Read A Prefect's Uncle by P.G. Wodehouse Online


At Beckford College, where the pupils seem to be spending most of their time playing cricket, Gethryn is faced with this younger uncle arriving at the school.The novel takes place at the fictional "Beckford College," a private school for boys. The action begins with the arrival at the school of a mischievous young boy called Farnie, who turns out to be the uncle of the oldAt Beckford College, where the pupils seem to be spending most of their time playing cricket, Gethryn is faced with this younger uncle arriving at the school.The novel takes place at the fictional "Beckford College," a private school for boys. The action begins with the arrival at the school of a mischievous young boy called Farnie, who turns out to be the uncle of the older "Bishop" Gethryn, a prefect, cricketer, and popular figure in the school. His arrival, along with that of another youngster who becomes a servant to Gethryn, leads to much excitement and scandal in the school, and the disruption of some important cricket matches.‘Marriott walked into the senior day-room, and, finding no one there, hurled his portmanteau down on the table with a bang. The noise brought William into the room. William was attached to Leicester’s House, Beckford College, as a mixture of butler and bootboy.’...

Title : A Prefect's Uncle
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781590204146
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Prefect's Uncle Reviews

  • Evan Leach
    2018-09-10 08:21

    A Prefect’s Uncle is Wodehouse’s second book, first published in 1903. Like Wodehouse’s other early work, this is a “school story” – a tale set at an English boarding school, probably written with younger readers in mind. Gethryn has a pretty great thing going at Beckford College: he’s a good athlete, popular, and a school prefect. But his world turns upside down when his uncle, a younger boy named Reginald Farnie, shows up at school and promptly causes all kinds of problems. I was impressed by how much funnier this book was than Wodehouse’s first effort, The Pothunters. That story had some clever moments but was still finding its way a bit. Wodehouse made great strides between his debut novel and this one. The humor is more liberally applied in A Prefect’s Uncle, which is most welcome.“If four plutocrats with four sovereigns were to combine, Farnie, by their united efforts, would be saved. And he rather liked the notion of being turned into a sort of limited liability company, like the Duke of Plaza Toro, at a pound a share. It seemed to add a certain dignity to his position.”Wodehouse is a master at using understatement and overstatement to make an otherwise ordinary paragraph shine, and there are countless examples on display in this book:“The worst had happened. The bitter cup was full, the iron neatly inserted in Gethryn's soul.”“Gethryn nobly refrained from rending the speaker limb from limb.”I was thoroughly entertained by this book’s humor, and if I were judging it on that aspect alone it would be a 4-star read easily. What weighs it down a bit, and where the book shows its age, are the sections focused on cricket. Sporting stories about youngsters reaching the heights of glory on the field/pitch/diamond/track/whatever are still read by young readers today, but in the early 20th century they were much more popular. In the U.S. kids couldn’t get enough baseball stories, while across the pond cricket, rugby, and soccer were in demand. So the long sections dedicated to cricket matches were probably riveting stuff for Wodehouse’s target audience 110 years ago, but they felt a little dated to me. But even those sections are rescued by Wodehouse’s quick wit, and overall this was a very fun read. 3.5 stars, recommended!

  • Lindsey
    2018-09-02 10:39

    Not much of a plot in this one. I hope you're a cricket fan if you read it! It looks like from many of the reviews that this is nowhere near what Wodehouse's popular works are like, so I won't write him off completely. Plus, you have to give someone a second chance when Douglas Adams has called him the greatest comic writer ever. Some bits of this book here and there were delightful to read, but most was "beastly". (That would be one of the delights of the book for me, whenever someone called something "beastly".) I'm glad it was short. On a stupid American note, as this was a British school story, I learned that some of the things about Hogwarts were not original; they are just standard in the British school system (or the old system? I don't know how much has changed and what percentage of kids go away to school since this book was written) - the school is divided into different houses, and they compete against each other for a cricket cup. And then there are prefects of course. Up until now Harry Potter has been my only glimpse into British schooling. And I just realized there are no female characters in this book, but that is kind of to be expected in a boys' school story.

