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What Ho!: The Best of Wodehouse
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2000
Steven Fry's touching introduction to this excellent collection is worth the price alone. As seasoned readers will agree gategorising or even explaining Wodehouse is impossible. All I can say is that like for many of the very best things in life, I almost envy those who have never experienced Wodehouse for the pleasure they have ahead. I am a relatively old hand, so for me his writing is like womb music - no matter how bad things get I can always take pleasure and relaxation from the writing, the charm and the great good humour of these innocent stories. They penetrate the human condition in a way that simply makes me feel better.
If you have not read Wodehouse before you may as well start here and save money and time by buying the hardback - you will need to replace soft backs at least once every couple of years.
Enjoy
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 December 2011
A visit to a once upon a time world that was never there but would have been such fun to have spectated. The writing is simplicity but so sophisticated. It trips off the eye into the mind like a smooth sherry slides through the mouth. The images persist; the plots..what plots?..fade..A much maligned man lives again.

My one criticism is the quality of the book. The paper, the typescript, the binding; all shoddy. Can Amazon not also sell a better presented book?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2012
Much as I generally enjoy Wodehouse I am unsure what this publication achieves. If you are already a Wodehouse fan the likelihood is that you will have already read many of the stories and extracts the book contains. If new to Wodehouse you might be better reading a complete story rather than chapters from several. Whether the selection constitutes the best of Wodehouse is inevitably a matter of opinion; much of it is not what I would have chosen and I don't think picking chapters here and there really works. There is some "new" material but it is very questionable whether you would put it under the title of "best". A cynic might think that the purpose of the publication is mainly to rake in some cash by trading on a famous name.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2012
Despite the advancing years I had up until receiving this book for Christmas never read any Wodehouse, though I had been read excerpts in my younger years. Of course, the problem with Wodehouse is that being such a prolific author, it's difficult to know where to start. And since most Wodehouse readers have their favourites, asking for advice on what to read is a bit like asking which football team you should support.

All of which is precisely why this compendium fits the bill nicely. There's a little bit of everything here to give the newcomer a real taste of Wodehouse's world, with stories from Jeeves, Blandings, Ukridge, Mr Mulliner, The Drones, Psmith and Uncle Fred. There's also a section of golfing stories, and at the back, as a sort of appendix, a collection of letters and sundry other writings. As for the prose itself, well if you really need more convincing, you could always start by perusing the introduction by Stephen Fry.

The only other review of this book to date criticised the quality of the book, and to some extent I must agree. Whilst I found nothing lacking in the book's manufacture, there were a surprising number of typographical errors to be seen, albeit only small niggly things. Nevertheless, for the price this volume is an absolute steal, a definite must for anyone looking for a glimpse into Wodehouse.

(And having read the lot, I can now say that my jersey is emblazoned with the Blandings crest.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2013
I'm rather torn by this anthology. It's been put together by the voting of P.G Wodehouse societies, and that shows.
On the one hand, they've selected the gems. Here we have not only Jeeve's most brilliant moments, but also the side-splittingly hilarious pick of the Blandings stories, and a good selection of other, lesser known, but simply brilliant P.G. Wodehouse. This is him at his best. Beautifully written, utterly hilarious, and a wonderful evocation of a world of lazy, rich aristocrats whose greatest tribulations come from having to avoid their overbearing aunts.
On the other, there's a fair bit of stuff that would only appeal to the most devoted of P.G. Wodehouse fans - the kind who join P.G. Wodehouse societies, in fact. Most people who buy a book like this are looking for an introduction to Wodehouse, a way to explore an author who has written reams and reams of books. But here we have his golfing stories (dull, unless you like P.G. Wodehouse and golf); selections from his diaries (mildly interesting accounts of Hollywood in the thirties, but a far cry from his hilarious stories) and generally a good, representative selection of all the things he did that aren't famous because they aren't as good.
If you are happy to read the first half and drop it, this is a marvelous, utterly hilarious introduction to a brilliant author. If you want to read some of Wodehouse's more obscure pieces without tracking down complete books, it's ideal.
But if you're new to Wodehouse, I'd start with the marvellous 'Inimitable Jeeves'
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on 17 June 2014
With so many novels, short stories, Musicals (as lyricist) to his credit choosing the best examples is a difficult task. But this compilation of short stories and extracts from novels makes a good job of it. Starting with what some consider to be his best short story "Uncle Fred Flits By" (not my own choice which is "Lord Emsworth and the girlfriend") and continuing the high quality with Jeeves stc, if you like Wodehouse, you will not be disappointed. If you do not, my sympathies to you as you are missing out on a treat. If you want to test the water, you could have no better pool than this book.
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on 26 January 2015
I love the Jeeves stories and wanted to try other bits done by Wodehouse, but for some reason I cannot get the hang of it.
Whatever stroy I read I saw Jeeves in front of me :-)
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