the stories have a golfing theme. It was first published in the United Kingdom on 3 February 1922 by Herbert Jenkins Ltd., of London. Later it was published in the United States by George H. Doran of New York, on 28 May 1924, under the title, ‘Golf Without Tears.’ These short stories, were originally published, in magazines, between 1919 and 1922. There are some minor differences between the two editions, chiefly, the names of characters, places, and the famous golfers, which are adapted to suit the country of publication.
Sir P G Wodehouse, lifespan (15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975), was an English author and one of the most widely read humorist of the 20th century. Born in Guildford, Southern England, the third son of a British magistrate based in Hong Kong. Wodehouse spent happy teenage years at Dulwich College, to which he remained devoted all his life. After leaving school he was employed by a bank but disliked the work and turned to writing in his spare time. His early novels were mostly school stories, but he later switched to comic fiction, creating several regular characters, who became familiar to the public over the years. They include the feather-brained Bertie Wooster and his sagacious valet, Jeeves. The immaculate and loquacious Psmith; Lord Emsworth and the Blandings Castle. Wodehouse has created a character termed, ‘The Oldest Member,’ of a golf club with varying names. He is a fictional character from the short stories and novels of the author. He narrates the majority of Wodehouse’s golf stories from the terrace of a golf club whose location is not clear. The location and name of the club keep changing between the stories, and between the US and UK versions of the stories. The oldest member narrates stories about golf with tall tales on subjects ranging from bibulous bishops to megalomaniac movie moguls. Then you have Mr Mulliner, who is a fictional character from the short stories of P.G. Wodehouse. Mr. Mulliner again is a loquacious pub raconteur who, no matter what the topic of conversation is, can find an appropriate story about a member of his family to match it. Most of Wodehouse’s fiction is set in his native United Kingdom, although he spent much of his life in the US and used New York and Hollywood as settings for some of his novels and short stories. He wrote a series of Broadway musical comedies during and after the First World War. In 1930 he also wrote for MGM in Hollywood.
Now coming to this book. There are in all ten stories. The first story in the collection introduces the Oldest Member, a repeat Wodehouse character, who narrates all but the last story. Let me quickly enumerate the titles of these stories:
- The Clicking of Cuthbert
- A Woman is only a Woman
- A Mixed threesome
- Sundered Hearts
- The Salvation of George Mackintosh
- Ordeal by Golf
- The Long Hole
- The Heel of Achilles
- The Rough Stuff
- The Coming of Gowf
Friends all the ten stories are just hilarious with … very sharp wit, and high on vocabulary for an average reader. The story that I liked the most was, ‘The Heel of Achilles.’ The setting of each story is around the links of a Golf course that refreshes your mood especially if you are into golf. The way he has dissected the game of golf and its components, the male, female and star players, the caddies, and their moods and their hunches and superstitions, are par-excellence. And how sweetly and politely he has bantered about the Russians is not at all offending. One of his characters describes the game as, ‘this beast of a game that is only fit for lunatics.’ In one of the stories he uses the name ‘Gunga Din’ who happens to be a famous character in one of Rudyard Kiplings famous poem ‘Gunga Din.’ He makes an interesting, contemporaneous, analogy when a golfer misses his shot and goes on to say that he then stands there motionless, wrapped in thoughts like some Indian fakir, thus bringing out a golfers emotions. He describes the usage of clubs, driver, iron, niblicks, drives, mashie-shots and putts so very precisely. The combinations he uses for a foursome game are quite well thought off. And can you beat this when PG Wodehouse says, that there are twenty-three things possible for a golf drive to go wrong. Surely, he must have been a good student of golf to register this. He brings in ladies in to the script very effortlessly and the description of the Golf-club canteen makes one go hungry. That spread of omelette, poached eggs, lemonade and coffee really takes you amid the real meal.
Friends just in case you are not a golfer this book will give you a real feel of the game. The other book that takes you close to golf is James Bond’s Gold-Finger by Ian Fleming. We definitely won’t have another PG Wodehouse, so find an opportunity to read his works, even when, it’s nearing a century.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
RHYTHM … in poems
(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)
Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020;
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2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: “THE CLICKING OF CUTHBERT””
Great work you do. Here is wishing you the very best. I am also a fan of Plum’s!