This is a review of the original book and not the later re-write.
This novel proved to be a turning point in P.G. Wodehouse's career. It was the first of his work to be published in America (in 1909, three years after its U.K. publication), it features his first truly celebrated character in Ukridge and the book would continue to be one of his most popular efforts more than a hundred years on.
The story itself revolves around Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge and his efforts to run a chicken farm in Dorset. With him he takes his wife and his long-suffering friend Jeremy Garnet. The latter attempts to court a local girl while trying to assist in making the business a success but his efforts are not helped by Ukridge's lack of tact and his unusual attitudes towards poultry farming.
Several of the writer's earlier stories had suffered from his inability to construct strong and tight plots but that is not an issue here. Wodehouse based the contents on letters sent to him by an old schoolfriend, William Townsend about a farming friend of his and blended the anecdotes given to him with his own ideas. The result is by far the best book that he had written up to this point.
Wodehouse himself did not remain entirely satisfied however, and decided to rewrite the tale in 1921. By this point his writing craft had developed to the extent that he was able to add a lot more humour and could also streamline the story, trimming it of unneccessary scenes and peripheral characters.
Those revisions have made this original version of the book less essential, as it has been dwarfed by the later edition but it remains a strong work in its own right.