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Publisher's Summary

Audible Studios presents the second volume of the best-selling PG Wodehouse collection. In this volume, Stephen Fry lends his voice to the Blandings stories. This collection contains: 

Summer Lightning

Heavy Weather

Blandings Castle and Elsewhere

Lord Emsworth and Others

Uncle Fred in the Spring Time 

Stephen Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director and all-round national treasure. Whilst at university, Fry became involved with the Cambridge Footlights, where he met his long-time collaborator and friend, Hugh Laurie. As half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. Fry’s acting roles include Blackadder, Kingdom, Bones, V for Vendetta, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and The Hobbit trilogy. He has written and presented several documentary series and as a proudly out gay man, the award-winning Out There, documenting the lives of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender people around the world is part of his 30-year advocacy of the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Fry has written four novels: The Liar, The Hippopotamus (made in to a feature film in 2018), Making History and The Stars’ Tennis Balls. Translated into many languages, they have never been out of print. The most recently published works are Mythos, Heroes and Troy, a trilogy retelling the Greeks myths from the Creation to the aftermath of the Trojan War.

Public Domain (P)2021 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about P. G. Wodehouse Volume 2

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  • John
  • 10-07-2021

Like, Not Love. Now, Where’s Volume 1?

There are three advantages to this recording.

1. While Something Fresh (1915) and Leave It To Psmith (1923) didn't make the cut, here we have all the Blandings books that appeared in the decade after 1929, in order of publication, allowing us to see characters, their stories and relationships, develop over time.

2. Frederick Davidson’s magisterial recording of Heavy Weather disappeared when the world went digital. Now, for the first time in more than a couple of decades, we have an audio version of that classic.

3. Stephen Fry. At first, I agreed with Ms Askill in the UK; his performance seemed to lack the pronounced characterizations of most Wodehouse recordings. But the more I listen the more I realize what seemed a lack is really a difference. With the first version of any audiobook we hear, a sort of Lorenzian imprinting takes place; that’s the performance we remember. So, inevitably, Stephen Fry is going up against Frederick Davidson, Jonathan Cecil, John Wells, Jeremy Sinden, Nigel Lambert, and every other Wodehouse narrator you and I have enjoyed. Do I enjoy him as much? I’m getting there.

The caveat here is that I’m a self-confessed Wodehouse addict; since no concerned friend has done an intervention yet, I get my fix any way I can. And a new recording, embracing five of Wodehouse’s best efforts by a performer who loves the books about as much as we do (he’s right, by the way, in his introduction, about the rhythms of Wodehouse’s prose) is far beyond my powers of resistance.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Carol
  • 16-08-2021

Thank you Stephen Fry

Jonathon Cecil was so fantastic at reading Wodehouse that I couldn’t tolerate anyone else until I listened to Stephen Fry give it a whirl. This audiobook filled in the huge Blandings hole in my Wodehouse collection. Escaping for awhile to Wodehouse’s wacky but gentle world,narrated by Cecil and Fry, has become a necessity for me of late.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 02-09-2021

Best Thing Audible Has Done For Me

The more Stephen Fry Wodehouse there is, the more I feel I can live a whole and complete life!

Keep spreading sweetness and light, Audible, and have Stephen Fry be the milk of human kindness by continuing to lend his voice to these ingenious works.

Let’s get through the Jeeves, Blandings, and Psmith collections and on to some less well known editions, I am ready!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • wvmcl
  • 02-08-2021

Fulfills a need

Stephen Fry is doing so much voice work these days that we may get tired of him, but that said he does a very serviceable job on this (incomplete) Blandings Castle collection which also includes some unrelated short stories. He doesn't quite reach the level of my favorite Wodehouse narrators, Frederick Davidson and Jonathan Cecil, but it's still pretty good. Most importantly, this provides full competent performances of two core chapters of the Blandings saga that were MIA on Audible U.S. The only other version of "Summer Lightning" on Audible by someone named John Wells is perhaps the worst Wodehouse narration I have come across - he so overexaggerates the characters as to make them ludicrous and incomprehensible. Fry's narration is subtle and on-point by comparison. And the other version of "Heavy Weather" by Martin Jarvis is - horror of horrors - abridged!

A well-performed audiobook of P.G. Wodehouse is one of life's true pleasures. This is a good addition, but if you don't know the Blandings Castle stories, you might want to start at the beginning with "Something Fresh" and "Leave it to Psmith"

(A point of interest: Fry's versions of "Summer Lightning" and "Heavy Weather" seem to be an hour or two longer than audiobook versions I have listened to in the past, and to include passages I don't remember from those other versions. I haven't compared to the published text, but it makes me think that Fry's readings of these core Wodehouse novels may be more complete versions than have been available on audiobook in the past, even if those earlier ones were also listed as unabridged.)

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  • Rick
  • 30-09-2021

Wow, 45 hrs for 1 credit

Great writer, stories, narrator no commercials. What a gift. It will never leave my downloads.

