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Short Story Monday – Time for some Wodehouse

>> Monday, December 19, 2011

I got into a conversation this week on Twitter in which someone mentioned P.G. Wodehouse and I commented that it has been far too long since I’ve read any of his work. I’ve read mostly his Jeeves and Wooster stories so I decided to read one from another collection for this week’s Short Story Monday.

Meet Mr. Mulliner by P.G. Wodehouse
The Truth About George by P.G. Wodehouse
Part of the Collection Meet Mr. Mulliner
Published: 1927

I’ve had this collection for a while but hadn’t started it yet. I’ve read and enjoyed two of the Jeeves and Wooster books but decided it’s time to branch out into some of Wodehouse’s other characters.

Mr. Mulliner is someone that everyone who stops in at The Angler’s Rest pub gets to know. He manages to find a way to share his stories about his family to both friends and strangers.

The first of his stories is The Truth About George. When a nameless patron stops in at The Angler’s Rest he soon finds Mr. Mulliner at his table speaking as if they’re old friends. Mr. Mulliner is described as "a short, stout, comfortable man of middle age, and the thing that struck me first about him was the extraordinarily childlike candour of his eyes. They were large and round and honest. I would have bought oil stock from him without a tremor. "

When another patron enters the pub and starts to say something but gives up due to a severe stammer and leaves this gets Mr. Mulliner started on his tale. He proceeds to tell the story of his nephew George and the circumstances that led to George being cured forever of his own debilitating stammer.

George’s motivation was that he’d fallen hopelessly in love with the vicar’s daughter and wanted to court her but he was determined to get rid of his stammer. His trip to London to seek help from a specialist and his subsequent attempts to put the recommended therapy in action make up the rest of this story. Things don’t go quite as well as they should and it’s somewhat a comedy of errors. The end result, however is that George gets rid of his stammer and gets the girl.

The thing I enjoy about the humor is Wodehouse’s writing is that it’s not laugh out loud funny. It’s always more of a story that will make me smile and smirk a bit and be simply enjoyable. This collection is probably not as sharp witted as the Jeeves and Wooster books but the fun is still there and I think Mr. Mulliner is going to be a storyteller that I’ll enjoy.

Short Story Mondays is hosted by John at The Book Mine Set.


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