The Inimitable Jeeves by PG Wodehouse, read by Jonathan Cecil
Read: because everyone should read PG Wodehouse (Overlook Press, 272 pages)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (finished 2/23/10)
Synopsis: A classic collection of linked stories featuring some of the funniest episodes in the life of Bertie Wooster, gentleman, and Jeeves, his gentleman’s gentleman – in which Bertie’s terrifying Aunt Agatha stalks the pages, seeking whom she may devour, while Bertie’s friend Bingo Little falls in love with seven different girls in succession (he marries the last, the bestselling romantic novelist Rosie M. Banks). And Bertie, with Jeeves’s help, just evades the clutches of the terrifying Honoria Glossop.
Overall Impression: I could tell this series of story was written earlier in Wodehouse’s very prolific writing career. It just wasn’t quite as tight as some of his other books. This was original 18 separately published stories, which were later woven into a series of 11 chapters. They are loosely connected, and for what it is, Wodehouse did it well. Watching Bingo Little fall in love over and over and over again was entertaining. The best story was “The Great Sermon Handicap,” where everyone in a small country towns bet on the length of the sermons of the different ministers. It was such a fun little story. This is the second Wodehouse that I’ve listened to that’s been read by Jonathan Cecil. Jeeves in the Morning was better — the production quality wasn’t quite as good on this one, and Cecil seemed a bit rushed in bits. But it was still a great audiobook — Wodehouse translates well to audio.
Pros: Any Wodehouse is better than most other humorists. Some of the stories were especially funny and mad-cap.
Cons: Not his best work — a little disjointed and the characters aren’t as fully realized as they are later in Wodehouse’s career.
Extras: I must mention the editions of Wodehouse’s books put out by Overlook Press. They are gorgeous. I’m slowly collecting them as I find them in used bookstores (they’ve only been around for a few years, so used copies are few and far between). The cover illustrations are delightful!
Other books I’ve read by PG Wodehouse: Jeeves in the Morning (review), My Man Jeeves, Bertie Wooster Sees it Through, Do Butlers Burgle Banks?, A Gentleman of Leisure (review), Code of the Woosters (this is my favorite), Jeeves and the Tie that Binds, Girls Pearls and Monty Bodkin
Other books I’ve listened to by Jonathan Cecil: Jeeves in the Morning
Other blogger reviews: none! Not too many people reading random books from 1923, are there?