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The Man Upstairs And Other Stories

by P. G. Wodehouse

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From Library Journal
These short, very slight stories from early in Wodehouse's (A Gentleman of Leisure, Audio Reviews, LJ 1/95) career amount to apprentice work, really. Many of the tales deal with sweet, unusual varieties of courtship and show the flair for comic understatement that served the author so well later on in his prolific career. Characters, though, are underdeveloped, and the stories are too short to allow the sort of comically complex situations that the mature Wodehouse was able to exploit so well. A great deal of Wodehouse is available on tape, and unless a library is looking for completeness, this is an easy title to skip.?John Hiett, Iowa City P.L.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
That most active of Wodehouse's audio interpreters, Frederick Davidson, takes microphone in hand and reads a group of the master's pre-WWI stories. This was an early stage of Wodehouse's long career, and the stories, while timelessly funny, are less lively than his later works, such as the Jeeves and Bertie masterpieces. Davidson has his usual troublewith young female characters; he's seemingly unable to render them other than brainless, breathy nitwits. But there's usually only one such character in each story, so he gets away with it. His overall narrative voice is wry, British and almost drawling, and one supposes that this is pretty much how Wodehouse himself would sound. D.W. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Book Description
There were three distinct stages in the evolution of Annette Brougham's attitude towards the knocking in the room above. In the beginning it had been merely a vague discomfort. Absorbed in the composition of her waltz, she had heard it almost subconsciously. The second stage set in when it became a physical pain like red-hot pincers wrenching her mind from her music. Finally, with a thrill in indignation, she knew it for what it was-an insult. The unseen brute disliked her playing, and was intimating his views with a boot-heel. Defiantly, with her foot on the loud pedal, she struck-almost slapped-the keys once more. 'Bang!' from the room above. 'Bang! Bang!' Annette rose. Her face was pink, her chin tilted. Her eyes sparkled with the light of battle. She left the room and started to mount the stairs.

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Although this story is concerned principally with the Man and the Maid, the Miasma pervades it to such an extent that I feel justified in putting his name on the bills. Webster's Dictionary gives the meaning of the word 'miasma' as 'an infection floating in the air; a deadly exhalation'; and, in the opinion of Mr Robert Ferguson, his late employer, that description, though perhaps a little too flattering, on the whole summed up Master Roland Bean pretty satisfactorily. Until the previous day he had served Mr Ferguson in the capacity of office-boy; but there was that about Master Bean which made it practically impossible for anyone to employ him for long.



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