Turns of Phrase Gallivanting About Upon the Stage

Beach was no weakling, but he had begun to feel that too much was being asked of one who, though always desirous of giving satisfaction, liked to draw the line somewhere. A butler who has been compelled to introduce his niece into his employer’s home under a false name and, on top of that, to remove a stolen pig from a gamekeeper’s cottage in a west wood and convey it across country to the detached villa Sunnybrae on the Shrewsbury road is a butler who feels that enough is sufficient.


Perhaps some of you might be interested to know what I’m reading from time to time. Perhaps some of you might even want to know what I think about what I’m reading. I don’t think I’m able to explain either of these demographics, but mine is not to reason why.

What follows is closer to a book recommendation than a proper book review, though I think even the former is too ambitious: I think it would be better to describe this as a sort of witness statement testifying to my having enjoyed P. G. Wodehouse’s Pigs Have Wings.

The premise of the book, to be brief, is that two estates in the English countryside are at war to protect their respective swine for an upcoming pig show. Beyond that there are all manner of other subplots that weave in and out of the fore in ways that are very satisfying to watch.

The plot of this novel, clever though it is in its own right, really serves as a sort of theatre stage upon which Wodehouse’s turns of phrase can gallivant about and soak up the glory. The back-and-forth between the characters is very funny. (At the risk of being the guy who ruins the joke by explaining it, it might be the minor but regular miscommunications between characters that drives both the plot and most of the chuckles in the conversations.)

Pigs Have Wings is light, silly and just delightful to consume. If it contains a serious point, I am too obtuse to see it, and that’s probably a much more enjoyable way to read a book like this.