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My Man Jeeves - P. G. Wodehouse [Modern library classics]

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"First published in 1919, My Man Jeeves is a collection of short stories featuring the well known fictional characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. The compilation consists of eight stories, of which four feature the popular duo while the other four stories feature Reggie Pepper, an early model of Bertie Wooster. Set in the early 20th century, the stories carry much humor, "First published in 1919, My Man Jeeves is a collection of short stories featuring the well known fictional characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. The compilation consists of eight stories, of which four feature the popular duo while the other four stories feature Reggie Pepper, an early model of Bertie Wooster. Set in the early 20th century, the stories carry much humor, wit, and charming mischief as the characters seem to attract trouble wherever they go. Wodehouse sets the stories in the early 20th century and allows the audience to enter the world of the upper-class establishments, and experience the many awkward situations the characters find themselves in. A satirical portrayal of characters and events, the stories see the presence of a rich young Englishman Bertie Wooster, who resides in New York, and leads a comfortable lifestyle. He is additionally accompanied by his suave valet Jeeves, whose positive influence is known to swiftly rescue his employer from discomfort. The collection begins with a story that introduces the all-knowing Jeeves, who is described as being the brains of the party, and the daft yet charming Wooster who appears to be a magnet for misfortune. Together the pair must outwit acquaintances by devising schemes, though they repeatedly neglect calculating possible outcomes, and as a result further entangle themselves in their own web. The other stories featuring the inseparable duo all seem to center around certain predicaments that require Jeeves’ quick wits and sage solutions, and subsequently follow him as he gives spot-on advice on various distinct topics ranging from fashion, finance and horse betting. Furthermore, four stories observe Reggie Pepper, who is also an idle young socialite and victim to endless troublesome situations. He too must come up with respectable solutions to spare him from embarrassment. The style, witty dialogue, absurd situations, and memorable characters are just some of the aspects that mark the collection as a humorous treasure. Poking fun at the socialite lifestyle, while weaving together a series of humorous misadventures, Wodehouse successfully creates a light-hearted piece guaranteed to steal a smile. A timeless compilation of humor and wit, My Man Jeeves will leave readers coming back to its riveting pages time and time again."


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"First published in 1919, My Man Jeeves is a collection of short stories featuring the well known fictional characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. The compilation consists of eight stories, of which four feature the popular duo while the other four stories feature Reggie Pepper, an early model of Bertie Wooster. Set in the early 20th century, the stories carry much humor, "First published in 1919, My Man Jeeves is a collection of short stories featuring the well known fictional characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. The compilation consists of eight stories, of which four feature the popular duo while the other four stories feature Reggie Pepper, an early model of Bertie Wooster. Set in the early 20th century, the stories carry much humor, wit, and charming mischief as the characters seem to attract trouble wherever they go. Wodehouse sets the stories in the early 20th century and allows the audience to enter the world of the upper-class establishments, and experience the many awkward situations the characters find themselves in. A satirical portrayal of characters and events, the stories see the presence of a rich young Englishman Bertie Wooster, who resides in New York, and leads a comfortable lifestyle. He is additionally accompanied by his suave valet Jeeves, whose positive influence is known to swiftly rescue his employer from discomfort. The collection begins with a story that introduces the all-knowing Jeeves, who is described as being the brains of the party, and the daft yet charming Wooster who appears to be a magnet for misfortune. Together the pair must outwit acquaintances by devising schemes, though they repeatedly neglect calculating possible outcomes, and as a result further entangle themselves in their own web. The other stories featuring the inseparable duo all seem to center around certain predicaments that require Jeeves’ quick wits and sage solutions, and subsequently follow him as he gives spot-on advice on various distinct topics ranging from fashion, finance and horse betting. Furthermore, four stories observe Reggie Pepper, who is also an idle young socialite and victim to endless troublesome situations. He too must come up with respectable solutions to spare him from embarrassment. The style, witty dialogue, absurd situations, and memorable characters are just some of the aspects that mark the collection as a humorous treasure. Poking fun at the socialite lifestyle, while weaving together a series of humorous misadventures, Wodehouse successfully creates a light-hearted piece guaranteed to steal a smile. A timeless compilation of humor and wit, My Man Jeeves will leave readers coming back to its riveting pages time and time again."

30 review for My Man Jeeves - P. G. Wodehouse [Modern library classics]