  • Kevin Lanahan
    2018-08-31 14:33

    this is more of a novella, and apparently one of Wodehouse's early works. He does the pommy sort of banter he is famous for, but does so much better in his later stories. His writing is unabashedly British, and if you don't understand the school system, cricket jargon​, and the class system of the times, you should probably find an annotated version; elsewise just enjoy the works.

  • Hans Auf
    2018-09-16 11:20

    The book is filled with cricket terms. It is early Wodehouse, one of his school tales, flashes of Wodehouse wit.Wodehouse is the master. This is an early school tale. It is all about cricket, with lots of cricket terminology. There are flashes of the Wodehouse similes and wit coming in later books.

  • Soumyendu Saha
    2018-09-03 12:42

    This book definitely keeps the Wodehouse-que humour that keeps you smiling throughout the story. But not the best of Wodehouse (at least I expected a bit more), still its good enough for a gloomy afternoon read.

  • Nubero
    2018-09-16 06:29

    Only interesting for Wodehouse fans and even then, probably not so much. Wodehouse is great but don’t start here…

  • Dave
    2018-09-13 12:42

    “A Prefect’s Uncle” was the second book that P. G. Wodehouse had published. As with “The Pothunters” it is a story which features boys at a school as the main characters. It was first published in the U.K. on September 11, 1903, and this time it takes place at Beckford College. Though in some ways improved over his first published book, there are many of the same problems with this story as existed in his first book.This story focuses on Gethryn, the new Prefect of Leicester’s House at Beckford college. The title refers to his uncle, Reginald Farnie, who as it turns out is four years younger than he is, and is coming to attend the same school and be in the same house. Farnie, as he is generally referred to, gets up to a fair amount of mischief in the first third of the book, but then is almost completely absent from the rest of the book, though his actions have consequences which impact Gethryn’s life for most of the book. Another key character is Gethryn’s housemate, Marriott, who also has a new student to look out for, Percy V. Wilson, who is the son of a friend of a friend of his aunt. As with “The Pothunters”, the title actually doesn’t have too much to do with what goes on in the book, though certainly the uncle causes more problems than there was pothunting in the first book. Both books suffer from a dizzying cast of characters, some of which are still being introduced in the final chapter, though once again this book manages to keep the focus on a fewer number of them for most of the book, which is definitely an improvement. Another similarity between the two books is that athletics is a key ingredient in both stories. It was running in “The Pothunters” which dominated the action, and in “A Prefect’s Uncle” it is cricket which fills a lot of the pages. One key difference between the books is that this book avoids having key action take place out of the view of the reader, which is probably the biggest improvement over Wodehouse’s first book. In spite of these improvements, this is still a substandard Wodehouse, and those who know his works well can easily imagine the kinds of issues the uncle would have gotten into had this book been written later in Wodehouse’s career when he was at his peak. Thus I give this the same star rating of two-stars that I gave the first book, though in this case I am rounding down instead of up. This is definitely a Wodehouse book, but it is not one of the great ones.

  • Ian Wood
    2018-08-25 08:47

    A Prefect’s Uncle was P G Wodehouse’s second school novel based on the occupants of Beckford College rather than St Austin’s of his ‘The Pothunters’ debut. Little distinguishes the two public schools and the schoolboys them selves are cast from the same die. Wodehouse’s change of location serves very little apart from giving himself the nightmare of thinking up more names.The Prefect of the title is ‘Bishop’ Gethryn and his Uncle is the younger Farnie whom embarrasses his nephew with his constant ‘ragging’ and ‘kicking’ at school. As you can imagine all sorts of hilarity, misunderstanding and cross talking ensue from the Uncle being the younger boy, except of course they don’t, the premise is entirely squandered with the older boys bring Farnie up to scratch to spare Gethryn the embarrassment of his uncle being ‘sent down’.There is nothing here to suggest the genius that Wodehouse later gave to the world and the reading of this novel should be left only to Wodehouse completists.

