Paying Guests

Another Copenhagen find, Paying Guests by E.F.Benson does exactly what it says on the cover, which is always a Good Thing, I think. To quote what it says on the cover, so that you will have an idea what it does:

Bolton Spa is infamous for two things: the nauseating quality of its brine and the parsimony of its boarding houses. Exceptional is the Wentworth. Every summer this luxurious establishment is full of paying guests come to sample their waters, the constant hot meals, the happy family atmosphere. (…) Their triumphs, unforgettably and hilariously recorded here, will be relished throughout the land for years to come.

It also says «ranking with the very best of P.G. Wodehouse», which is just a tad exaggerated, at least I never found this Benson novel Laugh-Out-Loud funny, which Wodehouse is – frequently – but its still fundamentally humorous, and hence fundamentally human. For as Mr. Bennet, the wise man, said: «What do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbours and laugh at them in our turn?»