Uncle Dynamite provided the bundle of laughs I sorely needed after my marathon of reading murder mysteries. I must have read and reviewed at least twenty of Agatha Christie’s books last month, as part of my Author of the Month spotlight on the author.
P. G. Wodehouse is another British author I immensely admire and adore. Uncle Dynamite is all about the Earl of Ickenham or Pongo’s Uncle Fred. He is a lot like Gally or Galahad Threepwood, the other infamous uncle from Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle series.
The Earl of Ickenham has just seen his wife off to Bermuda and is looking forward to a long time of revelry sans her judicious eye. On the train, he comes across a stocky red faced young man who turns out to be a childhood friend of his nephew’s. Bill Oakshott has just returned from Brazil from an expedition on the Amazon and is returning home. As the train rolls into the station, he comes across a band and a big welcome party and promptly hides. Uncle Fred wastes no time in chatting him up and invites him home for a drink or two.
Pongo Twistleton, Uncle Fred’s nephew has had a falling out with Sally Painter, the Earl’s protégé and got engaged to Hermoine Bostock, Bill’s cousin for him he secretly hankers. Pongo has been invited to stay over with the Bostocks and he promptly gets into a scrape. Bill is not happy to learn of Pongo’s engagement and is shocked to see him kiss the maid.
Elsie Bean, the maid, is engaged to the local copper who is a bit too fond of his duty. Pongo succeeds in breaking a coveted plaster bust of Sir Alymer Bostock, his host. He hotfoots it to Ickenham Hall and purloins another bust he sees there and replaces it. on a jaunt to London, Uncle Fred learns that Sally secreted something valuable into the bust that now sits in Ashendon Manor.
The need of the hour is clear. Or it will be to all Wodehouse fans. The bust needs to be acquired back. Uncle Fred turns up as the celebrated explorer Major Plank. Meanwhile, Pongo’s behavior has roused his host’s ire. Constable Potter has a sharp memory and is sure that Pongo belongs to a gang of thieves and is an ex convict.
The chaos that ensues will have you rolling on the floor laughing and is vintage Wodehouse.