Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Girl on the Boat notes

New member Mike was so enthused by this story that he stepped forward to provide discussion notes for our Sept. 11 meeting. But before Mike’s notes, just a warning that there will be a 9-11 concert from noon to 5 p.m. that Sunday at Civic Center, so parking may be difficult to find. I’ll check in later with Pints Pub to make sure they will be open that Sunday.

Mike writes:

10 questions and thoughtful comments for The Girl on a Boat.

  1. Is this a three act play or a musical comedy without the music?
  2. Wodehouse opens the book with a unique mea culpa about plagiarism—certain lines, if swapped, could answer his critics for his wartime broadcasts.
  3. Movies factor in early in the description of the story, which ironically was made into (according to critics) a so-so movie in 1962, with mostly unknown to modern audiences casting, with the exception of Richard Briers as Eustace. I thought that a pre-Bewitched Agnes Moorehead would have been a solid choice for Mrs. Horace Hignett and Hattie Jacques as Jane. Who are others for the main roles in the book can you see from any decade being cast?
  4. Speaking of Mrs. Horace Hignett, is she the prototype Aunt of Wodehouse’s writinga? The ‘cloven footed aunt’, that haunts so many of Plum’s writings.
  5. There was a delightful rom-com out several years ago with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winselt. In it Kate Winslet meets a famous movie script writer from the “old” days of Hollywood, a well cast Eli Wallach as the aged neighbor she befriends. He tells her about writing movies and romantic comedies in particular where the boy and girl would meet for the first time in the movie. Wallach called the circumstances of the meeting, “cute meet”. Can you name or identify the “cute meet” in this story?

  1. Is it safe to say that Wodehouse’s world, golf is a safe topic of discussion with the modern girl?
  2. Wodehouse wrote this when he was almost 40, and only married 5-ish years, can you find the social commentary about the changing mores of dating in the story, as Sam reflects on the ‘old fashioned’ way his grandfather would have dated.
  3. Oops, another scene in here about someone, Sam, performing in Blackface. Can we all agree that this is a deplorable and despicable offense and that is regrettable that it was allowed and encouraged? I do feel better that Sam suffered humiliation while dressed as such.
  4. Is Jane not one of Wodehouse’s more fascinating female characters? Is she poster child for the NRA or feminist or both?
  5. Finally, (yes finally) there is one chapter title that really is the sub-title for all Wodehouse books. Chapter 14 is “A Crowded Night”. I think that is basically all Plum’s books, summarized.
Goodreads links about the book.
Gutenberg for a downloadable FREE book.
IMDB of Girl on a boat