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    'Sir?' said Jeeves, kind of manifesting himself. One of the rummy things about Jeeves is that, unless you watch like a hawk, you very seldom see him come into a room. He's like one of those weird chappies in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them. Most people today probable associate Jeeves with the man that has all the answers not because they have read P.G. Wodehouse, but because they 'Sir?' said Jeeves, kind of manifesting himself. One of the rummy things about Jeeves is that, unless you watch like a hawk, you very seldom see him come into a room. He's like one of those weird chappies in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them. Most people today probable associate Jeeves with the man that has all the answers not because they have read P.G. Wodehouse, but because they have accessed Ask Jeeves on the web. Not the Jeeves I know Over the years I've read Wodehouse here and there, but it has been so long since I've read most of them that I have decided to go back through the entire works of Wodehouse. Overlook Press has reissued Wodehouse in affordable hardback editions that are actually kind of fun to collect. http://www.overlookpress.com/p-g-wode... This collection of stories is equally split between four Jeeves and Wooster stories, and four stories with an early version of Bertie Wooster under the name Reggie Peppers. There was such a shift in style between the Jeeves stories and moving into the Peppers stories that I actually looked at the book to see if I had grabbed the right one. There is humor in the Peppers stories, but nothing like the graceful, yet ribald wit of the Jeeves and Wooster stories. I had no clue that Reggie Peppers existed in the Wodehouse world so I'm a bit gleeful to make his acquaintance. I was popping off answers to emails at work yesterday and after reading back through one such message I discovered bits of Wodehouse lilt to my language. I had to go back through and tone my word choices down. I've found living in the Midwest it is best to take any elevated language or tone out of my writing because people here assume that I am showing off. Also don't sound too happy about anything or they will think you are going crazy. My point being though is that Wodehouse's writing style is so engaging and contagious. He is also laugh out loud funny and here is one example out of many that had me chortling. Lady Malvern was a hearty, happy, healthy, overpowering sort of dashing female, not so very tall but making up for it by measuring about six feet from the O.P. to the Prompt Side. She fitted into my biggest arm-chair as if it had been built round her by some one who knew they were wearing arm-chairs tight around the hips that season. Okay so part of the reason this was so funny to me was I had one of the people that work for me in my office for a yearly evaluation. She was sitting in one of my office chairs. Everything went swimmingly until we finished and she got up to leave. She is one of those women that are pear shaped. She took two steps with the chair still attached to her hips and then the chair just popped off. I have to give myself credit I held it together. My brain was scrambling for something to say that A)wouldn't make me laugh and B)wouldn't come across in any way shape or form as insulting. I came up with are you alright?. She laughed and said that she might need to lose some weight or I might need to get some bigger chairs. I notice now when she comes in to talk to me that she lists to one side to keep one hip from hooking under the arm of the chair. So I laughed at Bertie's assessment of Lady Malvern's tight fit in his arm-chair and the memory it inspired of the chair incident in my office. Now of course I couldn't read the books without seeing Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as Jeeves and Wooster. I have watched the series twice and if you haven't seen it you are really in for a treat. Several stories from this book were lifted for episodes. Much of the dialogue is exactly the same because how could you improve on the wit and repartee of Wodehouse? I endeavor to give satisfaction, sir. Now part of the charm of Hugh Laurie playing Wooster is that his facial expressions are just priceless. He does gobsmacked about as well as anyone in the film industry. I find myself laughing out loud at his expression without him having to say a word. For me, Tim Conway is the funniest man ever, but Hugh Laurie as Wooster is on the short list. I tried to think of something to say, but nothing came. A chappie has to be a lot broader about the forehead than I am to handle a jolt like this. I strained the old bean till it creaked, but between the collar and the hair parting nothing stirred. Most disturbing, sir. Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse in 1955 was naturalized as an American citizen. We do our best to steal the most talented from around the world. He wrote 96 books, so I will have my work cut out for me to read them all, but it is also such a relief to know that there are so many of them and each one I'm sure will elicit a heady combination of snorts, snickers, and chuckles. Wodehouse lived to be 93 serving notice to the rest of us that comedians who avoid early deaths from drug abuse tend to live to a ripe old age. I suggest to all that you read Wodehouse, laugh out loud don't smother your glee, let it out, and in the process you will be healthier, and will, according to studies, live longer. Keep a Wodehouse handy for a day when you are feeling glum. P. G. Wodehouse Precisely sir. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    This book is a big improvement over the first one, The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories. This one contains 9 stories with 5 of them telling Jeeves and Wooster adventures in New York. The first one was decent enough, but nothing to write home about; the next one finally delivered: it was amusing, clever, and the way Jeeves dealt with yet another difficult situation finally made me his big fan. I also need to mention that these 5 were all good: some better some worse, but in general good. This book is a big improvement over the first one, The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories. This one contains 9 stories with 5 of them telling Jeeves and Wooster adventures in New York. The first one was decent enough, but nothing to write home about; the next one finally delivered: it was amusing, clever, and the way Jeeves dealt with yet another difficult situation finally made me his big fan. I also need to mention that these 5 were all good: some better some worse, but in general good. This leaves us with 4 stories. These are about a guy named Reggie Pepper whose numerous friends end up in desperate situations usually due to their wives/girlfriends/fiancees, etc. The guy does not have an advantage to have Jeeves as his manservant so as a result he often gets the short end of the stick while trying to help. While as the whole I liked these less the second Reggie Pepper story contained the only scene of the book which made me laugh out loud. Reading this book made me realize something I hate to admit. Every single one of the problems of friends of Wooster and Pepper could be completely solved by making them (friends that is) getting a soul-sucking job 9 to 5 the majority of modern people have; every single one. And here I thought I would never say anything nice about soul-sucking jobs. Oh well, I guess I learned something new. In the conclusion the book was amusing enough to earn 4 stars, just do not expect laugh out loud scaring the people around you while reading. Yes, I will continue reading about further misadventures of Bernie Wooster and Jeeves.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Slapstick Aristocracy? I guess that pretty much sums it up. The butler is always smarter and more ingenious than anyone else in the book. :) It's pretty and pretty much the beginning of all other similar writings and imitators, and for that, I really appreciate it. Moreso, it's funny and still relevant even if it's just a tad dated. We've still got tons of historical novel interest, but this one was timely for its day in 1919. The timing and the idiocy and the fairly complicated plotting in the Slapstick Aristocracy? I guess that pretty much sums it up. The butler is always smarter and more ingenious than anyone else in the book. :) It's pretty and pretty much the beginning of all other similar writings and imitators, and for that, I really appreciate it. Moreso, it's funny and still relevant even if it's just a tad dated. We've still got tons of historical novel interest, but this one was timely for its day in 1919. The timing and the idiocy and the fairly complicated plotting in the background really made poor Wooster shine as the idjit that he is. I heartily recommend this for anyone interested in the humorous classics.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    What ho! This Goodreads review lark is a rummy thing. Here I sit, drinking buckets of tea, that indispensable tissue restorative, waiting for the old muse to come up with something, squeezing the old bean until it turns purple, and the blighted screen remains stubbornly blank. What is a frightful chump like me to do? How interesting it must be to be one of those animal-trainer Johnnies: to stimulate the dawning intelligence, and that sort of thing. Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, best portrayal of What ho! This Goodreads review lark is a rummy thing. Here I sit, drinking buckets of tea, that indispensable tissue restorative, waiting for the old muse to come up with something, squeezing the old bean until it turns purple, and the blighted screen remains stubbornly blank. What is a frightful chump like me to do? How interesting it must be to be one of those animal-trainer Johnnies: to stimulate the dawning intelligence, and that sort of thing. Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, best portrayal of J&W ever. OK, if I keep that sort of faux-Wodehouse business up the old bean will surely explode—or possibly implode. Still, one must endeavor to give satisfaction and all that sort of rot. It’s been many years since I read a Wodehouse book, there was a time when I could not get enough of them. Unfortunately if you read to many of them one after the other they do tend to seem very similar and the magic fades. Better to not over indulge, don’t you know. P.G. Wodehouse’s books are kind of magical, though, there is never any substance to them that I can discern, no moral lessons or in-depth exploration of the human condition. They are just fun and astonishingly written. Wodehouse wrote several series of books, but the most popular one by far is clearly the “Jeeves and Wooster” series. Fortunately, quite a few of Wodehouse’s books are in the public domain including My Man Jeeves. My Man Jeeves is a collection of eight short stories, half of them featuring Jeeves and Wooster, the others feature Reggie Pepper, one of Wodehouse’s less well known (and less funny) protagonists. In any event, none of the stories fail to raise a smile or the odd chuckles. I don’t expect to split my sides reading a Wodehouse book, his humour is not in the style of Douglas Adams or Monty Python, though he may have been an inspiration for both of them. It is enough that his stories are “extremely diverting”, uplifting, and it is wonderful just to soak up the language, don’t you know. It has been said—by some literary Johnnies—that Wodehouse did not simply write but orchestrated the English language. Who am I to argue with these brainy blighters? All the stories are about helping a friend out of a difficult situation, usually disinheritance; and they tend to involve deception, stealing or a harebrained scheme of some kind. If the scheme is Jeeves’ it usually works, sometimes with unexpected results, if it is anybody else’s they go pear-shaped—landing the schemer “in the soup”. Reggie Pepper—like Bertie Wooster—is a “gentleman of leisure”, living off an inheritance and spends all his time amusing himself. Reggie is a little bit brighter than Bertie and also has a butler called Voules, who speaks like Jeeves but is not nearly as intelligent or concerned about his employer’s wellbeing. Reggie’s schemes for helping his friends always go awry. The most memorable one is when he kidnaps a child in order for his friend to present said child back to his cute auntie, and be regarded as a hero. It transpires that the child is not related to the girl at all. The Jeeves and Wooster stories are all set in New York, where Bertie is on the run from his irate Aunt Agatha. My favorite of the four stories is “The Aunt and the Sluggard” which involves his friend Rocky Todd and Rocky’s formidable aunt. Bertie has to pretend that Rocky owns his flat which results in his being evicted from his own residence by the aunt who takes an immediate dislike to him: “The aunt took the chair which I'd forgotten to offer her. She looked at me in rather a rummy way. It was a nasty look. It made me feel as if I were something the dog had brought in and intended to bury later on, when he had time. My own Aunt Agatha, back in England, has looked at me in exactly the same way many a time, and it never fails to make my spine curl.” When I review a short story collection I usually write a brief note for each individual story. Not this time, old scout, the stories tend to be fairly similar. “The cases are in some respects parallel, sir”, as Jeeves would say. They are all pretty much top-hole. If you are feeling down and need cheering up it occurs to me that reading My Man Jeeves might prove efficacious. Toodle-oo! Note: Librivox audiobook read by Mark Nelson, an American chappie, don’t you know, but he did a corking job. American accent for all the British characters notwithstanding, but narrated with plenty of vim! Quotes: Wodehouse is one of the most quotable authors ever. Here are some of my favorites from this book: Thick Bertie “I'm a bit short on brain myself; the old bean would appear to have been constructed more for ornament than for use, don't you know.” Superhero Jeeves “He's like one of those weird chappies in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them.” “He flowed silently out of the room—he always gives you the impression of being some liquid substance when he moves.” Jeeves’ enigmatic smile “Jeeves smiled paternally. Or, rather, he had a kind of paternal muscular spasm about the mouth, which is the nearest he ever gets to smiling.” Reggie Pepper “A fellow who may have been a perfect knight-errant to a girl when he was engaged to her, doesn't feel nearly so keen on spreading himself in that direction when she has given him the miss-in-baulk, and gone and married a man who reason and instinct both tell him is a decided blighter.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

