P.G. Wodehouse,
William Tell Told Again
(Adam & Charles Black, 1904; Tark, 2008)

P.G. Wodehouse, still early in his game, turned his attentions to the legend of William Tell in William Tell Told Again.

It's a whimsical retelling of the old crossbow-and-apple yarn, with a few new Wodehousian characters added to the mix for humor's sake. Otherwise, it's no great shakes in the otherwise exceptional library of Wodehouse books I've read so far.

I mean, it's cute, but it's neither groundbreaking nor especially funny. It is, however, a prime example of a budding literary master still at an early stage of his craft.

He was the best shot with the cross-bow in the whole of Switzerland. He had the courage of a lion, the sure-footedness of a wild goat, the agility of a squirrel, and a beautiful beard. If you wanted someone to hurry across desolate ice-fields, and leap from crag to crag after a chamois, Tell was the man for your money. If you wanted a man to say rude things to the Governor, it was to Tell that you applied first.

I read this book on the Kindle, and it does demonstrate one of the Kindle's weaknesses. Wodehouse's prose was intended to accompany illustrations by Philip Dadd, but the illustrations aren't included here. It's pretty obvious the Kindle can display black-and-white illustrations, so what's the holdup??

book review by
Tom Knapp

26 March 2011

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