  • Michael
    2018-08-26 12:20

    The book has a lot of schoolboy slang that took some getting used to, including the term "fag", which from context, cleary did not carry the same meaning as the contemporary American usage of the term. I even looked it up because I was curious. Apparently it means "a younger pupil in a British public school required to perform certain menial tasks for, and submit to the hazing of, an older pupil." And it looked like it was a pretty formal relationship back in the day, so in that sense, I don't even know that hazing (again, the modern American usage) is the right term to describe the relationship. So as a historical snapshot, the book is really interesting. The humor was not quite as good as I expected from P.G. Wodehouse though. And the language didn't always flow well, making for a slower, but still interesting read.

  • Phil Syphe
    2018-09-08 08:19

    “A Prefect's Uncle” was P. G. Wodehouse’s second publication and was first released in 1903. This isn’t a novel with a single plot featuring a hero and a heroine – in fact no female characters appear – but is rather a series of events, featuring several characters, held together with a stream of continuity.This is nothing like the tales Wodehouse would become famous for writing but his unique style is apparent nonetheless. The story is set in an all-boys’ college. Most characters are aged 17-18, except for the prefect’s uncle, who is 14. Lengthy descriptions of cricket and football matches feature here and there, all of which I skipped with me not being a fan of either sport.Having not been keen on Wodehouse’s first publication – “The Pothunters” – I expected this book to be on par with that one, however, this tale was more appealing to my tastes.

  • Neil
    2018-09-01 12:42

    Very early Wodehouse, his second book. Only really of value when he gives a hint of the greatness that was to come. A public school novel with fairly uninteresting characters. The "prefects uncle" by the way is younger than his nephew and unaccountably is dropped from the narrative in the second half of the book. The book opens with one of the characters talking to the school caretaker, the pupil is a bit of what Wodehouse would come to call a "buzzer." It makes a charming and hopeful first page but soon the book descends into seemingly endless cricket matches and contains very little humour or for that matter excitement, thankfully it's rather short my copy was only around 150 pages. Wodehouse's school novel "Mike" is a great book by any standards, this sadly isn't, just keep in mind there is better to come from PGW.

  • Scot
    2018-08-27 11:24

    Wodehouse's second novel, published in 1903. The hilarious tone he is loved for hasn't developed much yet--this is a predictable public school tale of adolescent boys' virtues and proper manners, sort of along the lines of Tom Brown's Schooldays. The setting is Beckford, a public school. A harbinger of the conniving lad that will become a staple in many later Wodehouse tales can be found in the character Farnie. There is quite a lot of slang discussion of cricket matches in the dialogue here as well as cricket matches themselves in the plot of this book, which can become quite bewildering for those unfamiliar with the sport, and tedious even if you do understand it some.

  • Leah A. A.
    2018-08-22 11:31

    One of Wodehouse's early novels set in English public schools, and probably aimed at boys of prep-school age. The tale concerns the difficulties of a prefect when a young reprobate enrolls in in his school -- and turns out to be his uncle. The story is told as a series of episodes. These early boys' books have their charms, but comparing them to the author's later works for adults would not be fair. You probably shouldn't attempt this if you don't have at least a "Harry Potter" familiarity with English boarding-school life.

  • Nente
    2018-08-24 08:45

    It's not only humor and the turn-of-phrases that are trademark Wodehouse in this book. Wodehouse always projects the feeling that nothing really bad can happen in his world; more than that, nothing really bad can even be imagined. That's what makes all his books so restful and worth reading even if they don't yet have the many-layered plot and subtle brilliance of the best in Jeeves or Blandings series. The outlook of a happy schoolboy that he managed to retain through his entire literary career.

  • Meghan
    2018-08-30 10:38

    Many Wodehouse fans do not care for his school stories, dismissing them as mere juvenilia. I am not among their number. There is nowhere on earth Plum was happier or more comfortable than the studies and cricket pitches of the British public school, and it shows.This is a particularly early effort and structurally, it shows. It is not sound. It rattles along, like Gethryn's bicycle with the punctured tire. But it has lovely Wodehousian sentences and boys and cricket and pretty much does what it says on the tin.

  • Lynette
    2018-09-04 10:40

    Even though this is very different from Wodehouse's later novels, I must say I rather liked it. I didn't care too much for the play-by-plays, being unfamiliar with the sports he describes, but otherwise I enjoyed it. It is reassuring to note that there have always been, and doubtless will always be bullies, brats, supercilious fools and other rotters in all schools. That is my observation as a retired educator. As a Wodehouse fan, I have to admire his writing in this earlier form.