    If you’re in the throes of dark days, you’ve got three main options to turn to in order to get you through: mind-altering substances, food, and P.G. Wodehouse. While there are very few things a good Old Fashioned and a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies can’t improve, Wodehouse might be the most effective remedy of all. As noted in a review of another Wodehouse classic, Jeeves and Wooster stories are highly formulaic, and the delight in reading them comes not from plot, but from If you’re in the throes of dark days, you’ve got three main options to turn to in order to get you through: mind-altering substances, food, and P.G. Wodehouse. While there are very few things a good Old Fashioned and a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies can’t improve, Wodehouse might be the most effective remedy of all. As noted in a review of another Wodehouse classic, Jeeves and Wooster stories are highly formulaic, and the delight in reading them comes not from plot, but from Wodehouse’s bracingly hilarious prose and what-the-hell-does-that-mean slang. This book is no different, but take note: not every story contained herein is a Jeeves and Wooster story; some of them are Reggie Pepper stories, which knocks this down a star rating. Why, you ask? Well, Reggie stories are like Jeeves and Wooster-lite. Reggie was, as I understand it, a prototype for Bertie Wooster, and it’s clear that the idea wasn’t fully baked. The Reggie stories lack the effervescent charm and over-the-top hilarity of his descendent. Given the sequencing in this book (Jeeves/Wooster stories, a brace of Reggie stories, and then back to Jeeves and Wooster), it’s a little bit like buying a Led Zeppelin album, rocking out to the first four songs, and then puzzling out why Robert Plant and company apparently took a break to do lines of coke off of a groupie’s backside while letting Whitesnake handle the next three songs before coming back to bang out the final two tunes themselves. Still, Wodehouse is always worth a go, and I’ll be back again for another cracking wheeze the next time I’m feeling rummy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    One of the things Good Reads is particularly good for is answering strange little questions about ourselves. Questions we might not think to ask otherwise, but then when we do ask make us wonder how else we would ever have known… For example, the other day it struck me that I don’t really read any Wodehouse in the Summertime. And I’ve been able to check when I read all my Wodehouse's and it is true. I guess the reason for that is that I don’t need his warmth and sunlight and laughter in the One of the things Good Reads is particularly good for is answering strange little questions about ourselves. Questions we might not think to ask otherwise, but then when we do ask make us wonder how else we would ever have known… For example, the other day it struck me that I don’t really read any Wodehouse in the Summertime. And I’ve been able to check when I read all my Wodehouse's and it is true. I guess the reason for that is that I don’t need his warmth and sunlight and laughter in the Summertime, but come the Winter he is like a hotwater bottle in between starched white sheets. An unexpected warmth when all seems icy and unforgiving. I listened to this as a talking book and it was good. But the problem with the first story on the cd is that Jeeves is the narrator – and it doesn’t quite work, in much the same way that stories where Holmes is the narrator don't quite work. You need to hear the story from the perspective of the guy doing the oooos and ahhhhs, not the magician. Still, couldn’t have come at a better time – utter magic.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    Stories of rich men being nice to their fellow rich friends, or deceiving their rich families. That there is an inherent goodness in Wooster (or his doppelganger, Pepper--Wodehouse switches protagonists & they are pretty identical other than by name, which is indeed part of the theme that all aristocrats are equally dim) may be the takeaway here, in these modern times. Jeeves is the perpetual Everyman, trapped in a world he's too good for, being appreciated & always adulated by the Gods; Stories of rich men being nice to their fellow rich friends, or deceiving their rich families. That there is an inherent goodness in Wooster (or his doppelganger, Pepper--Wodehouse switches protagonists & they are pretty identical other than by name, which is indeed part of the theme that all aristocrats are equally dim) may be the takeaway here, in these modern times. Jeeves is the perpetual Everyman, trapped in a world he's too good for, being appreciated & always adulated by the Gods; remaining in that constant position, always in some unworthy person's life (tragically so).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    I've read this all before! I know I sometimes complain that once you've read one Wodehouse story you've read them all, but no, I mean I literally have read all these stories already. Ah well, I've also seen every episode of shows like All In The Family or Are You Being Served? about half a dozen times, so why not give these wonderful words a rerun read through? Well the answer would be because this is not Wodehouse's best effort at joining up words in a pleasing manner. He's had better goes at it I've read this all before! I know I sometimes complain that once you've read one Wodehouse story you've read them all, but no, I mean I literally have read all these stories already. Ah well, I've also seen every episode of shows like All In The Family or Are You Being Served? about half a dozen times, so why not give these wonderful words a rerun read through? Well the answer would be because this is not Wodehouse's best effort at joining up words in a pleasing manner. He's had better goes at it with say The Code of the Woosters, The Mating Season or Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves. And then there's the issue of all these Jeeves & Wooster stories being set in New York. I've never been a fan of the stories set in America and I finally put my finger upon the why. Wodehouse's American characters living in America are dull. They lack the daffy spark of his English ones or even his Americans visiting the UK. What is it about England that makes them all go hilariously looney? Must be something in the gin water. AND THEN there's the issue of the title. When a book's titled My Man Jeeves it'd better be carpetted wall-to-wall with Jeeves. This is not. Only about half of the stories are about the Jeeves and Wooster dynamic duo. The rest are about Reggie Peppers, who is a Bertie Wooster-lite. If I was to bottomline all this, I'd say My Man Jeeves is not a rotten potato from the first Bush administration that you've finally unearthed from behind the fridge. No, it's a decent enough book and a good one to start off your Wodehouse reading career. However, there's better hilarity to be found amongst the author's canon.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    I'd seen the 1990's British show Jeeves and Wooster back in junior high, but this was my first time actually reading the stories. I loved them, especially the way the character Jeeves himself breaks every stereotype of the mindless lapdog valet, proving himself to be extremely intelligent and unexpectedly resourceful despite his constant dedication to his job. There's tons of weird humor in the stories and all kinds of small adventures, not to mention wacky versions of the rich and strange and I'd seen the 1990's British show Jeeves and Wooster back in junior high, but this was my first time actually reading the stories. I loved them, especially the way the character Jeeves himself breaks every stereotype of the mindless lapdog valet, proving himself to be extremely intelligent and unexpectedly resourceful despite his constant dedication to his job. There's tons of weird humor in the stories and all kinds of small adventures, not to mention wacky versions of the rich and strange and also Wooster himself, a well-meaning but not particularly bright guy who sort of just happened to fall into good fortune but doesn't flaunt it around the way people might expect. My only problem with this anthology is that only have its stories were actually about the titular characters; the rest were about a somewhat unmemorable character who wasn't nearly as interesting.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jaya

