Tag: P G Wodehouse

Very Good, Jeeves

Very Good, Jeeves

by P.G. Wodehouse (Doubleday, Doran, 1930)

audiobook read by Jonathan Cecil (Blackstone, 2011)

Book cover: “Very Good, Jeeves” by P.G. Wodehouse (Doubleday, Doran, 1930); audiobook read by Jonathan Cecil (Blackstone, 2011)

Wodehouse give the impression he could dash off a Jeeves & Wooster story between breakfast and elevenses, and would happily do so should ever he feel himself wanting for joie de vivre. Jonathan Cecil gives perfect voice to the frivolous restorative fizz.

Uncle Fred in the Springtime

Uncle Fred in the Springtime

by P.G. Wodehouse (Doubleday, Doran, 1939)

audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Audible, 2021) [as part of “The Blandings Collection”]

Book cover: “Uncle Fred in the Springtime” by P.G. Wodehouse (Doubleday, Doran, 1939); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Audible, 2021) [as part of “The Blandings Collection”]

Perhaps the most twisted and entwined plot that Wodehouse ever laid down. If anything, the Gordian Knot is perhaps too great, for the sheer effort of describing it leaves Wodehouse a bit short of his usual sparkle, the pitfalls not so precarious.

Sunset at Blandings

Sunset at Blandings

by P.G. Wodehouse (Chatto & Windus, 1977; revised Everyman’s Library, 2015)

Book cover: “Sunset at Blandings” by P.G. Wodehouse (Chatto & Windus, 1977; revised Everyman’s Library, 2015)

The final, unfinished Wodehouse novel. Much like Pratchett’s ‘The Shepherd’s Crown’, the un-fleshed-out text stirs memories of what was, while throwing light on the authorial process. In this instance, Plum-worship has led to the adding of copious and mostly inconsequential third-party annotations.

Jeeves and the Leap of Faith

Jeeves and the Leap of Faith

by Ben Schott (Little, Brown and Company, 2020); audiobook read by Daniel Ings (Hachette, 2020)

Book cover: “Jeeves and the Leap of Faith” by Ben Schott (Little, Brown and Company, 2020); audiobook read by Daniel Ings (Hachette, 2020)

An earnest but ultimately pallid homage. The characters are in keeping, the plot suitably entangled. But while conscientious, Schott’s pastiche lacks the trenchant delivery with which Wodehouse chivvied his characters towards the denouement (here lacking). Ings’s audiobook reading is rather too restrained.

Hot Water

Hot Water

by P G Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1932); audiobook read by Jonathan Cecil (Blackstone, 2012)

Book cover: “Hot Water” by P G Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1932); audiobook read by Jonathan Cecil (Blackstone, 2012)

Not from one of Wodehouse’s famous series, but ably representative of his work. There are facetious conversations and flippant undertakings aplenty—ill-fated engagements; romantic entanglements and misunderstandings; comedowns and comeuppances—all steaming towards each other like ocean liners converging on an iceberg.

A Damsel in Distress

A Damsel in Distress

by P G Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1919); audiobook read by Frederick Davidson (Blackstone Audio, 1993)

Book cover: A Damsel in Distress by P G Wodehouse (Arrow paperback edition, 2008).

For readers without a Blandings Castle novel to hand, this early Wodehouse comedy will oblige most admirably as a surrogate. While the plot involves misunderstandings of romantic entanglement, these serve merely to backdrop the page-by-page brush swirl of Wodehouse’s exquisitely trenchant prose.

Doctor Sally

Doctor Sally

by P. G. Wodehouse (Methuen, 1932); audiobook read by Paul Shelley (Bolinda, 2015)

Wodehouse_Doctor Sally

A short, frivolous bit of fun. As is his wont, Wodehouse construes love as arising from the drop of a hat, but in this instance the cast of dithering males play out their tangled misunderstandings for a woman of independence and discernment.

 

 

Lord Emsworth and Others

Lord Emsworth and Others

by P. G. Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1937)

Wodehouse_Lord Emsworth and Others

Nine short stories evincing Wodehouse’s usual joie de vivre and knack for comedic happenstance, yet, save for ‘The Crime Wave at Blandings’, lacking closure, giving instead the impression of half-conceptualised novels (or subplots thereof) cut down in the mid stages of drafting.

 

 

A Gentleman of Leisure

A Gentleman of Leisure

by P. G. Wodehouse (Alston Rivers, 1910); audiobook read by Frederick Davidson (Blackstone, 2012)

Wodehouse_Gentleman of Leisure

An early example of the comings-and-goings type novel that Wodehouse would bring to perfection in his Blandings Castle series. While the plot in this instance is a twist or two short, the prose is fresh and the characterisation typically Wodehouseian. Audiobook recommended.

 

 

The Adventures of Sally

The Adventures of Sally

by P G Wodehouse (Herbert Jenkins, 1922); audiobook read by Frederick Davidson (Blackstone, 1997)

Wodehouse_Adventures Sally

Wodehouse’s American stories tend to be a little more staid than those set in England. The plot here is clever and the prose witty. Sally is a winning protagonist. But Davidson’s audiobook reading plays no small role in enlivening the whole shebang.