  • Somdutta
    2018-08-30 12:43

    This is one of Wodehouse's school stories. It involves the students of Beckford college participating in various activities, cricket being one of the most important apart from football and writing poetry for the ones in Upper Fifth. This book is for light reading and it is a better if the reader is well aware of the rules of the game of cricket and football, because few chapters concentrate on the conditions on the field when these games are being played.

  • Janice
    2018-09-18 11:43

    One of Wodehouse's early, public school works, the blow-by-blow descriptions of cricket matches (at least I think that's what they were) make for slow going; the flashes of wit that later became synonymous with Wodehouse's writing are especially welcome when they surface. The prefect's uncle himself (a delightfully underhanded and conniving character) disappears after the first third of the book, disappointing this reader.

  • Phillip
    2018-09-18 09:27

    It is basically all right. Wodehouse is still writing school stories. I don't really go for descriptions of fictional sporting events, of which there is a lot. Wodehouse is still an apprentice and hasn't discovered the things that will make him great. Though, the beginning about the uncle is quarky and fun. It is a solid piece of writing.

  • Mailis Viiand
    2018-09-15 10:20

    Putting aside the full-length cricket extravaganza the dynamics of happenings an human vices are full of humor and Wodehouses trademark happy ending will put you in a good mood every time...being a person of zero knowledge of cricket it is hard to follow the thread of thought sometimes sadly in this cant help feeling thats shes missing something of the story...

  • S Prakash
    2018-09-17 11:25

    All I can say is that this could be the maestro's worst ever written. Though it did start off well initially and raised few good laughs, it meandered and meandered to turn out to be a damp squib. Its about a School, its houses and cricket matches amongst the houses. School boy kinships, rivaleries and wode house mark goof ups( though not so good and many of them). Absoulutely an avoidable read.

  • Godo Stoyke
    2018-09-17 07:19

    My attempt to burn my way through Wodehouse's prolific writing has hit a snag; the first book (The Pothunters, 1902) is dull, and this second book (A Prefect's Uncle, 1903) is better, but not great. It gives some good insights into British boarding schools at the dawn of the 20th century, but can only be truly enjoyed by fanatical fans of cricket and rugby.

  • Usfromdk
    2018-09-10 11:19

    Die-hard fans of Wodehouse might consider reading this book, but few others will find it worth reading. Without some familiarity with cricket you should not read this book, but I'm fairly certain that even if I'd liked the sport I should not have particularly liked the book. One of Wodehouse' first books, but most certainly not one of his best.

  • Bruce Thomas
    2018-09-19 09:34

    Secondary school upper classman finds out his mother's brother has enrolled in the private school, oh, the embarrassment, but the new boy is a rowdy sort who causes all kinds of problems for his nephew. Compelling and humorous situations that young men face as they push on to adulthood.

  • Ella
    2018-09-02 09:22

    P.G. Wodehouse is very good with characters. I've read oodles of books that had characters I couldn't care less about, but I'm only part of the way into this book, and I can't wait to see what happens next to the characters, because I care about them.

  • Lee Belbin
    2018-09-04 13:19

    Not a bad English public school yarn. Bishop has younger uncle arrive at Beckford and steal money forcing hero to chase at cost of cricket match. Bit of ok: Much language of the period (1903), spiffing, ragged etc. Typical Wodehouse. Nice to have no sex, violence etc.

  • Douglas Wilson
    2018-09-16 07:31

    One of his early school boy stories, before he found his distinctive voice. Still, there were glimmers here and there of what was to come.

  • [chris] Dale
    2018-08-21 13:36

    More of the same sort as the last one, with equal charm but feeling keenly the loss of Dallas and his friend from the last book.

  • Emily
    2018-09-14 12:34

    Recommended for the cricket-obsessed.

  • Leandro Guimarães
    2018-08-26 11:37

    A more benign view of life in Engliſh public ſchools at the beginniŋ of the XX century, in Wodehouſe’s pleaſant humour.