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Download The Coming of Bill Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Coming of Bill Audiobook, by P. G. Wodehouse Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (217 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: P. G. Wodehouse Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781455173884
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The nearest Wodehouse ever came to a serious story, The Coming of Bill is a fascinating blend of social commentary and light comedy.

Kirk, an impecunious artist of perfect physique, and Ruth, a spoiled heiress, were blissfully happy through their early days of marriage and the birth of their first son. But when Kirk returns from a trip to Colombia to find Ruth under the thumb of her aunt Lora, an advocate of eugenics, parenting philosophies divide them. It takes a series of comic mishaps, featuring a galaxy of vintage Wodehouse characters, to retrieve the family’s happiness from the overbearing aunt.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Splendid.”

    Independent (London)

  • “He exhausts superlatives.”

    Stephen Fry

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 2/14/2014

    " Classic Wodehouse. Don't pick this up thinking that you're getting Jeeves and Wooster. Their Mutual Child is biting social commentary of early twentieth-century NYC. He slices and dices not just the idle rich, but also the OTT, gun-ho American spirit of the time, and intellectual progressives who saw eugenics as the way to "improve" society. The stereotypes are pretty broad early on, but as reality sinks into his characters' thick heads, they become much more real. Funny and poignant. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris Callaway | 2/7/2014

    " Surprisingly, a Wodehouse failure. The last half of the book was actually depressing, which made the breezy resolution at the end unbelievable (in a bad way). I've loved every other book I've read by PG, but this one isn't worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Ladwig | 1/20/2014

    " Wodehouse gives a bit of a rebuttal to the eugenic culture in the form of this comedic story, said to be one of his more serious works. Still very funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen Osborne | 12/26/2013

    " Certainly not the best Wodehouse. The second half is pretty dreary, and to be honest Ruth doesn't deserve to end up happy, having made such a muck up of her marriage! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Nenadov | 12/12/2013

    " The humor is on the subtle side compared to some other Wodehouse books, but this is a gem. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shaun | 9/26/2013

    " Quickly becoming one of my favorite 19th century humorists. Probably the only one I've read but enjoyable to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colaly | 6/3/2013

    " Different from the comedies, but I still enjoyed it. Was more satirical and thoughtful, in a way, but still silly. Eugenics and changing child rearing practices were big topics in the day he wrote this, and in terms of the historical context, I thought it was interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shari Brownlee | 5/8/2013

    " Not as funny as most of his work but enjoyable and fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Flora | 12/19/2012

    " A mix of charm and seriousness, set in uptown Manhattan. Wodehouse doesn't dig terribly deeply into personality (except perhaps Steve's), but that's not the point of the story. It's more of a light-hearted morality play. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan (the Gryphon) | 12/12/2012

    " An interesting take on romance between unequal money. A lot of side commentary on hygiene. Read because it was published the year my father was born, but I always enjoy P.G. Wodehouse. His generation understood literary wit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 2/29/2012

    " For regular P.G. Wodehouse readers, this book is jarring; it's earnest, with characters that care. Interesting for its insights into the Progressive Era belief in the perfectibility of humanity. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 1/20/2012

    " Divorce, child abduction, economic disaster - not the usual elements of a Wodehouse book. A curiosity in that it's an attempt to write something serious but his style is too light to sustain it. An honourable failure "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 12/15/2011

    " This was interesting. It wasn't funny, nor sarcastic, nor did it have a particularly twisty plot. It was simply a novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doc & Charly | 10/20/2011

    " Marriage goes awry over how to raise baby William and deal with sudden riches. All's well in the end, of course. This is P.G. Wodehouse after all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 10/5/2011

    " This is the newest addition to my Wodehouse collection, and probably one of his most serious novels. A fun read with a point. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Qi | 3/15/2011

    " I am a Wodehouse fan. I am also a fan of lemon soufflé. You can pardon my surprise of biting to my pastry with a bunched up bone of chicken and fish. I am very disappointed by this book. It is trying to blend too many ideas, some frivolous, some serious, into the same book without success. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shaun | 1/27/2011

    " Quickly becoming one of my favorite 19th century humorists. Probably the only one I've read but enjoyable to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 12/11/2010

    " Wodehouse gives a bit of a rebuttal to the eugenic culture in the form of this comedic story, said to be one of his more serious works. Still very funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen | 12/3/2010

    " Certainly not the best Wodehouse. The second half is pretty dreary, and to be honest Ruth doesn't deserve to end up happy, having made such a muck up of her marriage! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 6/14/2010

    " A bit larger in scope than most of Wodehouse's novels, which was an interesting change. Brilliant, obviously, because Wodehouse is the best comic writer ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 8/13/2009

    " For regular P.G. Wodehouse readers, this book is jarring; it's earnest, with characters that care. Interesting for its insights into the Progressive Era belief in the perfectibility of humanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan (the Gryphon) | 6/16/2009

    " An interesting take on romance between unequal money. A lot of side commentary on hygiene. Read because it was published the year my father was born, but I always enjoy P.G. Wodehouse. His generation understood literary wit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 3/12/2009

    " This was interesting. It wasn't funny, nor sarcastic, nor did it have a particularly twisty plot. It was simply a novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ian | 12/22/2008

    " A very un-Wodehouse like story. Quite serious, with a death, a marital split, child abuse and similar things. Not at all the "musical comedy without the music" that Wodehouse described his work as. The inevitable happy ending is cliché-ridden. Not enjoyable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris | 11/1/2007

    " Surprisingly, a Wodehouse failure. The last half of the book was actually depressing, which made the breezy resolution at the end unbelievable (in a bad way). I've loved every other book I've read by PG, but this one isn't worth the time. "

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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

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.