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Extended Audio Sample Laughing Gas Audiobook, by P. G. Wodehouse Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 53.56 out of 5 3.56 (64 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: P. G. Wodehouse Narrator: Jonathan Cecil Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781481524230
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Joey Cooley is a golden-curled child film star, the idol of American motherhood. Reginald, third Earl of Havershot, is a boxing blue on a mission to save his wayward cousin from the fleshpots of Hollywood. Both are under anesthesia at the dentist’s office when something strange happens and their identities are swapped.

Suddenly, Joey can use his six-foot frame to get his own back on his Hollywood persecutors. But Reggie has to endure everything Joey had to put up with in the horrible life of a child star—including kidnap.

Laughing Gas is a Wodehouse’s brilliantly funny take on the “if I were you” theme—a wry look at the dangers of getting what you wish for in the movie business and beyond.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliantly funny writer—perhaps the most consistently funny the English language has yet produced.”

    Times (London)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 2/17/2014

    " Hilarious. I picked this book up from the library based on a recommendation by one of the librarians. I am very happy that I did. There will certainly be more P.G. Wodehouse in my future as a result of this humorous, quirky, and odd read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jinny Chung | 2/12/2014

    " Most possibly the funniest non-Jeeves PGW book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jinny Chung | 2/10/2014

    " Most possibly the funniest non-Jeeves PGW book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 2/7/2014

    " A light-hearted tale where Hollywood and English aristocracy collide written in the timeless Wodehouse style. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alan | 1/30/2014

    " I love Wodehouse so I enjoyed reading Laughing Gas but it wasn't my favourite. I found the premise weird and the plot a bit predictable - it didn't have the fun, the sense of mayhem, and the endearing characters of so many of his books. If you want to try a Wodehouse, any of the Jeeves series, such as "Aunts Aren't Gentlemen" or the Blandings series are excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will | 1/24/2014

    " Earlyish, and showing signs of genius. Don't read it just before going to see Me and My Girl "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janelle V. | 1/18/2014

    " This is prime Wodehouse, a masterpiece of plotting and pratfalls. I was rolling on the floor from the get-go. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gen Tuffnell | 1/17/2014

    " Bit slow goin for a Wodehouse and the famous one liners are relatively sporadic to begin with but it picks up a decent pace and PG gets in the swing of it so that by the end the reader isnt disappointed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mel | 1/16/2014

    " So enjoyable - great, fun, silly book. Has turned me on to Wodehouse, and I'm now reading one of the Jeeves books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 JoDee | 1/15/2014

    " I began this book and shortly put it down. I was having trouble with the volcabulary of an upperclass, educated Englishman at the beginning of the last century. A week later I tried again and this time adapted and laughed in all the right places. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janelle V. | 1/11/2014

    " This is prime Wodehouse, a masterpiece of plotting and pratfalls. I was rolling on the floor from the get-go. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bindhu | 1/8/2014

    " Was expecting it to be more funny .. but it was a good timepass .. not very gripping though .. loved the writing style .. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi | 1/6/2014

    " Hahahahaha! I loved it. This was my first exposure to P.G. Wodehouse. Brilliant, fast paced, about Hollywood and very funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 1/5/2014

    " Another Wodehouse oddity - a body swap comedy in which the hero trade places with an obnoxious Hollywood child star of the 30s. All a bit obvious but a jolly read. More child kidnapping but this time in comic vein. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Murray | 1/5/2014

    " What can you say? The story unfolds before you like a vista of rolling hills on a sun drenched day. Effortless to read with a cast of over the top characters. Wodehouse on fine form. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marianna Beadles | 1/1/2014

    " This is a fun little Wodehouse book; a humorous look at 1930's Hollywood, and a body-switching incident that is absolutely plausable when told by the inimitable Wodehouse. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rickeclectic | 12/31/2013

    " A somewhat odd premise for Wodehouse. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 12/29/2013

    " Funny tale of an Earl and a Child Star who change souls... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy0584 | 12/18/2013

    " Hilarious premise. Enjoyed it thoroughly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 12/12/2013

    " My grandfather used to love PG Wodehouse. Silly fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 12/3/2013

    " A touch of the supernatural in this one, as a young English Earl swaps bodies with an even younger Hollywood child while they're both under the laughing gas at the dentists. Plenty of unusual situations here, and all the more enjoyable for it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 11/28/2013

    " Being a Wodehouse, this book was of course, very funny. But in comparison to some of the others I have read, it was not as great. This only means it did not have mean rolling on the floor laughing. I was merely chuckling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Evangeline | 11/28/2013

    " I was disappointed not to enjoy this book more, but it still hasn't put me off reading more Wodehouse in the future. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Evangeline | 11/23/2013

    " I was disappointed not to enjoy this book more, but it still hasn't put me off reading more Wodehouse in the future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 11/17/2013

    " A dim-witted English lord switching bodies with a juvenile Hollywood star, with the requisite Wodehouse silliness ensuing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan Adair | 11/11/2013

    " This was fun and entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malvika | 10/30/2013

    " Nice book.....Wodehouse is always the perfect "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rickeclectic | 8/5/2013

    " A somewhat odd premise for Wodehouse. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashishg | 8/4/2013

    " A case of interchanged identities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances | 7/13/2013

    " Published in 1936, and it's still a scream!! A ripping fun read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 7/11/2013

    " My grandfather used to love PG Wodehouse. Silly fun read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ron | 6/24/2013

    " Thought I'd try a Wodehouse as so many folk I respect recommend his humour. This one was just plain silly. I'll try one more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Ganek | 6/21/2013