    3-faithful-to-nostalgia-stars Re-reading childhood favorites may not always be a good idea.The caricatures images of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie will forever be etched in my mind as Jeeves and Wooster (can't imagine anybody else in the role of these two characters.) I don't know whether that is a good thing or not... The stories did manage to make me giggle and break out into a chuckle once or maybe twice...can't say much beyond that. In all honesty it was just an okay read, which will be a 2 3-faithful-to-nostalgia-stars Re-reading childhood favorites may not always be a good idea.The caricatures images of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie will forever be etched in my mind as Jeeves and Wooster (can't imagine anybody else in the role of these two characters.) I don't know whether that is a good thing or not... The stories did manage to make me giggle and break out into a chuckle once or maybe twice...can't say much beyond that. In all honesty it was just an okay read, which will be a 2 starred reading experience for me. Adding one more for old-times-sake.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: Jeeves - my man, you know - is really a most extraordinary chap. So capable. Honestly, I shouldn't know what to do without him. On broader lines he's like those chappies who sit peering over the marble battlements in the Pennsylvania Station in the place marked 'inquiries'. You know the Johnnies I mean. You go up to them and say: 'When's the next train for Melonsquashville, Tennessee?' and they reply, without stopping to think, "Two-forty-Three, track Ten, change at San Francisco." And EXCERPT: Jeeves - my man, you know - is really a most extraordinary chap. So capable. Honestly, I shouldn't know what to do without him. On broader lines he's like those chappies who sit peering over the marble battlements in the Pennsylvania Station in the place marked 'inquiries'. You know the Johnnies I mean. You go up to them and say: 'When's the next train for Melonsquashville, Tennessee?' and they reply, without stopping to think, "Two-forty-Three, track Ten, change at San Francisco." And they're right, every time. Well, Jeeves gives you the same impression of omniscience. THE BLURB: Who can forget our beloved gentleman's personal gentleman, Jeeves, who ever comes to the rescue when the hapless Bertie Wooster falls into trouble. My Man Jeeves is sure to please anyone with a taste for pithy buffoonery, moronic misunderstandings, gaffes, and aristocratic slapstick. Contents: "Leave It to Jeeves" "Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest" "Jeeves and the Hard-boiled Egg" "Absent Treatment" "Helping Freddie" "Rallying Round Old George" "Doing Clarence a Bit of Good" "The Aunt and the Sluggard" MY THOUGHTS: I had, of course, heard of Jeeves, but until I was sick in bed some time ago and had the great fortune to discover the TV series playing, I had never encountered Wodehouse's paragon of virtue. Had Stephen Fry not been playing Jeeves, I probably would have flicked on past. Thankfully I didn't. This is my first encounter with Jeeves off screen, and a thoroughly enjoyable encounter it was. I loved the good natured but bumbling Bertie, and Georgie Pepper, an earlier prototype for Bertie Wooster. The stories simply reinforce a belief of mine that no good deed goes unpunished. British humour at its best. I listened to My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse, narrated by Simon Pebble, produced by Blackstone Audio, courtesy of OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com. https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Samadrita

    The downside to acquainting yourself with Wodehouse, at a ripe old age, is that you don't glean anything else out of his writing other than the humor and that too appears to be strangely contrived in ways. And the repeated usage of words such as 'chappie', 'rummy' and 'chump' end up annoying you more than you thought was possible. Another author I should have read as a teenager. *sigh*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    My Man Jeeves collection felt like an appetizer to me, small bites of petit-fours and cucumber sandwiches that serve best at wetting my appetite for the main course. 1) Leave it Jeeves . Introduces the reader to the omniscient nature of Jeeves, "the brains of the establishment" as Bertie candidly admits. From picking the right clothes to sage advice about betting on the horse races, Jeeves is infallible. And when he's not 100 % successful, as in this opening short story, he can turn defeat into My Man Jeeves collection felt like an appetizer to me, small bites of petit-fours and cucumber sandwiches that serve best at wetting my appetite for the main course. 1) Leave it Jeeves . Introduces the reader to the omniscient nature of Jeeves, "the brains of the establishment" as Bertie candidly admits. From picking the right clothes to sage advice about betting on the horse races, Jeeves is infallible. And when he's not 100 % successful, as in this opening short story, he can turn defeat into victory by changing the goal posts. The scene of the crime is New York, where Bertie enjoys a self-imposed exile from the censorius eye of aunt Agatha. The plot revolves around my old acquaintance Bruce 'Corky' Corcoran, and touches on such subjects as ornithology, cabaret dancing and portrait painting. 2) Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest . Bertie is still in New York and is having a fashion disagreement with Jeeves about a pink tie and a Country Gentleman hat, leaving him without sage advice when he becomes babysitter for Wilmot 'Motty' Lord Pershore. His mother describes him as a vegetarian and a teetotaller and devoted to reading , but he will prove to be quite the dark horse once out of her censorius eye, and will get into a lot of trouble before Jeeves once more comes to the rescue. 3) Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg . A hard-boiled egg apparently refers to a person who is the exact opposite of a big spender when it cames to money, and the story deals with the efforts of Bicky Bickersteth to extract some financial support from his uncle, His Grace the Duke of Chiswick. Bertie tries to lend a helping hand, but in the end, the resolution relies once more on Jevees protuding bean. As a bonus we gain helpful business tips about the advantages of chicken farms and their productivity. As the duo continues to reside in New York, the fashion duel between master and valet escalates into moustache territory. 4) Absent Treatment . The story is told by a new character (for me), Reggie Pepper - a wealthy boulevardier that comes a bit short right after Bertie Wooster, but the tale itself is quite fun. Reggie is trying to help an "absent" minded friend, Bobbie Cardew, regain the favor of his young and temporarily 'absent' wife, who is incensed by his carelessness in forgetting such important dates as their wedding anniversary or her birthday. Favorite passage is some good natured poking at the silliness of astrology and zodiac signs interpretation. 5) Helping Freddie . Reggie Pepper is back in the business of helping his friends solve their amorous problems. The old Wodehouse twist of the broken engagement has left Freddie Meadows in the soup, and Reggie's solution is an escape to the seaside in Dorsetshire, where they stumble upon Tootles, a kid with a sweet tooth that may or may not be the solution of Freddie's woes. The story feels unpolished, more like a rehearsal piece for later books than a finished product; still, I recognized a lot of the author's favorite themes. 6) Rallying Round Old George . Reggie Pepper moves to a yacht in Monte Carlo, where he is once again persuaded to give a helping hand to a friend in need. A funny affair concerning an engagement broken in record time (a couple of hours) , a troublesome inheritance, a case of mistaken identity concerning twins and a first class valet whose name is not Jeeves but Voules, himself having troubless with his ladyfriend. Being in Monte Carlo, the story provides also some gambling and some European crowned heads. Again, one of the less stellar efforts from Wodehouse. 7) Doing Clarence a Bit of Good . My favorite Reggie story in this collection, where he falls victim, as Wodehouse charmingly puts it to the "coolness, the cheek, or if you prefer it, the gall with wich Woman, as a sex, fairly bursts" . Specifically, after giving the cold shoulder to his engagement proposal and marrying meek artist Clarence Yeardsley, his old flame Elizabeth Shoolbred has no scruples in dragging Reggie to her country residence in order to solve the terrible businness of the Yeardsley 'Venus' . A hilarious mess of stolen paintings, artistic temperaments and persuasive damzels. 8) The Aunt and the Sluggard . The last story brings us back to New York's bubbling night scene, where Bertie Wooster tries to help his recluse poet friend Rockmetteller 'Rocky' Todd convince a wealthy aunt that he is the soul of every party and lives life to the full in the big city. A welcome ocassion for Jeeves to show the more sociable angles of his personality, and for Wodehouse to throw some barbed arrows at modern American poetry. Also an ocassion for Bertie to realise how much he depends on Jeeves for his daily comforts and peace of mind. --- At the moment Bertie Wooster is my favorite Wodehouse character, but Jeeves is the perfect counterpart to his scatterbrained and lazy attitude. I love how Bertie insists in every story about Jeeves talent for moving silently: In this matter of shimmering into rooms the chappie is rummy to a degree. You're sitting in the old armchair, thinking of this and that, and then suddenly you look up, and there he is. He moves from point to point with as little uproar as a jelly fish. When he is not shimmering, Jeeves has a tendency to: - trickle - slide - float noiselessly - stream imperceptibly - flow - teleport (Ok, I added the last one, but I'm sure I've missed ten more ways for making an entrance) While I enjoyed these short stories and the New York setting, I feel they lack the depth and the complexity of the full novels featuring Jeeves and Wooster. A common theme in all of the tales is beautifully put by Bertie in one of the opening chapters: 'The older I get, the more I agree with Shakespeare and those poet Johnnies about it always being darkest before the dawn and there's a silver lining and what you lose on the swings you make out on the roundabouts.' or, to paraphrase the Monty Python opus : "Always look on the bright side of life." This may be the secret ingredient that makes me come back to Wodehouse on a regular basis. This and his wild word associations, like this image of 'Corky' Corcoran contemplating breaking the news of his engagement to his tight-fisted uncle: 'The poor chap gave one of those mirthless laughs. He was looking anxious and worried, like a man who has done the murder all right but can't think what the deuce to do with the body' An added bonus in reading My Man Jeeves was the pleasure of recognizing the plots from several episodes of the television series featuring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, mostly from seasons 3 and 4.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Grace Grzy

