Short Story Review - Episode of the Dog McIntosh

Sunday 4 August 2019

Episode of the Dog McIntosh

Who wrote it?
P G Wodehouse was one of the greatest comic writers of the Twentieth Century. He became a master of farce, creating a wonderful array of characters and imaginary fairyland based in the Edwardian British upper class. His 100 books have been translated into countless languages and remain an important part of popular culture. For the full biography on Wodehouse, follow this link:

What’s it about?
‘Episode of the Dog McIntosh’ begins when Bertie Wooster is looking after his Aunt Agatha’s Aberdeen terrier. Complications set in with the appearance of Roberta (Bobbie) Wickham, and they start to become hilariously more troubled when Bertie tries to help Bobbie.

Why is it worth reading?
P G Wodehouse is a talented writer, and I believe that any talented writer is worth looking at. He has an ability to surprise the reader and he repeatedly uses this to good comic effect.

What’s so special about it?
This is an exchange from early on in the story between Jeeves, speaking first here, and his employer, Bertie Wooster. The third person in the conversation is Roberta (Bobbie) Wickham:

"Indeed, sir?"
"I'm glad you can speak in that light, careless way.  I only met the young stoup of arsenic for a few brief minutes, but I don't mind telling you the prospect of hob-nobbing with him again makes me tremble like a leaf."
"Indeed, sir?"
                "Don't keep saying 'Indeed, sir?' You have seen this kid in action and you know what he's like. He told Cyril Bassington-Bassington, a fellow to whom he had never been formally introduced, that he had a face like a fish. And this not thirty seconds after their initial meeting. I give you fair warning that, if he tells me I have a face like a fish, I shall clump his head."
"Bertie!" cried the Wickham, contorted with anguish and apprehension and what not.
"Yes, I shall."
"Then you'll simply ruin the whole thing."
                "I don't care. We Woosters have our pride."
"Perhaps the young gentleman will not notice that you have a face like a fish, sir," suggested
"Ah! There's that, of course."
"But we can't just trust to luck," said Bobbie. "It's probably the first thing he will notice."
                "In that case, miss," said Jeeves, "it might be the best plan if Mr. Wooster did not attend the
I beamed on the man. As always, he had found the way.

I listened to this conversation on audio book recently whilst I was at the gym and almost fell off the treadmill laughing when Jeeves made the suggestion: “Perhaps the young gentleman will not notice that you have a face like a fish, sir.” Wodehouse’s work is rich with humour like this and he knows how to craft a conversation between characters so that their distinctive voices and personalities shine from the page. If you’re looking to emulate a true master of dialogue writing, you can’t fair much better than looking at the communication between Jeeves and Wooster.

If you want to buy your own copy, this is the Amazon Link:

And, if you have dreams to write to this standard, please
take a look at my book, How To Write Short Stories and Get Them Published 


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP