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As a long-time Wodehouse fan, I've read many of his books, watched most episodes of Jeeves & Wooster, and listened to a whole lot of the radio dramas and audiobooks. And this particular audiobook isn't one of the best.
<i>Something Fresh</i> isn't a bad novel - though with less laugh-a-minute potential than some of the other Blandings-series stories - but Frederick Davidson's very affected vocal style isn't really suited to longer novels like this, with so many different characters. It's fine when he uses a very effete, almost effeminate voice for Bertie Wooster (who doesn't appear here), but he doesn't have a whole lot of range.
All the men under 30 sound like fruity idiots; all the women sound like airheads (quite literally); all the older men sound uniformly gruff; and the various American accents are neither accurate nor consistent.
More problematically - and again, I realize this is sometimes a matter of personal taste - Davidson seems to miss jokes all the time. Most of Wodehouse's hilarity lies in knowing just how to say a line like "Percy's always been a bit of a nut - I say, what?" for maximum effect, and Davidson doesn't seem to have the knack.
Overall, if you're thinking of an audio version of <i>Something Fresh</i>, I recommend going with the Jonathan Cecil version instead of this one - Cecil just seems better at interpreting Wodehouse on a consistent basis.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful
I bought this because I have only recently discovered Wodehouse's 'Blandings saga' and wanted to listen to them all. I can't tell much about the quality of the book itself because the audio version is so painful to listen to. You get to hear every gasp for breath, and Davidson doesn't seem to understand Wodehouse - or to be enjoying himself. I wish I had read the other reviewer's advice - instead of buying this version, look for another reader!
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This is the first book about the now legendary Blandings Castle, and introduces such characters as Lord Emsworth, Hon Freddie Threepwood, The Efficient Baxter, and Beech the Butler.
It's not as mind-bogglingly complex as some of PG Wodehouse's plots but it has all the tongue-twisting rich language that he is known for. This more gentle love-story based plot is still witty and interesting, and includes some early women's lib ideas. This version includes an introduction written by Wodehouse, which includes some interesting titbits.
Frederick Davidson gives his usual excellent reading. His languid tones seem made for Wodehouse's words.
All in all, an excellent version of an excellent book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is is the first in the Blandings Saga and a great place to start (although not completely necessary to do in chronological order). The narration is good and the story that was published 100 years ago is both funny and cracking in pace. A most enjoyable listen.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful