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My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

My Man Jeeves (original 1919; edition 2011)

by P. G. Wodehouse

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963428,982 (3.77)139
Title:My Man Jeeves
Authors:P. G. Wodehouse
Info:CreateSpace (2011), Paperback, 128 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Own, Kindle, Humour, British, 2012

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My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (1919)

  1. 40
    Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (TadAD)
    TadAD: Imagine Bertie, Bingo and Barmie trying to organize a two-week boating expedition up the Thames. Conversely, imagine J., Harris and George trying to steal a cow creamer for their aunt. There you have it.

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Read during: Winter 2004/2005

Mostly Bertie Wooster stories, a few Peppers thrown in the middle. Highly ridculous and thoroughly enjoyable in the best sort of way.
  amyem58 | Jul 14, 2014 |
Enjoyable introduction for me to the famous Jeeves, with his talent for getting his master and master's friend out of various messes of their own making. I knew P G Wodehouse had lived in the USA but I hadn't realised that so much of his fiction, including this work, was set there! Read this immediately after "The Coming of Bill" and discovered that some of the plot elements were common to stories in both books (same thing happens in Agatha Christie's short stories). I enjoyed this as a light and amusing read. ( )
  Figgles | Feb 23, 2014 |
Let me start with the fact that My Man Jeeves is the first P.G. Wodehouse that I have read, so I cannot compare it to any other of Wodehouse’s books. This book is a collection of eight short stories of which, sadly, only four featured Wooster and Jeeves. The stories are very much based on a formula that consists of a problem arising that Wooster consults Jeeves on, Jeeves offers his idea of a solution which is followed, something always goes awry but again, Jeeves manages to straighten everything out much to the admiration and relief of Bertie Wooster.

There was nothing wrong with the four stories that featured Reggie Pepper, except that although Reggie is very like Bertie Wooster, he is much more wordy and less charming. The main ingredient missing in these four stories is that Reggie Pepper doesn’t have the wonderful Jeeves to play off of.

I enjoyed these stories finding them a humorous, light and comfy read. The flow of words in this book were a delight with phrases such as “perfect piffle”, “absolute corker”, and “what ho without there’ rolling off the tongue. The sympathetic bumbler that is Wooster along with the brilliant Jeeves are a genius combination that holds up well even though they were written almost 100 years ago. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Feb 12, 2014 |
This is a small collection of humorous short stories, half featuring Wooster and Jeeves, the other half featuring Reggie Pepper.

I downloaded this book as a free read for the Kindle, having always meant to read some of the famous Wooster and Jeeves stories, but not realizing that these are early prototypes and therefore may not have been the best choice for the first-time Wodehouse reader. The Wooster and Jeeves stories were my favorites--I thought the Reggie Pepper ones were rather slight--and Wodehouse's wit is spot on, as is his characterization of Jeeves as the perfect British valet. There are a lot of lines worth a chuckle, and Wodehouse has perfected the "what? what? old bean" voice. (I could hear Hugh Laurie's voice in my head as I was reading, even though I have only watched maybe half of one episode of the TV series based on the stories.) The stories are a bit one-note, though. In each one, some ridiculous friend of Wooster's is in trouble of losing his easy ride via a rich aunt or uncle. The two turn to Jeeves for help, who proposes a complex scheme, which of course goes all wrong. Then Jeeves comes up with a brilliant way to remedy the situation and put things right. If Wodehouse were writing today, he definitely would be writing for television. While this was a short, enjoyable read, next time I fancy some Wodehouse, I will probably look for one of his later collections.

Reading the classics plus the P.G. Wodehouse group read (2014). ( )
  sturlington | Feb 8, 2014 |
P.G. Wodehouse is an author I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and was a prime candidate for my current unemployed trend of reading free, public domain ebooks. Of his hundreds of humourous short stories, the most famous is the “Jeeves and Wooster” series, in which wealthy young British aristocrat Bertie Wooster relies upon his far more intelligent manservant Jeeves (the origin of the polite, dependable butler archetype) to extract him from various sticky social situations and conundrums.