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  • FP
  • 21-07-2021

A must have. Simply brilliant. More!

Thoroughly enjoyed it. You will too. I don't think anyone can do justice to Wodehouse work more than Stephen Fry. Want more of his work presented by the narrator.

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  • elizabeth askill
  • 10-07-2021

Missing the character depth for Wodehouse stories

Stories are wonderful and so amusing. Wish the characters had there distinctive voices as in other Wodehouse audio books.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Calico Jack
  • 17-07-2021

Well worth the wait

Stephen Fry's Jeeves collection has been on regular play since it was released and I eagerly awaited Volume 2. I'm not disappointed at all - the same quality is all over this collection, which focuses on Blandings Castle and its various regular and irregular characters.
Wodehouse enthusiasts will argue till the pigs come home about whether Blandings or Jeeves are the better stories, but I would say that Jeeves is better for newcomers to Wodehouse's hilarious world. Blandings stories are written in third person whereas Jeeves are narrated by Bertie Wooster - which gives them a more racey and zoomed-in view of the story. As such, with Jeeves stories I find that every single sentence is funny, and Blandings stories tend to have funnier overarching narratives.
As other reviewers have stated, the selection of stories is a little baffling this time around. Some golf and Ukridge stories have made their way in here, and some more obvious and better-fitting ones, such as Galahad and Psmith stories, aren't present. Still, Wodehouse is Wodehouse, and everything the man wrote is pure gold.
In my opinion there is no finer humourist in the English language than Wodehouse. Everything is hilarious without a single joke or pun. There's a delightful warm-heartedness and sense of optimistic curiosity to his work that I can't imagine anyone disliking.
As before, lifelong Wodehouse fan and former Jeeves portrayer Stephen Fry brings his signature twinkle to the narration, and there really is no one better to bring you into this postcard-picturesque English world. Lovely stuff!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Dominik Lukes
  • 15-07-2021

Great narration and Wodehouse is Wodehouse

But really poor sample of Blandings books. Two consecutive books with one story line but no Psmith and none of the later Galahad books. Most of the short stories from the Mulliner, golf and Ukridge series would have been better as part of a separate collection in favour of another Blandings novel.

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  • Audio master
  • 08-07-2021

Very bad story

The story is very poor so even though Steven fry is very good at reading it it still is very bad

6 people found this helpful

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  • DM
  • 23-08-2021

Best stories missing - still great though

This is a nice collection. However, as others have said, the selection of stories is a little bit confusing. My two favourite stories of the Blandings saga are the first two ("Something Fresh", "Leave it to Psmith"), and they are not contained in the present recording! Both are available on Audible, and I would recommend the versions read by Cecil. It is a real shame that these first two would have been left out of this collection. Moreover, there are various bits of the Hollywood narrations included here, which have nothing to do with Blandings. I would have loved to see all the Blandings stories in one place and so I feel this was a real missed opportunity. Stephen Fry is great, as always.

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  • Peter R
  • 23-08-2021

Just sounds too much like Fry reading Harry Potter

I love these Wodehouse stories, and would rate the stories themselves at five stars (of course, because they are Wodehouse). Stephen Fry is a very talented man and a good reader and actor, but I can't listen to this collection and will be returning it for a refund. Having heard Fry's readings of the Harry Potter books rather too much, thanks to my offspring, I find that the voices he uses for these Blandings characters just sound to me like Ron, Harry, Hermione etc have bizarrely landed at Blandings. Fry is very talented, but I guess he's only got so many different character voices in his repertoire! If you haven't heard Fry reading Harry Potter, then this collection will probably be fine for you, but it was unbearable for me. Fry's 80 hour reading of the complete set of Sherlock Holmes books is fine for me, by the way - he didn't use his Harry Potter character voices in that.

1 person found this helpful

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  • H. Kemball
  • 16-08-2021

Winning comb of Wodehouse and Fry

Dont need fifteen words to sum up my opinion of this it is Simply Stupendous

1 person found this helpful

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  • E P
  • 09-08-2021

Perfect Summer reading, but be aware that some stories may offend

Like Vol 1 this is an enjoyable listen. Perfect summer reading! The volume contains several Blanding novels and short stories, plus Hollywood and golfing stories. It included the classic Uncle Fred in Springtime, which in my opinion ranks alongside The Mating Season or even The code of the Woosters.

The books are read perfectly by Stephen Fry and they are unabridged, that might cause offence to the modern listener. They are of the time and reflect social attitudes around the mid-twentieth century. There are odd instances of casual Antisemitism, colonial racism and one shocking story of a woman desiring subjugation by men including the receiving of violence.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J. LoVecchio
  • 08-08-2021

40+ hours of mostly harmless Fry babble

I wasn't familiar with these the way I was with Jeeves. the last story has blackface and there are other instances of dated racist language. overall it made good enough background

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rowan DragonWolf
  • 10-10-2021

Jolly well perfect!

The whole bally show was not only spiffing, but an absolute hoot to boot! Whatho!

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