Mike And Psmithby P. G. Wodehouse
The first half of this story, introduces Michael "Mike" Jackson. Mike is the youngest son of a renowned cricketing family. Mike's brother Joe is a successful first-class player, while another brother, Bob, is on the verge of his school team. When Mike arrives at Wrykyn himself, his cricketing talent and love of adventure bring him success and trouble in equal measure. The second part, takes place two years later. Mike, due to take over as cricket captain at Wrykyn, is withdrawn from the school by his father and sent to a lesser school, called Sedleigh. On arrival at Sedleigh, he meets the eccentric Rupert Psmith, another new arrival from the superior school of Eton. Becoming fast friends, the two eschew cricket and indulge in all manner of high-jinks and adventures.
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This book showcases 2 of Wodehouse's finest qualities - his amazingly intuitive grasp of life at school and the psyche of its inmates and his unparalleled wit. Indeed, it is hard to go through one of his 'school stories' without revisiting one's own childhood. The book opens with Mike, a simple, unassuming yougster, for whom the love of cricket transcends everything else. A slump in the fortunes of his family lands him in a new school, rudely interrupting his progress to the captaincy of his school eleven. As a result, the new school finds a somewhat resentful young gentleman on its premises. Mike, however, is not the only new entry. He is soon joined by Psmith and a round of introductions later, the two youths decide to brave the new school and its offerings together. How they go about doing this and the ensuing events form the crux of the story. The reader is witness to an interesting study in contrasts. On the one hand, we have Mike, a normal, almost awkward youth, who transforms into the epitome of flair and confidence on the cricket field and whose attitude to life and the people around him is simple and straightforward (almost blunt), which contrasts sharply with the sophisticated Psmith, who lends an air of importance and class to every scene he's part of. The interaction between these two as also the diverse ways in which they approach difficult situations is the most enjoyable aspect of the book. All in all, a very interesting read.