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Serious plot, humourous punch

books Updated: May 21, 2012 15:09 IST
Rajiv Arora
Rajiv Arora
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The Gold Bat and Other School Stories
Author:
PG Wodehouse
Publisher: Penguin
Price: Rs 295

The task of analysing works of PG Wodehouse is both tough and easy. The difficulty lies in the fact that they are so popular that there is hardly any scope for one to elaborate more.

It’s easy because every time you read his stories/novels, one can identify his/her own life and childhood incidents with those of the various characters. The Gold Bat and Other School Stories that gives the readers three stories in a single volume; the other two being The Head of Kay’s and The White Feather.

Needless to say, all the three narratives deal with children, they provide for some good insights into the problems kids face while growing up. The best part about Wodehouse’s stories is the fact that though the issues he deals with not life-threatening or issues about revolutionising the world, yet they have the ability to leave a lasting impression on the young minds.

It isn’t that the excitement levels are so high that one cannot leave the novel before finishing it. Yet, the characters seem to cling to your imagination long after the story is over. The plots are simple, interesting, easy to read and comprehend.

Yet the subtleties are so profound that it makes a good read for people of all age-groups and different backgrounds. The first story is about a fictional school and how the loss of a trinket from a gold bat puts a child’s honour at stake. The second story, The Head of Kay’s, too, has its settings in a fictional school called Eckleton and the fights between the school houses with Fenn, the head boy and Mr Kay, the unpopular housemaster.

The White Feather provides an account of Sheen from Wrykyn School and his witnessing of a brawl between his schoolmates with the rival schoolboys. His mates notice his quiet exit from the scene, for self-safety, and, yet again, it is time to save reputation from going down. Ergo, he takes lessons in boxing from a legend and what happens next is for you to read and catch up with. A classic book!