    4.5 stars. This was awesome. British? Check. Hilarity? Check. Quirky characters? Check. Sidesplitting descriptions and dialogue? Check. I just *love* all the British-isms in both dialogue and descriptions. Some I had to google to know what they meant, but that just made it all the more fun. Oh, to talk like a Brit! I have so many highlights on my kindle. Bertie is a hilarious and quirky character, and his narration is just so fun to read. The situations he finds himself in are so amusing. And 4.5 stars. This was awesome. British? Check. Hilarity? Check. Quirky characters? Check. Sidesplitting descriptions and dialogue? Check. I just *love* all the British-isms in both dialogue and descriptions. Some I had to google to know what they meant, but that just made it all the more fun. Oh, to talk like a Brit! I have so many highlights on my kindle. Bertie is a hilarious and quirky character, and his narration is just so fun to read. The situations he finds himself in are so amusing. And Jeeves is . . . so proper and serious and hilarious. Half a star off because it got a little boring in the middle, but the rest was so good, it was 5 star worthy! Highly recommended, especially if you love British humor! Recommend for ages 15-16+ for interest level. A Sampling: "I tell you, Bertie, I've examined the darned cloud with a microscope, and if it's got a silver lining it's some little dissembler!" "I'm a bit short on brain myself; the old bean would appear to have been constructed more for ornament than for use, don't you know;" "Lady Malvern tried to freeze him with a look, but you can't do that sort of thing to Jeeves. He is look-proof."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    I’m not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare—or, if not, it’s some equally brainy lad—who says that it’s always just when a chappie is feeling particularly top-hole, and more than usually braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with a bit of lead piping. There’s no doubt the man’s right. ("Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest") "Jerome, are you there?" That’s what I thought after reading the first pages of Wodehouse's My Man Jeeves. Their styles seemed I’m not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it’s Shakespeare—or, if not, it’s some equally brainy lad—who says that it’s always just when a chappie is feeling particularly top-hole, and more than usually braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with a bit of lead piping. There’s no doubt the man’s right. ("Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest") "Jerome, are you there?" That’s what I thought after reading the first pages of Wodehouse's My Man Jeeves. Their styles seemed so similar ("seemed"; so far, I prefer JKJ). Good writing and a simple plot filled with funny anecdotes that make the book worthwhile. It’s sounds simple but, as I always say, not anybody can be funny. 19th-century people had sense of humor too, naturally (reference to Jerome and others, since Wodehouse is a 20th-century chappie). I don’t know why I’m kind of surprised when I see myself laughing with those guys and just awkwardly smiling while reading the “funniest guys of the 21st century”. Wodehouse once wrote: “I go in for what is known in the trade as ‘light writing’ and those who do that – humorists they are sometimes called – are looked down upon by the intelligentsia and sneered at.” Sad, odd and true. Some intellectual fellas, snobs or whatever, with Tolstoy in their hands, often reject writers that have the amazing skill of mixing literature and comedy. Forgetting, perhaps, that humor can also be a great resource to analyze human nature. We have literary masterpieces that prove that. Anyway, I wouldn't be able to bear a life of ONLY serious classics. I need both. And when I read about Wodehouse, I knew I had to read his works. This is a collection of short stories about Bertie Wooster (not the smartest guy in town and he's kind of aware of that), Reginald Jeeves, his brilliant valet that always had an answer for everything, and other characters like Mr. Pepper and a lot of chappies... Every story was written with remarkable wit and subtle humor. However, sometimes his humor was so subtle that I didn't know I was reading something intended to be funny. It was entertaining–most of the times; other times, I got lost in a sea of numerous funny-ish details–, but, all in all, it was a good read. I have like a billion more "Jeeves" to read. I honestly don't know what my next book is going to be. But I'll figure it out soon, chap. March 01, 14 * Also on my blog.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    A friend loaned me this book, having read the entire series, and I found it to be very funny and delightful! My "to read" stack is so high, I didn't feel like continuing with the series but I may take it up again someday. Great characters...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lumsden

    I really enjoyed these stories - very good fun, a nice amount of silly, and I can't wait to read more Jeeves books!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This is a collection of eight short stories written by P. G. Wodehouse. Four of them are Bertie and Jeeves stories, and four of them are about another character, Reggie Pepper. The Bertie and Jeeves stories are always very formulaic, in that each story involves one of the main character’s friends (or the main character) getting into some sort of scrape, which they then must find some ingenious way to get out of, which inevitably goes horribly, horribly wrong. Many hilarious hi-jinks ensue, but This is a collection of eight short stories written by P. G. Wodehouse. Four of them are Bertie and Jeeves stories, and four of them are about another character, Reggie Pepper. The Bertie and Jeeves stories are always very formulaic, in that each story involves one of the main character’s friends (or the main character) getting into some sort of scrape, which they then must find some ingenious way to get out of, which inevitably goes horribly, horribly wrong. Many hilarious hi-jinks ensue, but of course somehow everything always falls into place by the end of the story, and the day is saved. The Reggie Pepper stories follow this same theme, sans butler. I wasn’t overly enthralled by the Reggie Pepper stories. They were, as I already mentioned, identical plot-wise to the Bertie and Jeeves stories, but without the benefit of the great character of Jeeves. Admittedly, all of the B&J stories are totally predictable and quite brainless, but they make for good light reading and entertainment. I find that they’re a good bet whenever I’m depressed and/or tired and I just want something to make me laugh and feel good, purely because they are so predictable. No matter what hilarious situations they get into, you know for sure that Jeeves is somehow going to swoop in and make everything alright. They’re much like TV sitcoms in this respect, but in book form (which makes them about eighteen times better than TV sitcoms, of course). I’m currently working on collecting all of the books in this series, but I also plan on branching out and reading more of this author’s other works (of which they seem to have quite a few on Project Gutenberg, which makes me happy cause I’m a cheapskate).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melindam

    What Ho! The Jeeves&Wooster stories were jolly good (but there was 3 of them only, the rest were about Reggie Pepper) & P.G. was a ripping chap and not a blighter, doncherknow, but it is not his best collection, which means he made me smile a lot even though there were only a few LOL moments. Toddle-oo.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

