If you pick up Mike and Psmith and expect it to be like the wacky comedies that Wodehouse composed in the 20s and 30s, you might be slighted disappointed. This is early Wodehouse, a Wodehouse concerned with school masters, ragging (an expression for creating mischief) and especially cricket. It is also a more grounded Wodehouse, a novel where the comedy is more subtle, a novel where the characters are not quite so flighty. This is also Wodehouse at his least complex. This is not the novel that shows his mastery of the convulted plot, where every word spoken and deed done entagles our heros and heroines in further trouble.
This said, I need to quickly confirm that Mike and Psmith is a wonderful novel. It still has a freshness and innocence about it that is highly appealing. In this day and age, of rampant murders and unclear elections, Mike and Psmith is as sunny and cheerful a book as you are likely to find. And just to show you that I read Mike and Psmith with my eyes wide open, I have to state that my early comments are not intended as criticism but as a compliment. The subtlety is the very reason why this novel is so great! It is his art in creating a scene or a character and putting in the interesting setting of Sedleigh that Wodehouse shows why so many refer to him as the Master.
Mike and Psmith is not the funniest book Wodehouse wrote, but it does have many incredible scenes, especially Mr. Downing's search for the paint splashed shoe. I agree with the other reviewers that this is the high point of the book. I think readers will find a lot to enjoy in this novel. It is an escape to a world not that far removed for our own but placed in a time that we will never see again. This novel truly scores a century!