    " Wodehouse's prose is, as ever, a pleasure -- sparkling and effortless. However, without a strong personality to anchor the book, a Psmith or a Bertie, the joy is short-lived. Diverting, but not among Wodehouse's best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula | 6/13/2013

    " Not quite a Jeeves novel, but still amusing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malvika | 5/9/2013

    " Nice book.....Wodehouse is always the perfect "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tbfrank | 4/25/2013

    " Rather contrived body-swap story with some interesting passages and descriptions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 3/13/2013

    " What I learned from this book: that even middlin'-to-lesser Wodehouses are funnier and better crafted than most other comic writing. This one is essentially one of those Bertie-esque-characters-without-a-tempering-Jeeves numbers, and I'd love to see Pixar's version of this for some reason. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 9/23/2012

    " A "Freaky Friday" premise--long before "Freaky Friday" was written--with the usual, hilarious Wodehouse treatment. I think I would enjoy the opportunity to be in the body of a burly English peer and deliver "a poke in the snoot" to a few deserving people. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 8/30/2012

    " Funny! OK, predictable, yes, but hey I'll take it if it cracks me up! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi | 8/15/2012

    " Hahahahaha! I loved it. This was my first exposure to P.G. Wodehouse. Brilliant, fast paced, about Hollywood and very funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miranda | 6/3/2012

    " so smart and so silly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 5/30/2012

    " Hilarious. I picked this book up from the library based on a recommendation by one of the librarians. I am very happy that I did. There will certainly be more P.G. Wodehouse in my future as a result of this humorous, quirky, and odd read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 4/13/2012

    " This book is hilarious. Wodehouse is a master wordsmith consistantly bringing out the humor in the ordinary conversations and situations of life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen Heart | 2/20/2012

    " Not nearly as entertaining or humorous as the Wooster and Jeeves series. The plot is a little ridiculous as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 1/26/2012

    " Funny! OK, predictable, yes, but hey I'll take it if it cracks me up! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Douglas Wilson | 1/15/2012

    " Good. Read it for the first time in July of 1980, and just finished it again now. Always fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott Thrift | 10/29/2011

    " I don't know what I'll do when I've read all the Wodehouse. It's like watching "Friends" when there's a Ken Burns doc on the other channel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mel | 9/7/2011

    " So enjoyable - great, fun, silly book. Has turned me on to Wodehouse, and I'm now reading one of the Jeeves books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashishg | 7/10/2011

    " A case of interchanged identities. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bindhu | 4/18/2011

    " Was expecting it to be more funny .. but it was a good timepass .. not very gripping though .. loved the writing style .. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 4/16/2011

    " I don't know what I'll do when I've read all the Wodehouse. It's like watching "Friends" when there's a Ken Burns doc on the other channel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 3/15/2011

    " Funny! OK, predictable, yes, but hey I'll take it if it cracks me up! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judi | 3/12/2011

    " Hahahahaha! I loved it. This was my first exposure to P.G. Wodehouse. Brilliant, fast paced, about Hollywood and very funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Will | 1/21/2011

    " Earlyish, and showing signs of genius. Don't read it just before going to see Me and My Girl "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 10/1/2010

    " Funny tale of an Earl and a Child Star who change souls... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 6/24/2010

    " This book is hilarious. Wodehouse is a master wordsmith consistantly bringing out the humor in the ordinary conversations and situations of life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jinny | 6/18/2010

    " Most possibly the funniest non-Jeeves PGW book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 5/10/2010

    " A touch of the supernatural in this one, as a young English Earl swaps bodies with an even younger Hollywood child while they're both under the laughing gas at the dentists. Plenty of unusual situations here, and all the more enjoyable for it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Douglas | 6/2/2009

    " Good. Read it for the first time in July of 1980, and just finished it again now. Always fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Watoosa | 3/12/2009

    " Is Wodehouse the first to use the "switching bodies" plot that became so popular in Hollywood in recent decades? Either way, he does it better and much much funnier than Freaky Friday or Big or any of those other ones. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 1/12/2009

    " Hilarious. I picked this book up from the library based on a recommendation by one of the librarians. I am very happy that I did. There will certainly be more P.G. Wodehouse in my future as a result of this humorous, quirky, and odd read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 1/7/2009

    " My grandfather used to love PG Wodehouse. Silly fun read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 12/20/2008

    " What I learned from this book: that even middlin'-to-lesser Wodehouses are funnier and better crafted than most other comic writing. This one is essentially one of those Bertie-esque-characters-without-a-tempering-Jeeves numbers, and I'd love to see Pixar's version of this for some reason. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rickeclectic | 12/8/2008

    " A somewhat odd premise for Wodehouse. "

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About the Author

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881–1975) was an English humorist who wrote novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He was highly popular throughout a career that lasted more than seventy years, and his many writings continue to be widely read. He is best known for his novels and short stories of Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves and for his settings of English upper-class society of the pre– and post–World War I era. He lived in several countries before settling in the United States after World War II. During the 1920s, he collaborated with Broadway legends like Cole Porter and George Gershwin on musicals and, in the 1930s, expanded his repertoire by writing for motion pictures. He was honored with a knighthood in 1975.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Cecil (1939–2011) was a vastly experienced actor, appearing at Shakespeare’s Globe as well as in such West End productions as The Importance of Being Earnest, The Seagull, and The Bed before Yesterday. He toured in The Incomparable Max, Twelfth Night, and An Ideal Husband, while among his considerable television and film appearances were The Rector’s Wife, Just William, Murder Most Horrid, and As You Like It.