    This is absolutely ridiculous and very amusing. Bertie Wooster is a an English gentleman of comfortable means who having mucked up an errand given by Aunt Agatha is hiding in New York City and enjoying a life of restrained pleasure. Not being the brightest bulb in the pack, he is fortuitously accompanied by his man Jeeves. Bertie is a helpful chap, and always extends an offer of assistance to friends; he provides emotional and financial support while Jeeves is the planner. Stories included: This is absolutely ridiculous and very amusing. Bertie Wooster is a an English gentleman of comfortable means who having mucked up an errand given by Aunt Agatha is hiding in New York City and enjoying a life of restrained pleasure. Not being the brightest bulb in the pack, he is fortuitously accompanied by his man Jeeves. Bertie is a helpful chap, and always extends an offer of assistance to friends; he provides emotional and financial support while Jeeves is the planner. Stories included: "Leave It to Jeeves" - snatching victory from the jaws of repeated defeat Jeeves is a tallish man, with one of those dark, shrewd faces. His eye gleams with the light of pure intelligence. "Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest" - saving face I gave Motty the swift east-to-west. He was sitting with his mouth nuzzling the stick, blinking at the wall. The thought of having this planted on me for an indefinite period appalled me. Jeeves had projected himself in from the dining-room and materialized on the rug. Lady Malvern tried to freeze him with a look, but you can't do that sort of thing to Jeeves. He is look-proof. "Jeeves and the Hard-boiled Egg" - win/win, lose/lose as Bertie tries to help another skint friend No one can call me an unreasonable chappie, and many's the time I've given in like a lamb when Jeeves has voted against one of my pet suits or ties; but when it comes to a valet's staking out a claim on your upper lip you've simply got to have a bit of the good old bulldog pluck and defy the blighter. "Absent Treatment" - contains no Jeeves :( "Helping Freddie" - contains no Jeeves :( "Rallying Round Old George" - contains no Jeeves :( "Doing Clarence a Bit of Good" - contains no Jeeves :(( "The Aunt and the Sluggard" - vicarious wild, wild life As I stood in my lonely bedroom at the hotel, trying to tie my white tie myself, it struck me for the first time that there must be whole squads of chappies in the world who had to get along without a man to look after them. Poor Bertie, a good deed never goes unpunished, though the horror inflicted upon his wardrobe was a bit too much. I read all the stories that contained Jeeves because the petty little disputes between Bertie and Jeeves amuse me, and while the tone is near identical in the others they just don't have that je ne sais quoi that ensures hilarity. Maybe I shorted them by not giving them a fair shake. Oh, well. *flits onwards*

  21. 4 out of 5

    Girish

    The first Jeeves-Wooster short story collection is akin to the wright brothers aircraft - surely a piece of genius but way ruddier than how you've grown to love them. My first audio book as well, this was a different experience. The book is complete with all the buffoonery, muddled up scenarios, slapstick wit and wry English humor. A collection of 8 stories - 4 of which featuring Reggie Peppers who seems like the earlier version of Bertie, always trying to help his friends. Reggie Peppers is said The first Jeeves-Wooster short story collection is akin to the wright brothers aircraft - surely a piece of genius but way ruddier than how you've grown to love them. My first audio book as well, this was a different experience. The book is complete with all the buffoonery, muddled up scenarios, slapstick wit and wry English humor. A collection of 8 stories - 4 of which featuring Reggie Peppers who seems like the earlier version of Bertie, always trying to help his friends. Reggie Peppers is said to have tried to steal Jeeves by offering twice the salary to add the connect. Needless to say, the Jeeves stories are more endearing. The stories are set in New York, where Bertie is hiding from Aunt Agatha after he failed to prevent his cousin Gussie from marrying a club dancer. Jeeves is more a direct Mr.Fixit in the stories where Bertie is the victim of a good heart. In the last story, Bertie vacates his house to help his friend Rocky keep up a lie to his aunt. The best story featuring Reggie is the one where he helps his friend figure out his angry wife's birthday. Some lovely quotes to go with. A fun read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kerrin Parris

    I read an article last year noting it was the 100th anniversary of the book My Man Jeeves by P.D. Wodehouse. It sounded like such a fun book, I added it to my "To Be Read List". It turns out Jeeves isn't my cup of tea. My Man Jeeves is a collection of eight short stories. Four of the stories feature Englishman Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves, who live in New York City and four stories are about Reggie Pepper, who lives in London. Both Reggie and Bertie are independently wealthy and do not I read an article last year noting it was the 100th anniversary of the book My Man Jeeves by P.D. Wodehouse. It sounded like such a fun book, I added it to my "To Be Read List". It turns out Jeeves isn't my cup of tea. My Man Jeeves is a collection of eight short stories.  Four of the stories feature Englishman Bertie Wooster and his valet Jeeves, who live in New York City and four stories are about Reggie Pepper, who lives in London. Both Reggie and Bertie are independently wealthy and do not work (nor does it appear they have ever worked). In each of the eight stories, a friend of either Bertie's or of Reggie's finds themselves in a predicament. The friends are typically unemployed men who depend on an allowance from a wealthy relative. They will lose their allowances if they are not saved by either Jeeves or Bertie. A couple of the stories involve helping a hapless friend with a romantic situation.  Jeeves is able to get Bertie's friend's situations solved through unusual means. Reggie takes care of his own friends, often without proper acknowledgment. I simply couldn't relate to the idle rich lifestyles. I didn't find the situations or solutions funny. There were some spots of humor, and the writing was well done.  I listened to an Audible version, and the narration was excellent.  3-stars.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Eaton

