If you don't know who P.G. Wodehouse is, well, I'll save the complete biographical rundown for another time and another post, but he was -- and arguably remains -- one of the funniest writers in the English language. He wrote over 50 novels, numerous short stories, plays, and letters. Funny and touching, a new collection of his letters was recently released this year. What makes him great is his ability to fill almost every page with a fresh simile or metaphor, a well turned phrase, and great dialogue. Here's a small sample:
“Mike nodded. A sombre nod. The nod Napoleon might have given if somebody had met him in 1812 and said, "So, you're back from Moscow, eh?” .... “A melancholy-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life's gas-pipe with a lighted candle.”.... And this beauty: “Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy's Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day's work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city's reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.” You get the idea.
"And every now and again," went on the Vizier, "they would utter the strange melancholy cry which you have just heard. It is a species of chant." "Fo-o-ore!" called a gruff voice from below.
You'll find the "Coming of Gowf" online actually. If you have a few minutes -- maybe only 15 or 20 -- then click here and give it a go.