My Man Jeeves contains eight stories, four featuring Wooster and Jeeves and four featuring Reggie Pepper, who is effectively the same character as Wooster and apparently served as a prototype for him. It’s always pleasantly surprising to read fiction more than 100 years old (the oldest story in this volume was first published in 1911) and find it easy, relatable, and above all hilarious. Wodehouse is a master of comic prose, with pitch-perfect dialogue and timing, and his stories reminded me not only of Terry Pratchett (who no doubt considers him an influence) but, weirdly, the general plot of many modern sitcoms. All of Wodehouse’s stories revolve around some unpleasant scenario which the protagonist and his friend seek to avert by devising a complicated deception to fool a third party, usually with unforeseen consequences demanding an ever greater web of lies. Put like that it seems like a lazy cliche, but it’s obviously a solid foundation for comedy, since it worked just as well for Wodehouse as it does in countless episodes of Fawlty Towers, Seinfeld and Friends.

My personal favourite line:

I was so darned sorry for poor old Corky that I hadn’t the heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself.

Wholly recommended, and I’ll be reading the rest of Wodehouse’s bibliography.

(As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that many people still disapprove of Wodehouse these days for being a “Nazi collaborator” after he was captured from his villa in France in 1940 and did a few non-political broadcasts for the Germans. He was later cleared by an M15 investigation and even at the time contemporaries such as Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell considered the claims a beat-up. Orwell’s essay about the whole drama can be read here (http://www.drones.com/orwell.html), worth reading as always, and his opinion is good enough for me.) ( )
1 vote edgeworth | Feb 6, 2014 |
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Jeeves—my man, you know—is really a most extraordinary chap. So capable. Honestly, I shouldn’t know what to do without him. On broader lines he’s like those chappies who sit peering sadly over the marble battlements at the Pennsylvania Station in the place marked “Inquiries.” You know the Johnnies I mean. You go up to them and say: “When’s the next train for Melonsquashville, Tennessee?” and they reply, without stopping to think, “Two-forty-three, track ten, change at San Francisco.” And they’re right every time. Well, Jeeves gives you just the same impression of omniscience.
I'm a bit short on brain myself; the old bean would appear to have been constructed more for ornament than use, don't you know.
He's like one of those weird chappies in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them. I've got a cousin who's what they call a Theosophist, and he says he's often nearly worked the thing himself, but couldn't quite bring it off, probably owing to having fed in his boyhood on the flesh of animals slain in anger and pie.
I was so darned sorry for poor old Corky that I hadn't the heart to touch my breakfast. I told Jeeves to drink it himself.
Jeeves smiled paternally. Or, rather, he had a kind of paternal muscular spasm about the mouth, which is the nearest he ever gets to smiling.
I'm not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare--or, if not, it's some equally brainy lad--who says that it's always just when a chappie is feeling particularly top-hole, and more than usually braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with a bit of lead piping. There's no doubt the man's right.
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Book description
Short story collection containing: "Leave it to Jeeves"; "Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest"; "Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg"; "Absent Treatment"; "Helping Freddie"; "Rallying Round Old George"; "Doing Clarence a Bit of Good"; and "The Aunt and the Sluggard".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 146626893X, Paperback)

This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who have not yet experienced these literary masterworks. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. From Shakespeare s finesse to Oscar Wilde s wit, this unique collection brings together works as diverse and influential as The Pilgrim s Progress and Othello. As an anthology that invites readers to immerse themselves in the masterpieces of the literary giants, it is must-have addition to any library.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:24 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Containing drafts of stories later rewritten for other collections (including Carry On, Jeeves ), My Man Jeeves offers a fascinating insight into the genesis of comic literature's most celebrated double-act. All the stories are set in New York, four of them featuring Jeeves and Wooster themselves; the rest concerning Reggie Pepper, an earlier version of Bertie. Plots involve the usual cast of amiable young clots, choleric millionaires, chorus-girls and vulpine aunts, but towering over them all is the inscrutable figure of Jeeves, manipulating the action from behind the scenes. Early or not, these stories are masterly examples of Wodehouse's art, turning the most ordinary incidents into golden farce.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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