    I was a bit worried about this one. I knew Wodehouse was always considered one of the great comedy writers. Two of my favorite authors (Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett) both listed him as an influence to their work. There were plenty of signs that I shouldn't have worried. So why did I? Just a few reasons. - Comedy doesn't generally seem to stand the test of time as well as other genres. I generally don't find older comedy films all that funny. I'll get some flack for this, but I didn't find I was a bit worried about this one. I knew Wodehouse was always considered one of the great comedy writers. Two of my favorite authors (Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett) both listed him as an influence to their work. There were plenty of signs that I shouldn't have worried. So why did I? Just a few reasons. - Comedy doesn't generally seem to stand the test of time as well as other genres. I generally don't find older comedy films all that funny. I'll get some flack for this, but I didn't find Animal House funny at all. And while I love Steve Martin, I just don't get The Jerk. - Can a middle-class American guy really relate to the stuffy British aristocrats? Furthermore, how funny can stuffy British Aristocrats be? - I generally don't like short story collections. After reading so many stories, it can become overbearing. I've also found that in short-story collections, you'll find the same story essentially written multiple times, just with different characters and settings. - I'd already heard so many good things, I just didn't think it could live up to it. Well, as it turns out, my apprehensions were unfounded. Wodehouse has been praised for his superior wit, and he deserves it. He is excellent at turns of phrase, and can make some dull subject matter supremely funny. His comedy writing is actually timeless. And his comedy timing is actually writing! His characters Jeeves and Wooster are fantastic. I'd definitely recommend this one to anyone who appreciates comedy. It's very likely a comedian you love has been inspired by Wodehouse, and you can see from where they drew it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 stars Pretty good set of short humorous stories. This is the first thing I've read by Wodehouse, and from what I can tell from other reviewers, this isn't even his best stuff. Looking forward to getting my hands on more!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Forrest

    It's P.G. Wodehouse, so why not five stars? Well, here's the scoop. I love Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. One of the most clever duos to have ever graced the printed page. Between Jeeve's restrained resourcefulness and Bertie's self-admitted idiocy, there is a lot of potential for misadventure, and Wodehouse delivers it in droves. Half of the short stories in this volume are Jeeves and Wooster material. The other half is from what I glean as earlier material, with a main character named Reggie It's P.G. Wodehouse, so why not five stars? Well, here's the scoop. I love Bertie Wooster and Jeeves. One of the most clever duos to have ever graced the printed page. Between Jeeve's restrained resourcefulness and Bertie's self-admitted idiocy, there is a lot of potential for misadventure, and Wodehouse delivers it in droves. Half of the short stories in this volume are Jeeves and Wooster material. The other half is from what I glean as earlier material, with a main character named Reggie Peppers. Now, Peppers is a fore-runner of Wooster, no doubt, but he is a bit of a homunculus, a shadow, a pretender, when compared to the sharp imbecility of Bertie Wooster. Peppers is . . . well, smarter. And more wordy. The clipped down anti-witticisms of Wooster are watered down in Peppers, which leaves the Peppers stories a little wanting. Peppers wants to be Wooster, but doesn't quite get there because, quite frankly, Peppers isn't dumb enough. I am so glad that Wodehouse decided to stick with it and followed through to give life to Bertie Wooster. This isn't to say that Wodehouse missed here. Peppers made an adequate character, but Wooster, with Jeeves as his foil, is pure stupid genius. The Wooster stories in My Man Jeeves bear this out. The merry bungling of Wodehouse's longer works is apparent and the plot lines are as ridiculous and convoluted as one can expect in short fiction (though not as ridiculous and convoluted as his novellas/novels). Five stars for Bertie, negative one star for Peppers. Still strongly recommended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gorab Jain

    By Jove! These chappies leading a rummy life sipping in their stiff b.-and-s. And all of a sudden Woosh! Jeeves and Bertie disappear to give way to Reggie and co. Eh? What the deuce? Overall this was bally awful!... what?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    Good English sense of humour!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    The Bertie stories in this collection are phenomenal, but the Reggie Pepper ones are tiresome. Upon reflection, I think I prefer Bertie to Reggie because Reggie doesn't have a foil; he thinks he's very clever, and of course ends up bungling everything. Bertie is self-aware enough that his troubles are amusing, as he's not creating them by attempting to be too smart. And Bertie doesn't worry too much about his own intelligence: I was stunned by the man's resource. "It's brain," I said; "pure The Bertie stories in this collection are phenomenal, but the Reggie Pepper ones are tiresome. Upon reflection, I think I prefer Bertie to Reggie because Reggie doesn't have a foil; he thinks he's very clever, and of course ends up bungling everything. Bertie is self-aware enough that his troubles are amusing, as he's not creating them by attempting to be too smart. And Bertie doesn't worry too much about his own intelligence: I was stunned by the man's resource. "It's brain," I said; "pure brain! What do you do to get like that, Jeeves? I believe you must eat a lot of fish, or something. Do you eat a lot of fish, Jeeves?" "No, sir." "Oh, well, then, it's just a gift, I take it; and if you aren't born that way there's no use worrying." And this made me do a spit-take: For the first time in our long connection I observed Jeeves almost smile. The corner of his mouth curved quite a quarter of an inch, and for a moment his eye ceased to look like a meditative fish's.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This early collection, published in 1919, contains several Jeeves and Wooster stories, together with some featuring a character called Reggie Pepper, which were later reworked as Jeeves tales. It's all highly enjoyable. Wodehouse's style feels effortless and is so light and entertaining, with plenty of dry one-liners that had me laughing out loud. These early stories are already quite formulaic, with plots that are often predictable, but if anything that adds to the comic charm. I was interested This early collection, published in 1919, contains several Jeeves and Wooster stories, together with some featuring a character called Reggie Pepper, which were later reworked as Jeeves tales. It's all highly enjoyable. Wodehouse's style feels effortless and is so light and entertaining, with plenty of dry one-liners that had me laughing out loud. These early stories are already quite formulaic, with plots that are often predictable, but if anything that adds to the comic charm. I was interested to see that these early stories are set in the US, and often appear to be making fun of then-current American fashions and customs, as well as gently mocking the British aristocracy via Bertie and his pals. It seems as if these early stories were set in a version of the current world of 1919 (not a realistic version, of course!) But Jeeves and Wooster never changed with the times and carried on living in the same era right up to the last book in the early 1970s.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Allison Tebo

    P.G. Wodehouse is my kind of author. He’s witty, bubbly, irreverent, and has an odd mixture of taking everything serious and nothing seriously all at the same time. The zany slapstick has a veneer of sophisticated wit that gives it a certain panache and the stories are often a comedy of errors that expounds (with great enjoyment) on the simple absurdity of the ordinary human. Quirky absurdity is on glorious display in this series of stories that had me laughing till I cried. To paraphrase P.G. Wodehouse is my kind of author. He’s witty, bubbly, irreverent, and has an odd mixture of taking everything serious and nothing seriously all at the same time. The zany slapstick has a veneer of sophisticated wit that gives it a certain panache and the stories are often a comedy of errors that expounds (with great enjoyment) on the simple absurdity of the ordinary human. Quirky absurdity is on glorious display in this series of stories that had me laughing till I cried. To paraphrase another review, it’s almost like a English sitcom, full of British-isms, butlers, and balderdash.

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