Recommendation needed: P. G. Wodehouse

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Lex Black

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Aug 6, 2014
FEAR ME, PUNY MORTALS!

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Hi, everyone!

I've had a recommendation from Pete that I should start reading some P.G. Wodehouse. However, he appears to have a rather intimidating body of work. I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on where to start? Personal favorites, outstanding examples, things of that order? Thanks in advance!
 
FEAR ME, PUNY MORTALS!

...wait, let me start again.

Hi, everyone!

I've had a recommendation from Pete that I should start reading some P.G. Wodehouse. However, he appears to have a rather intimidating body of work. I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on where to start? Personal favorites, outstanding examples, things of that order? Thanks in advance!
The PSmith stories.
 
My recollections of Wodehouse can be summarised thus:

* The Psmith and Mike stories - Two posh young graduates try to do as little work and play as much cricket as possible, while coping with the tedium of bank jobs. Psmith is a charming chancer, who talks his way out of any sticky situation.
* The Jeeves and Wooster stories - A dimwitted, though harmless fop and his brilliant butler get into scrapes while trying to avoid upsetting terrifying aunties. Involves lots of gentlemens' clubs in london, and country houses. Very popular, and became a TV series in the late 80s/early 90s, though the stories tend to merge into one.
* The Blandings Castle stories - Harmless, pig-obsessed potterer Lord Emsworth keeps hosting parties, attended by his adventurous brother, his goofy son and all sorts of imposters. The imposters tend to be young people in love triangles. The Blandings stories are lighthearted fun, though the constant references to the prize pig get pretty repetitive.
 
Ask @Jonny :)


Hi Lex,

There's so much out there it's hard to know where to start. But as has been mentioned Jeeves and Wooster is a fantastic place. Any of them will do as all are exceptional. However, I keep coming back to The Code of The Woosters (a full length novel) and Carry on, Jeeves (short stories some of which are set on your side of the pond).

Other favourites of mine are The Oldest Member collections of short stories - set loosely around golf but not about golf.

The Blandings Saga is also brilliant as are the many standalone novels featuring The Drones Club. I think the old boy knocked out 100 or more works in his very long career.

You need to bear in mind that Wodehouse's work is based on the British class / feudal system - of in some cases 100 years ago, nevertheless they are an never-ending joy. (IMO) The wordsmithery has never been (and I suspect never will be) surpassed.

Hope you enjoy.
 
Hi Lex,

There's so much out there it's hard to know where to start. But as has been mentioned Jeeves and Wooster is a fantastic place. Any of them will do as all are exceptional. However, I keep coming back to The Code of The Woosters (a full length novel) and Carry on, Jeeves (short stories some of which are set on your side of the pond).

Other favourites of mine are The Oldest Member collections of short stories - set loosely around golf but not about golf.

The Blandings Saga is also brilliant as are the many standalone novels featuring The Drones Club. I think the old boy knocked out 100 or more works in his very long career.

You need to bear in mind that Wodehouse's work is based on the British class / feudal system - of in some cases approx. 100 years ago, nevertheless they are an never-ending joy. (IMO) The wordsmithery has never been (and I suspect never will be) surpassed.

Hope you enjoy.
When I became engaged to the Swissie my circle of friends in NYC were surprised because I'd always said I'd never marry. I explained that I'd gone for it because I envisioned a future where we would take turns being Bertie and Jeeves through life. That's pretty much how it's turned out. Especially the bit's where Jeeves disapproves of Berties taste in clothes and musical instruments. The series with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie is a continuing joy.
 
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The full episodes of the series are on You Tube to get a taste, but I agree with Jonny. The books are wordsmithing to a degree rarely reached in something that makes you laugh like that. . The way he deals with England's fascist movement is nothing short of genius.
 
@Pamela Jo A long time ago I bought the entire box set of the Fry & Laurie series and often return to it when I'm feeling cheesed off.

My dad introduced me to Wodehouse when I was no age at all, and I can even remember the him sitting and laughing like a drain at the original BBC TV outing starring Ian Carmichael and Dennis Price. Much as I love the F&L portrayals, these are still the two visual images I conjure up to this day when reading Jeeves & Bertie. I think the voices are pitch perfect.

I understand that sadly almost all of the tapes were wiped, but mercifully this full episode gem still lives on on Youtube. It's the only one I have ever managed to find.

 
FEAR ME, PUNY MORTALS!

...wait, let me start again.

Hi, everyone!

I've had a recommendation from Pete that I should start reading some P.G. Wodehouse. However, he appears to have a rather intimidating body of work. I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on where to start? Personal favorites, outstanding examples, things of that order? Thanks in advance!
I have the entire collection of old Penguin editions (thanks to my dad) but don't really have a favorite. Start with any. They are all good.
 
FEAR ME, PUNY MORTALS!

...wait, let me start again.

Hi, everyone!

I've had a recommendation from Pete that I should start reading some P.G. Wodehouse. However, he appears to have a rather intimidating body of work. I was wondering if anyone could give me some ideas on where to start? Personal favorites, outstanding examples, things of that order? Thanks in advance!
Piccadilly Jim, Money for Nothing, Nurse Sally, Men in Spats and Laugh Gas are a joy to behold. :)
 
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