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4.7 out of 5 stars75
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 October 2008
I can add vanishingly little to comments on the quality of the writing: if you know the stories, they need no recommendation, if not, lucky you because you have them all to discover. This edition is handsome enough, and has text that while not quite a large-print edition is very easy on the eye, especially for reading aloud (I'm introducing the kids to the joys of Jeeves). BUT I foolishly bought volume one thinking I could read through that, and then get two, and so on, and I would be reading them in order. Far too logical. The third book in this collection, The Inimitable Jeeves, is indeed one of the earlier ones published, but then you need to go to Volume 2 of the omnibus for Carry on Jeeves, and continue hopping around. Strict chronological reading isn't a necessity, but references to previous event and minor characters do make more sense if the order of publication is followed. If the link to the listmania guide The Complete Jeeves & Wooster (in order of publication): A list by Alejo "ADB" has gone when you look at this page, do search listmania for it: I wish I had.
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on 6 March 2011
How does one review Wodehouse? The reader either already knows he is the finest comic writer in the English language by a very wide margin, or he/she needs to be frogmarched to the library forthwith to have this deficiency in his/her upbringing and moral outlook forcibly corrected. Best to single out occasional Wodehousians, and impress on them your immodest views on how the present offerings stack up against the author's oeuvre as a whole.

`Thank You, Jeeves' is the first novel in the series and starts things off with a bang (or a banjolele, if you prefer). It is, however, topped by `The Code of the Woosters', in which the hapless Bertram Wooster is pitched headlong into sinister goings-on at Totleigh Towers revolving around the infamous eighteenth-century cow-creamer, and faces for the umpteenth time a, as he would put it, f w than d in the shape of betrothal to a girl who thinks the stars are God's daisy chain.

We end with `The Inimitable Jeeves', a collection of interlinked short stories mostly dealing with the frenetic love life of Bingo Little. Not my favourite denizen of the Drones Club is Bingo - he deserves a good hard smack upside the head rather more than any other of Bertie's friends - but worth putting up with, if only for the pleasure of witnessing Aunt Agatha's demeanour change to that of one who, picking daisies on the railway, has just caught the down express in the small of the back.

This review covered, as indicated, the Jeeves Omnibus volume 1. To confuse matters, Amazon have since lumped together the reviews for volumes 1 and 2 and applied them to volumes 1, 2 and 5 (whose reviews have vanished). So it's worth adding that the words above might equally apply to volume 2 - `Joy in the Morning' particularly is a joy at any time of the day.

Volume 5 is a different matter. We're at the scrag end of Woosterdom here. `Aunts Aren't Gentlemen', the very last of the Jeeves novels written in 1974, hardly feels like Wodehouse at all, containing as it does whole chapters you can skim over without your face once cracking into the big goofy grin which normally makes reading the Master's output such an embarrassing spectacle if attempted in public. Wodehouse is incapable of being bad, but in these late works he does rather appear to have lost his footing whilst negotiating the stepping-stones of his dead self. I would award this volume no more than 3 stars, which is tantamount to exclaiming "Oh, Bertie!" in the way Aunt Agatha, rather than Madeline Bassett, does. Leave for last.
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on 30 September 2008
Love the stories, but it's so frustrating that they haven't put them in date order. Bertie Wooster frequently refers back to events that have taken place in previous books, and you have to wait until Book 3 of Volume 2 to see how Jeeves and Wooster first came together.
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on 26 November 2013
Absolutely bloody brilliant! Huge fan of Wodehouse. His writing captures an age which may never come to pass again and I've yet to find any other author who makes me laugh out loud so much.
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on 18 January 2001
As someone who is not very familar with Wodehouse, I took this book on holiday with me, and did not put it down. One of those books you should not read in public as you get strange looks when you start laughing out loud!
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on 19 November 2003
The content is endless pleasure, so I need comment no further than that. Others have before me, in any case.
I should like to point out that this collection does have quite a few glaring spelling errors - perhaps a little proof-reading mightn't have gone astray. Still, the book itself is printed on good stiff paper and highly readable print, if these things matter to you (and they should!).
That mentioned, prepare for dewy eyes and aching sides.
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on 6 March 2008
'I say, Jeeves,' I said, gratefully accepting the w. and soda, 'it seems we have another five stars to pin to our chest. The Jeeves Omnibus Volume One really hits the spot.'
'Indeed sir, you have admirers everywhere.'
'We, Jeeves, we,' I insisted, credit where due. 'After all, where would I be without you? "X and Wooster" would hardly pack in the many headed. No Jeeves,' I beamed at the honest fellow, 'we are a team, a double act, a faire des groupes de deux.'
`Thank you sir, it is most gracious of you to say so.'
`Not at all Jeeves, not at all.' I placed the restorative on the whatnot. As I did, I noticed a flicker from above Jeeves's left eye. A sure sign, I knew, that he was trying to engage my attention.
`Yes, Jeeves?'
`Well sir, I was merely trying to convey the information that much of the credit must go to the Late Mr. PG Wodehouse.'
`Old Plum?' I nodded sagely. `True Jeeves, very true. Well, Jeeves, mix the doings and I shall drink a toast to him. And you, of course, and the good fellows at the publishing house.'
`I have one already prepared sir.'
`Thank you Jeeves.' I said, and I meant it to stick.
`Thank you, sir.'
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on 11 May 2013
Not much I can add to what has already been said. I love J&W which my wife finds particularly odd because it is full of characters who, in the normally run of things, would be the first against the wall when the Revolution comes. But it remains great fun to escape into a world which does not exist now and probably didn't at the time. Pure, brilliant fiction.
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I first borrowed this omnibus edition about ten years ago from a library and really enjoyed it. I'd only seen the TV series with Fry and Laurie at that point and had no other experience of PG Wodehouse or these characters. When I spotted this book on Amazon recently I ordered my own copy to re-read with the hope that I'd enjoy it again and I'm pleased to say that I wasn't disappointed. Very few books make me laugh when I read them but this one had me laughing out loud repeatedly, though I did get a few funny looks whilst reading it in public.
I've enjoyed this one so much that I plan to read more in the series.
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on 30 November 2012
P. G.. Woodhouse was one of the greatest humorists writing in the English language in the first half of the 20th century. His books seem no longer to appear on the shelves of public libraries so it is difficult to get a sample of them.

The present volume is available on e-books at a modest cost. Using Kindle it is possible to sample a chapter before making the purchase.

The is at present on television various period dramas, and indeed the Jeeves book have been made into a television series. Nothing however beats the original.

The books are set in the vaguely inter-war period when a young bachelor from a rich family was given an allowance which enabled him to maintain a bachelor apartment in London with a personal man servant or valet who pressed the suits, did light cooking and generally maintained the apartment.

The central theme of the story is the contrast between the dim but university-educated young man, Bertie Wooster, and the very clever valet.. This is famously marked in the language each speaks. The rich young man habitually uses slang, while the valet, called Jeeves, speaks like a pedantic old-fashioned teacher of English. 'The weather is rather inclement, sir' is typical.

Equally famous is the complexity of the plots, the action usually taking place in a country house. Bertie is usually trying to avoid being ensnared in matrimony with one of the young ladies in the house. Or alternatively one or other of Bertie's friends is trying to marry one of the young ladies. All Bertie's efforts make the matter worse, until Jeeves devises a solution. Also famous are Bertie's formidable aunts who think it is time he settled down.

Whether you have read Woodhouse before or not, now is the time to download the books on to your reader.
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