Big Money

You know, when you search for “big money” on Amazon, you get 90.975 results, and only one of those is for this paperback… What are people thinking of, nowadays? Anyway, the paperback Gutenberg offers is one of those nasty 1991 vintage Penguins with horrible ragged right margins and bad covers. I’ve got a nice Ionicus Penguin, which show Lord Biskerton to his best advantage…

  • Author: P.G. Wodehouse
  • Title: Big Money
  • Pages: 240
  • Published: 1980 (1931)
  • Publisher: Penguin

What do you mean — three Wodehouses in a row and what about your ‘reading now’ list? I’ve been a bit under the weather, caught a cold, and while sniffling don’t like to burden a
cotton-wool filled head with strong stuff like Dostoievsky. Or mangle my watery eyes with the small print of my ancient copy of Dickens. So it’s Wodehouse until I’ve perked up — just started on Ice in the Bedroom.

And, well, that’s a coincidence. Ice in the Bedroom and Big Money are very, very similar books. In fact, the master repeated his old trick of writing the same book with very similar characters. Ice in the Bedroom is the 1961 rewrite of Big Money. The most important difference is that the park-like grounds of Castlewood have grown from an eighth to a quarter of an acre, that’s all.

Oh, and some characters are a little different. But there’s the secretary who is going to fall in love and get rich, the stock scheme… And the main character of these two books, the suburb Wodehouse seems to have fallen in love with.

I might just prefer Big Money because of the superior qualities of Aunt Vera, or deprecate it because Ann Moon is such a dweeb. It’s a close call — perhaps I should postpone a decision until after another reread.

See also the Russian Wodehouse Society’s page on Big Money