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Ring for Jeeves Paperback – 27 May 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (27 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140281185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140281187
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1.5 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,083,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The author of almost a hundred books and the creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner, P.G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After two years with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank he became a full-time writer, contributing to a variety of periodicals including Punch and the Globe. He married in 1914. As well as his novels and short stories, he wrote lyrics for musical comedies with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, and at one stage had five musicals running simultaneously on Broadway. His time in Hollywood also provided much source material for fiction. At the age of 93, in the New Year's Honours List of 1975, he received a long-overdue knighthood, only to die on St Valentine's Day some 45 days later.

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Review

"It's dangerous to use the word genius to describe a writer, but I'll risk it with him" -- John Humphrys "For as long as I'm immersed in a P.G. Wodehouse book, it's possible to keep the real world at bay and live in a far, far nicer, funnier one where happy endings are the order of the day" -- Marian Keyes "Wodehouse always lifts your spirits, no matter how high they happen to be already" -- Lynne Truss "The incomparable and timeless genius - perfect for readers of all ages, shapes and sizes!" -- Kate Mosse "Not only the funniest English novelist who ever wrote but one of our finest stylists" -- Susan Hill --This text refers to the Digital Download edition.

Book Description

New recording by Martin Jarvis featuring the much-loved Jeeves and Wooster partnership --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ian Wood, Author of 'Here's 2 Absent Fathers' on 28 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Rather than be a Jeeves and Wooster novel `Ring for Jeeves' is an adaption of a P G Wodehouse musical play of the same name. The decision to use Jeeves was no doubt a commercial decision to trade on this great name to bring them flocking to the theatre. This makes for an unfortunate book in the series for three very good reasons.

Firstly in order for the correct ending in a musical comedy the leads must fall in love and marry, consequently Bertie cannot be the lead male as he cannot marry as this would end his saga and so Jeeves has been lent out to Bill Rowcester. Not very plausible as the whole point of Jeeves and Wooster is of course that Bertie cannot cope without the advice of his trusted valet.

Secondly although Jeeves has always `endeavoured to give satisfaction' and would do anything to help his master stopping short of breaking the law. Jeeves has no compulsion here and readily breaks the law here.

Thirdly the Jeeves and Wooster stories are written in the first person by Bertie himself and although Wodehouse is quite the writer he's not in Bertie's class.

A pretty decent P G Wodehouse novel but a very poor Jeeves and Wooster book. For Wodehouse completists only.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 12 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The only book (that I can think of) where Jeeves appears without his hapless employer Bertie Wooster, Ring for Jeeves, is a typical Wodehousian farce with mistaken identities, the struggles for true love to win through, and through it all the unflappable Jeeves weaving his way to solve all the problems.

Bill, Lord Rowcester, is working undercover (and under a garish moustache and sports jacket) as a bookie, with Jeeves' invaluable assistance, in order to keep his stately home afloat (and not at the bottom of the local river, as his brother in law would have it). But in keeping this from his fiancee, he finds himself in a spot of bother when a punter's bet comes off, and he has no way to pay out. Captain Biggar's descent on Rowcester Abbey at the same time as Mrs Spottsworth, a wealthy American to whom Bill is hoping to sell his pile of bricks and mortar, leads to a tale of great Wodehouse humour.

This book is somewhat unusual for Wodehouse in that it references very clearly a specific time - most of Wodehouse's books seem to be set in an undetermined time (although it always seems to be the 1920s/1930s), but this very clearly notes the First and Second World Wars, and part of the premise of the book is that it is a time of Socialist government in Britain (which explains Bertie Wooster's absence, off at a camp learning how to *shudder* darn his own socks).

This is a great story, typically witty, funny and peppered with funny literary allusions (from Jeeves). Captain Biggar is a great invention. Rory's allusion to the game of his childhood game of the Bigger Family, and the running jokes ("Which is bigger, Captain Biggar or Mirs Biggar? Mrs Biggar, because she became Biggar") still make me laugh, even though I've read the book quite a few times over the years. Great stuff - totally recommended.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
This book has only a fleeting appearance by Bertie Wooster, not even in person. Jeeves is seconded out to another needy aristocrat while Bertie is sent to training school to learn to look after himself. All the usual entanglements ensue, but things are not the same without the dynamic duo together. It lacks spark and originality.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By tinybulcher on 24 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am sorry to inform you that this is something of a duff note in the Jeeves canon. It was originally a play-script concocted by PGW and Guy Bolton; when the play failed to come off PGW worked it up into a novel, and exercised very little care in doing so. I am also tolerably certain that the valet in the original was not Jeeves. It is essentially a quick-change farce, and while it might have been fairly amusing on stage, it falls very flat on the page. Luckily there is no shortage of the real thing, so we will draw a discreet veil over this sad imposter, and move on.
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Format: Hardcover
As many have noted, this book is something of an oddity, being a Jeeves book without Wooster. What should also be made clear though is that this Jeeves has undergone something of a change in personality. Compared with the Jeeves of the other books, this character is more verbose, more unscrupulous and much more of a chancer. He actually puts himself at risk of going to prison and I don't think the character from the Bertie Wooster books would have placed himself in that position.
There are other peculiarities about this work. For on thing, it is more closely based in realty that any other Wodehouse story I know (admittedly, not very hard to achieve) dealing with the impoverishment of the aristocracy in the post war world. Also, it actually mentions the two World Wars (chapter 11) - again, something unique in the Wodehouse canon.

The key to understanding the book is to appreciate that it is actually an adaptation of a stage play (Come on Jeeves) where the Jeeves brand was used to drum up trade. Wooster was not used because the protagonist had be impoverished (for the plot to work) and be married off at the end (to meet the conventions of romantic comedy). This also explains why there is a subdued narrative voice (not needed at all in the play) and the joke deficit is taken up by a new sort of character in Wodehouse stories - the un-involved comedic bystander - in the person of Sir Roderick (Rory) Carmoyle. He crops up in many scenes making irreverent and tactless comments and adds greatly the fun.

In this context, the work displays all of the brilliance one would expect from the author. The plotting very tight (the action covers 24 hours only), the jokes are wonderful and the book's oddities make for additional interest. It is not as well known as some but well worth exploring.
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