Tag Archives: Wodehouse

The Return of Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (review by Andrew R. ’17)

The Return of Jeeves: A Jeeves and Bertie NovelThe Return of Jeeves: A Jeeves and Bertie Novel by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

These days, nearly half a century after the death of P. G. Wodehouse and twice that long since his first books were published, readers tend to remember only one subset of his canon: the Jeeves and Wooster novels, which follow bumbling young aristocrat Bertie and his suave, brilliant butler Jeeves as they dodge the salvos of undesirable jobs (and occasional death threats) hurled at them by Bertie’s overbearing aunts. Well, Wodehouse is worthy of plenty of complimentary adjectives—he’s witty, endearing, and well-paced, to start—but “versatile” isn’t one of them. In The Return of Jeeves, Bertie is off on vacation, so Jeeves has been left to take care of Bill Towcester (pronounced “Toaster”), a bumbling young aristocrat with overbearing female relatives. Sound familiar? And yet, despite the fact that nothing in the plot marks a radical departure from the Jeeves and Wooster pattern, the narrative feels uncomfortable and clunky, more like a Wodehouse impersonator than Wodehouse himself. The humorist is exceedingly good at toying with the same characters in the same situations and same settings, but, as I was disappointed to discover, he has trouble with even the slightest variations on his trademark theme. – Andrew R. ’17

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Aunts Aren’t Gentleman b P.G. Wodehouse (review by Andrew R. ’17)

Aunts Aren't Gentlemen (Jeeves, #15)Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen, Bertie Wooster and his butler Jeeves, the heroes of fourteen preceding Jeeves and Wooster novels, find themselves embroiled (as usual) in several ridiculous conflicts, all thanks to the meddling of Bertie’s overbearing Aunt Dahlia (also as usual). Not only does Aunt Dahlia want Bertie to sabotage a horse-race so she can beat her rivals in a bet, she also wants him to kidnap a cad from under the nose of one of his many ex-fiancées, Vanessa Cook—who, incidentally, is currently engaged to a brawny Communist with a violent temper who is all too eager to turn Bertie inside out if he catches him in the same room as his lover. Anyone who’s enjoyed more than one or two Wodehouse novels will have noticed that they all follow the same formula; the author discovered early on that mixing one aunt, one fumbling narrator, two to three marriage proposals, and at least five aggressive, beefy rivals will always result in comedy. But even though Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen is nothing new, it showcases Wodehouse’s signature wit and cheekiness—and, in the end, isn’t that all that really matters in a Jeeves and Wooster novel? – Andrew R. ‘17

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Very Good, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (review by Soham K. ’17)

Very Good, Jeeves! (Jeeves, #4)Very Good, Jeeves! by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another of P.G. Wodehouse’s hilarious classics, replete with all the wit and wisdom one could desire! In fact, I often doubled over laughing while poring over each sparkling page. Very Good, Jeeves comprises eleven extraordinarily funny stories, highlighting the exploits of Bertie Wooster and his resourceful valet Jeeves. From extricating Bertie and a cabinet minister from an island inhabited by unusually vicious swans to successfully intervening in yet another unlikely romance, Wodehouse maintains the extremely high standards established in all his other books and epitomizes British wit – pleasantly acerbic without being crude or cynical. I enjoyed this book tremendously and would recommend it to most readers. – Soham K. ‘17

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Luck of the Bodkins by P.G. Wodehouse (review by Samyu Y. ’15)

Luck of the BodkinsLuck of the Bodkins by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Monty Bodkin is happily engaged to Gertrude Butterwick – for the time being. The same can be said for actress Lotus Blossom and writer Ambrose Tennyson. Reggie Tennyson hopes likewise for him and spitfire Mabel Spence, sister-in-law of the successful movie producer, Ivor Llewellyn. Llewellyn hopes Customs won’t catch him smuggling his wife’s pearl necklace into the States. Amid hysterical misadventures and droll misunderstandings, Wodehouse injects a measure of social criticism, focusing mainly on the idle rich. While Wodehouse’s tale of well-intentioned blackmail, broken engagements, and happy endings – complete with a full cast of vivid, strong-willed characters – proves amusing, it lacks plot. However, witty prose and lively, humorous language make all three hundred fifty-eight pages of this delightful, light novel worth reading. – Samyu Y. ’15

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Bertie Wooster Sees It Through by P.G. Wodehouse (review by Andrew R. ”17)

Bertie Wooster Sees It ThroughBertie Wooster Sees It Through by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bertie Wooster Sees It Through begins when Wooster grows a mustache—a mustache which, although many consider it “the most obscene thing they ever saw outside of a nightmare,” is enough to make his ex-fiancée, Florence Craye, fall helplessly in love with him again. Soon, he must escape the fury of Craye’s current partner, Stilton Cheesewright. His position becomes even more precarious when his forceful Aunt Dahlia invites all three to her estate, and Wooster can only rely on his butler Jeeves to rescue him from the vengeful Cheesewright and the persistent Craye. Narrated by the dim-witted protagonist, the novel showcases Wodehouse’s famous roundabout writing style and comical dialogue. Each character has his own distinct personality. A full cast of relatives, servants and British gentlemen makes this book a masterpiece. – Andrew R. ’17

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