Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Damsel in Distress by P G Wodehouse

Rating: 3.5/5
Finished on:17th of Jan 2013


A damsel in distress is the first P G Wodehouse that I've read and it wouldn't be my last.
First, the premise of the story. Maud Marsh has been in house arrest after her family found out about her relationship  with an American gentlemen  called Geoffrey Raymond. According to her family a lady with a title should Mary either a very wealthy man or some one with a position. When Maud Marsh is spotted by her brother in London ,where she had gone to visit her lover, she takes refuge in a cab of  a music composer George Beaven. George falls hopelessly in love with Maud and circumstances arise that make Maud's family think that George is the guy with whom Maud was in love. This ensues some hilarious misunderstandings and comedy.
Will Maud find her love?
What will  happen to  George's feeling towards Maud?
You'll have to read the book for finding that out.
The book was funny and  most of  these funny moments were brought by the eccentric Lord Marshmoreton. I liked his character.Apart from that there are servants who have taken sweepstakes on the marriage of Maud. And they keep helping their candidates and dissuading others.This also brought humor and interest in the story. The book is mainly a comedy of errors but it also shows the thinking of people of that time. For example: The Aunt of Maud wanted her to marry a guy who had  position. She didn't placed any values on other attributes of the guy. Then Lord Marshmoreton considered working for money beneath him and he changes his opinion of George,as a marriage prospect for Maud, after he learns of his wealth. Then there is Maud who thought she loved  Geoffry but her infatuation for him shatters when she looks at Geoffrey after he has gained weight. 
Overall it was good read, not exceptional, but good for passing the time..

Some of the funniest dialogues from the book are as follows:

In an arid world containing too few goes of gin and too many policemen, a world in which the poor were oppressed and could seldom even enjoy a quiet cigar without having their fingers trodden upon, he found himself  for the moment contented, happy, and expectant.

As the last remnants of sleep left him, he was aware of a vague excitement. Then he sat up in bed with a jerk. He had remembered that he was in love

What a girl! He had never in his life before met a woman who could write a letter without a postscript, and this was but the smallest of her unusual gifts

Luck is a goddess not to be coerced and forcibly wooed by those who seek her favours. From such masterful spirits she turns away. But it happens sometimes that, if we put our hand in hers with the humble trust of a little child, she will have pity on us, and not fail us in our hour of need.
Good God, boy, can't you answer a simple question with a plain affirmative? What do you mean—quite? If somebody came to me and pointed you out and said, 'Is that your son?' do you suppose I should say 'Quite?' I wish the devil you didn't collect prayer rugs. It's sapped your brain.

You'll find you can help it after you've been cooped up here for a few more months," said Percy.

A gentle smile played over Maud's face.

"Love laughs at locksmiths," she murmured softly, and passed from the room.

"What did she say?" asked Lord Marshmoreton, interested. "Something about somebody laughing at a locksmith? I don't understand. Why should anyone laugh at locksmiths? Most respectable men. Had one up here only the day before yesterday, forcing open the drawer of my desk. Watched him do it. Most interesting. He smelt rather strongly of a damned bad brand of tobacco. Fellow must have a throat of leather to be able to smoke the stuff. But he didn't strike me as an object of derision. From first to last, I was never tempted to laugh once


The book is available for free download. You can download the book from the following links:
Project gutenberg link for A Damsel in Distress

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