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Ben Schott

Author of Schott's Original Miscellany

18+ Works 5,594 Members 94 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Ben Schott

Image credit: benschott.com


Works by Ben Schott

Associated Works

Goldfinger (1959) — Introduction, some editions — 3,286 copies
On Tremendous Trifles (1909) — Foreword, some editions — 31 copies


007 (51) 20th century (30) action (28) adventure (68) almanac (116) bond (80) cooking (27) crime (30) ebook (31) encyclopedia (27) England (30) espionage (177) facts (46) fiction (475) food (112) food and drink (29) general knowledge (34) hardcover (32) history (36) humor (185) Ian Fleming (34) James Bond (311) language (30) lists (47) Miscellanea (29) Miscellaneous (56) miscellany (186) mystery (55) non-fiction (425) novel (82) own (32) read (84) reference (701) series (29) sports (31) spy (194) spy fiction (44) thriller (178) to-read (119) trivia (380)

Common Knowledge



The second in Ben Schott's pair of Jeeves and Wooster novels, which directly follows on the plot of the first one (Jeeves and the King of Clubs). More skullduggery involving Spode (and the Black Shorts), this time at Cambridge University (largely), though there's a substantial sub-plot involving the Drones Club needing to raise money. Also more of Iona, the demi-heroine of the first novel. I don't think this one was quite up to the standard of the first one (let alone the original novels by Wodehouse). The ending in particular struck a somewhat jarring and out-of-character note, and I frankly can't see Bertie Wooster involved in the kind of espionage hijinks he gets up to. As with the first novel, there's a lot of references that are explained in the back (a Schott trademark carried over from his Almanacs and Miscellany), but there are times were it does seem like showing off. There are some good set-pieces, but a key one involving Aunt Agatha comes across as a bit forced. Schott narrowly loses this one, and I'm not sure die-hard followers of "Plum" are going to like it.… (more)
EricCostello | 10 other reviews | Mar 6, 2023 |
I found this something of a mixed bag. I do like Schott's other work, where he delves into a lot of unusual and interesting facts. That sort of thing leaks a fair bit into this book, which can add colour, but also can come off as a bit of showing off at times (he has a glossary, of all things, at the back, which can be helpful, but does reinforce the idea he's showing off). The first part of the book has very typical Bertie-gets-roped-into-things, but I do think Schott over-eggs the pudding, and not all of the plots come off well. There's also the somewhat incongruous introduction of a spy element in the story, and Bertie's involvement in a spy operation strains the credibility of the character. On the other hand, we do see a genuinely interesting, intelligent and sympathetic character in Iona, the niece of the spymaster character. One weakness in Wodehouse's oeuvre is that you didn't see all that many sympathetic women, and the bluestocking types tended to come off poorly. There are a few good set-pieces in the book that are very much in the spirit of the original. I'm not a huge fan of this book, but there are enough positives in the book that Schott comes out ahead. Wodehouse fans may well differ on this point.… (more)
EricCostello | 19 other reviews | Mar 4, 2023 |
Paying homage to P.G. Wodehouse, the creator of the iconic series of "Jeeves" stories, Ben Schott nails it! As with all British humor, the 'dry sarcasm' often leads to laughing out loud. Point in case: "...The Seventh Earl of Sidcup is a sore for sighted eyes. It's as if evolution took a wrong turn, got stuck in a cul-de-sac, and just threw in the sponge..." The team of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster always leads to antics of the most remarkable sort, many of them strategized practical jokes that go far beyond most. For those who appreciate and embrace British humor, this is a book that you'll enjoy every chapter. Schott adds a "Notes on the Text" section at the back in order we understand the rather unusual elements of British nomenclature and life. Highly recommended!… (more)
Jonathan5 | 19 other reviews | Feb 20, 2023 |
Wonderful wordplay, silly and utterly charming. A worthy follow up to the original Jeeves and Wooster stories.
mikedowd | 19 other reviews | Jan 22, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Päivi Lehtinen Translator
Mario J. Pulice Cover designer
Tim Robinson Cover artist


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