Monday, September 25, 2017

Golly Good Stuff!

Money for NothingMoney for Nothing by P.G. Wodehouse
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What ho?! A smashing early Wodehouse? Topping!

I thought I'd sworn off early Wodehouse works. The one's I've read so far have been blah. Just drippy romances with the lightest of comedy touches. Nothing worth wasting time on.

However, I grabbed this one on audiobook because I saw that it was narrated by Jonathan Cecil, who does a corking good job with the English toff voice. As far as voicing the upperclass English twit, Cecil's top of his class!


Money for Nothing follows a common Wodehouse template of love combined with caper. Hijinks always ensue!

Perhaps another reason I enjoyed this one so much was that it reminds me so very much of a typical Jeeves & Wooster book. The characters and setting have an old shoe familiarity. In fact some of these characters are recurring:

The action is mostly set at Rudge Hall, home to miser Lester Carmody, and at Healthward Ho, a health farm run by "Chimp" Twist, along with his cohorts "Soapy" and "Dolly" Molloy, who all previously appeared in Sam the Sudden (1925), and returned in Money in the Bank (1946). Hugo Carmody, Lester's nephew, and his friend Ronnie Fish also appear at Blandings Castle, home of Ronnie's uncle Lord Emsworth, in Summer Lightning (1929) and Heavy Weather (1933). - Wikipedia

The main point is, I knew just who was who, even though they were all technically new to me. When you're looking for a reliable laugh, the same old same old isn't always a bad thing. And this book ain't a bad thing!

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The 1565 Siege of Malta

The Great Siege: Malta 1565The Great Siege: Malta 1565 by Ernle Dusgate Selby Bradford
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now that was a hell of a siege!

I picked up The Great Siege: Malta 1565 by Ernle Bradford without knowing much about Malta and nothing about the siege of 1565. The book isn't too long and I figured it would be a nice diversion. It proved to be WAY more than that!

The Ottoman Empire tried to invade the island of Malta, then held by the Knights Hospitaller, as a means to set up a base for their fleet in order to make further attacks upon western Europe. The Knights and their stalwart allies the native Maltese were outnumbered three to one (more by some estimates) by a seemingly invincible Turkish force.

The blood, guts and gore, not to mention the utter desperation of it all, is captured so very well by Bradford. This is a legitimate nail-biter! Bradford teases out the tension without dragging out the action, and what action! His descriptions of the battles are excellent. His character sketches put you in the shoes of those making the fateful decisions and those carrying out the orders of an epic battle fought in a past distant and hazy enough to make accurate portrayals quite difficult.

If I recommended this any more I'm afraid I'd pull a muscle!

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