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The Man with Two Left Feet by P. G.…
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4742121,807 (3.69)17
Title:The Man with Two Left Feet
Authors:P. G. Wodehouse
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), Paperback, 156 pages
Collections:Owned digitally
Tags:short-story, fiction, theater, humour

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The Man with Two Left Feet and Other Stories by P. G. Wodehouse (1917)



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This is a wonderful collection of thirteen stories. Some are silly, some are bitter-sweet, but all have a good ending. Anyone in need of a light book, this could be it. Even when they start as sad stories, each ends with a wonderful note. A hopeful note.

Some stories I really liked and some I loved.

BILL THE BLOODHOUND - a funny story about a detective (sort of) finding his true calling."There might be detectives whose work was above this reproach, but he was a confirmed creeper, and he knew it. It wasn't his fault. The boss told him to creep, and he crept." EXTRICATING YOUNG GUSSIE - Bertie Wooster was sent by his horrible aunt Agatha to New York to prevent his cousin to marry a vaudeville artist. "She bosses her husband, Spencer Gregson, a battered little chappie on the Stock Exchange. She bosses my cousin, Gussie Mannering-Phipps. She bosses her sister-in-law, Gussie's mother. And, worst of all, she bosses me. She has an eye like a man-eating fish, and she has got moral suasion down to a fine point." The funniest description of aunt Agatha: "I have never met anyone who can give a better imitation of the Ancient Mariner." WILTON'S HOLIDAY - a wonderful love story: a man lied he lost his girlfriend to save himself from friendly people who seem to think he is there only to listen, but after he proposed to a girl he liked, she refused him because of that non existent dead girl. I loved it.

THE MIXER are two stories about luck and misunderstandings told by a dog.

CROWNED HEADS - Katie lives with her grandfather whose latest delusion is thinking that he is the King of England. Then she meets a young man who is famous and wants to marry her. But her grandfather doesn't want her to marry a commoner.

AT GEISENHEIMER'S - a professional dancer's story how she taught a man from country how he should value his wife and found herself along the way. The story has a great ending.

THE MAKING OF MAC'S - a beautiful story of a very successful restaurant.

ONE TOUCH OF NATURE - What's a baseball game worth to a fan who hasn't seen one for five years?

BLACK FOR LUCK - A black cat has decided to make a building his domain. He is moving from one artist to another bringing his own brand of luck.

THE ROMANCE OF AN UGLY POLICEMAN - a scarred beat policeman with a broken nose's love story. I didn't like the unfair ending of this story.

A SEA OF TROUBLES - After trying a number of things which will stop the stomach pain, Mr Meggs decided to kill himself. "Mr Meggs's point, the main plank, as it were, in his suicidal platform, was that with him it was beside the question whether or not it was nobler to suffer in the mind. The mind hardly entered into it at all."

THE MAN WITH TWO LEFT FEET is a story of a man who couldn't dance so he decided to ask someone to teach him because he wanted to surprise his wife. A wonderful story.
( )
  Aneris | Apr 22, 2017 |
Again, ha! ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Mar 21, 2017 |
Although this is very early Wodehouse, I enjoyed this varied selection of short stories, including one which -I later learned - was the first time he wrote about Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves.

I'm pretty sure I've read some of these stories before, but that didn't matter at all. I particularly enjoyed a two-part tale narrated by a dog where the humour relies on the dog's trust in human nature, and some rather clever writing that lets the reader understand what's really going on. There are also more standard stories of relationships marred by misunderstandings, of mishaps and mistakes that, while naturally seeming a little old fashioned, are still relevant to the modern mind.

The title story - about a man who is unable to dance - is the last one in the book, and one which, like several, was rather predictable; not that this matters with Wodehouse humour, as the gently ironic style and upper-class language are what make the stories so enjoyable. While his brilliant use of language hasn't quite come to the fore in this selection, there were some passages that made me smile; for instance, in describing an area populated with artistes of all kind, from the perspective of a policemen, he writes:

'They assault and batter nothing but pianos, they steal nothing but ideas, they murder nobody except Chopin and Beethoven.'

Definitely recommended for any Wodehouse fans who enjoy short stories, but not ideal as an introduction to the great man. Free in ebook form from Project Gutenberg. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
This collection of stories is the first time Bertie Wooster and his butler, Jeeves, appear. In that story, Bertie’s Aunt Agatha sends him to New York to stop his cousin, Gussie, from marrying a chorus girl. He fails, of course, and decides to stay in America until his aunt has had time to forget she’s mad at him. Most of the other stories also take place in New York City and feature other characters.

I don’t think the stories in this collection are as good as Wodehouse’s later Jeeves and Wooster books. They’re not bad, but they are pretty predictable. Overall, it was a nice, short, light read that didn’t require a whole lot of effort. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Loved ðis. Some funny, underſtated ſtories; ſome pugnant ones to ðe point of elicitiŋ a feƿ, tender tears. ( )
  leandrod | Feb 10, 2015 |
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Book description
13 Tales included in The Man with Two left Feet including: 
1. Bill the Bloodhound
2. Extricating Young Gussie (Jeeves and Wooster First  Story)
3. Wilton's Holiday
4. The Mixer I
5. The Mixer II
6. Crowned Heads
7. At Geisenheimer's
8. The Making of Mac's
9. One Touch of Nature
10. Black for Luck
11. The Romance of an Ugly Policeman
12. A Sea of Troubles
13. The Man with Two Left Feet 

Footnote regarding the story 'Extricating Young Gussie' - Information found in the book 'The World of Jeeves' introduction. Wodehouse states " I find it curious, now that I have written so much about him, to recall how softly and undramatically Jeeves first entered my little world. Characteristically, he did not thrust himself forward. On that occasion, he spoke just two lines. The first was: "Mrs. Gregson to see you sir." The second: "Very good, sir, which suit will you wear?" That was in a story in a volume entitled 'The Man with Two Left Feet' It was only some time later, when I was going into the strange affair which is related under the title of "The Artistic Career of Corky." , (Leave It to Jeeves" (revised for Carry On, Jeeves as "The Artistic Career of Corky ) that the man's qualities dawned upon me. I still blush to think of the off-hand way I treated him at our first encounter."  
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140016015, Paperback)

"The Man With Two Left Feet, and Other Stories" is a collection of short stories by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United Kingdom in 1917 by Methuen & Co., London. Many of the stories had previously appeared in the Strand in the UK and the Saturday Evening Post in the U.S.

Most of the stories concern relationships, sports and household pets. None feature any of Wodehouse's regular characters. "Extricating Young Gussie" marks the first appearance of some of Wodehouse's most well-known and beloved characters, Jeeves and his master Bertie Wooster (although here Bertie's surname appears to be Mannering-Phipps, and Jeeves' role is very small), along with Bertie's fearsome Aunt Agatha.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:12 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

These early stories, first published together in 1917, show Wodehouse perfecting his craft. Characters include a talking dog, a private eye who wants to be an actor, a bank clerk who cannot dance, an ugly policeman, a baseball-mad businessman, and a black cat. The star attraction of the volume for most readers will probably be "Extricating young Gussie," the first story to feature Jeeves, though in a minor role.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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