Sam Leith

Greecing the Plot

Skios

By

Faber & Faber 278pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

One of the things that has always fascinated me about P G Wodehouse is what he claimed to find difficult. You might have imagined that it was polishing his sentences that took the time and effort – those wonderfully unexpected similes, the back-and-forth of the dialogue, the comic timing in the prose rhythms. Not a bit of it. That stuff he cranked out by the yard: it was the plots that he agonised over. Who remembers a P G Wodehouse novel for its plot? But there’d be no novel without one – and, crucially, the struggle is nowhere on the page. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : Founded in 1979, is a trusted independent source for reviews of new books across a variety of genres. A… ,
    • RT : Here we are - "Shelf Indulgence" by Ed Potten, a wonderful read, well worth your time: @Lit_Review,
    • 'Like going to a party hoping to get away as quickly as politeness allowed and at 4am finding myself still engrosse… ,
    • 'Neville never shed his sense of being the junior, and perhaps least-deserving Chamberlain.' From the archive, Mic… ,
    • 'The erecting and immediate destruction of a series of straw men rather detracts from what is for the most part an… ,
    • RT : A magnificent demolition job on this "acid laced tirade...unpleasantly self-obsessed...self pitying polemic...book… ,
    • 'Seventy years on, the time we have left to gather such first-hand testimony is running out.' John Keay on the sig… ,