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Thank You, Jeeves (Bertie Wooster & Jeeves)…

Thank You, Jeeves (Bertie Wooster & Jeeves) (original 1934; edition 2013)

by P. G. Wodehouse (Author)

Series: Jeeves (4)

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2,431665,500 (4.11)181
Bertie Wooster has taken up the banjolele, but the manager of the building in central London has issued an ultimatum to either give up the music or clear out. Even the faithful Jeeves threatens to leave, so Bertie seeks refuge in the country.
Title:Thank You, Jeeves (Bertie Wooster & Jeeves)
Authors:P. G. Wodehouse (Author)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2013), Edition: Reprint, 240 pages
Collections:Your library

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Thank You, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse (1934)


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Bertram Wooster has a problem. His neighbors are complaining about his banjolele playing. The building manager has given him an ultimatum: stop playing the thing or move elsewhere. And, naturally, being the man he is, he won't give up the instrument for anything. Not even when his trusty valet Jeeves proclaims that he will quit if forced to bear the music within the confines of the small country cottage Wooster proposes to move to. Take the cottage Wooster does, moving onto land owned by an old school friend, but when that friend falls in love with the daughter of a rich American man who tries to confine said daughter to his yacht, fearing that she's going to attempt to run off with Wooster, everyone falls into a tangle. Will Wooster be able to extricate himself and play successful matchmaker for the two lovebirds? Or will it all descend into chaos?

Originally written in the 1930's, this is a book that shows its age. In terms of the writing itself, you'll find a casual style with a lot of British-isms, many of which I didn't recognize, but in all cases I was able to rely on context clues to understand without much difficulty.

Apart from that, the simple style makes for a quick and easy read. This isn't a book that forces you to read slowly and thoughtfully as it presents depth of emotion or of thought. Instead, it focuses entirely on humor. The cleverness is in its humor. The most important feature of the writing is its comedic timing. And in this way, the book certainly excels.

But unfortunately, the slang terms and the lack of modern technology are not the only things that show this book was written in the early 1900's. And nothing quite kills a good laugh like racial slurs and blackface. There are other points as well, like sexism and some problematic attitudes regarding mental health, but the racism really takes the cake. And sticks around a good long while, banishing all hope that it might at least be over quickly.

It's really a shame, since I picked this up hoping for a good laugh and a lightened mood. It had everything else going for it. The situations created a compelling plot without ever being so serious that I worried for the characters instead of being able to laugh at their predicaments. The narrator was likeable and just the right degree of ridiculous. Several of the jokes were clever and not ones that I'd ever heard before. If only society hadn't possessed so many horrendous attitudes during the time that it was written, it might have really been something.

So should you read it? Maybe if you want to study it, for the sake of cultural relevance, for the sake of learning how to write in a similar comedic style. But if you're looking for a humorous book to enjoy, I'm sure you can find better options. Or at least options without these drawbacks. At the very least, you might try a different one of the stories featuring these characters, as I've heard they're not all quite so bad. I picked this one because of its appearance on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, but since reading it I'm forced to wonder if it was chosen over others in the series simply due to its length (word count high enough to count as a "real" book) rather than its comparative quality. Maybe someday I'll pick up another one and find out, but I must admit this book hasn't made me immediately eager to do so. ( )
  dste | Mar 25, 2023 |
4,0 ( )
  lulusantiago | Mar 11, 2023 |
This was a great introduction to the works of Wodehouse and the Jeeves series specifically. I'm really looking forward to reading more of both in the near future. ( )
  boredwillow | Mar 4, 2023 |
Silly, fun, but a recurring part of the plot had to do with Bertie and another character being in “blackface” basically having been inspired by minstrels that were performing nearby - and most of the story in that regards has to do with the fact that they find they can’t remove it. Certainly nothing that would be in a book now, but I didn’t think it was being racist, just oblivious. I guess the difference there might not be so obvious. I dunno. Listened to it from audiobook format. ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
Cracked up throughout, like straight up bursting out laughing pretty much every page. One word: BANJOLELE. I must read the others. Only qualms: blackface is a plot point! Not once but twice!! And the N-word is dropped casually, constantly, by every character except for Jeeves (perfect human being and the best). Oh 1930s. ( )
  Mialro | Dec 15, 2022 |
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» Add other authors (59 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. G. Wodehouseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Callow, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cecil, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spencer, AlexanderNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"I fancy the individual you have in mind, sir, is the poet Keats, who compared his emotions on first reading Chapman's Homer to those of stout Cortex when with eagle eyes he stared at the Pacific.... And all his men looked at each other with a wild surmise, silent upon a peak in Darien."
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Bertie Wooster has taken up the banjolele, but the manager of the building in central London has issued an ultimatum to either give up the music or clear out. Even the faithful Jeeves threatens to leave, so Bertie seeks refuge in the country.

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Overlook Press blurb:
While pursuing the love of his life, American heiress Pauline Stoker, Lord 'Chuffy' Chuffnell borrows the services of Jeeves, the perfect gentleman's gentleman. But when Chuffy finds out that Jeeves's employer, Bertie Wooster, was once engaged to Pauline himself - until the engagement was broken by her tough-egg father, abetted by loony-doctor Sir Roderick Glossop - such fearsome complications ensue that even Jeeves has difficulty securing a happy ending.
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