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Love Among the Chickens

Love Among the Chickens by P. G. Wodehouse
By: (1881-1975)

A young, but not too brilliant writer is conscripted by a ne'er-do-well friend to help out on a chicken farm in remote Dorset. While traveling to the country, the writer encounters a lovely young girl and her academician father on the train. He is delighted to discover that she is reading a copy of his latest book. In the countryside, he also discovers that the professor and his daughter are neighbors. However, over dinner one night, he gets into an acrimonious debate with the elderly scholar who storms out, furious with his daughter's potential suitor. Meanwhile the chicken farm seems to be a doomed enterprise...

All this and other zany events form the delightful plot of Love Among the Chickens by PG Wodehouse. Published in 1906 in England and also serialized in the Circle magazine, it was revised and rewritten several times by the author himself. He changed the narrative viewpoint, the ending and the dedication several times before finally settling on this version. It was also the first Wodehouse book to be independently published in the United States.

Love Among the Chickens is notable for being the first novel for adult readers written by the master humorist. It also introduces the insufferable Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, schemer, egomaniac and supreme opportunist. This character features in many of Wodehouse's short stories and though he never reached the heights of popularity that others like Jeeves, Wooster and the Blandings set did, Wodehouse himself confessed a sneaking fondness for this slippery villain. Based on a real character whom Wodehouse knew well, and in fact dedicated Love Among the Chickens to, Ukridge features in more than 18 short stories about himself and several more which are about other denizens of Wodehouse's inimitable world. However, Love Among the Chickens is the only full length book the obnoxious Ukridge appears in.

Wodehouse fans will be charmed as usual with his impeccable plotting, faultless sense of timing and the wonderful world of afternoon teas and eccentric aunts. Another quality that makes his works so attractive is the brilliant use of the English language and how he bends it to evoke both delighted chuckles and gusts of laughter. Few may know that Wodehouse, in spite of his lighthearted themes and plots, was a perfectionist when it came to his craft. He is famous for his detailed construction and development of plot lines and character study. He was also an extremely prolific writer, but naïve when it came to finance, politics and government regulations.

Love Among the Chickens is indeed a most entertaining and madcap adventure, great for readers of all ages.

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 9 reviews)

Reviewer: - July 13, 2021
Great job Mark Nelson, old horse! You brought this story to life so beautifully. Thank you! Excited to see you read other Wodehouse works! Onto Jeeves!
Reviewer: - May 12, 2019
Subject: Review Love among the Chickens
Mark Nelson did an fantastic job as narrator! He could read to me any day. Fun book also.
Reviewer: - June 19, 2018
Mark Nelson is really excellent, and he really is a professional actor. He played Einstein in a Steve Martin play, and was in some movies too.
Reviewer: - September 8, 2017
Subject: The whole book!
Loved this book! I live in Kentucky so I appreciated Beale's voice. Hilarious. The narrater was wonderful at the voices and was easy to pay attention to. Great for anybody looking for something to do on a rainy day. I was taken away into a world of Wodehouse. I listened to it with earbuds so nobody knew why I was laughing!
Reviewer: - January 5, 2015
An excellent listen. Wish I could search by narrator, Mark Nelson is great. He also reads both Jeeves books by Wodehouse.
Reviewer: - January 3, 2015
Mark Nelson's fine reading rivals the professionals.
Reviewer: - August 18, 2014
Mark Nelson is an excellent reader who made the characters come alive I even enjoyed Beales broad Kentucky accent. I will look out for Mark again.
Reviewer: - July 9, 2014
This book was great! Loved hearing it. The reader, Mark Nelson, was excellent! One of the best I've heard!
Reviewer: - June 10, 2013
Subject: Great
The best novel by P. G. that I’ve read so funny without getting preachy and serious.

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