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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 20 January 2004
"Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves" is an example of Wodehouse at his best - to paraphrase Evelyn Waugh, cramming three original similes onto every page. The book continues the saga of the Wooster / Bassett / Fink-Nottle "love triangle", and Wodehouse as ever handles the problem of filling in new readers with aplomb (though it is undoubtedly better to have read the preceding volumes - after all, why wouldn't you want to read the preceding volumes?). Bertie is once again at Totleigh Towers where "only man is vile", desperately trying to avoid imprisonment, dismemberment at the hands of Spode (now under the alias of Lord Sidcup) while failing spectacularly to act as raisonneur to the Madeleine / Gussie relationship -which now appears to be floundering on the insurmountable obstacle of vegetarianism. Bertie gets some good one-liners, and the dialogue is excellent as always. Though writen post-war, after what many consider the Wodehouse golden-age of the 1930s, this remains an example of Wodehouse at his best.
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It is astonishing to me that someone so attached to bachelorhood as Bertie has been engaged to every female under the age of fifty in Britain and in any dealings with women this is where his worst nightmares lie! Women see him as a reliable stand in when their preferred relationships breakdown. Madeline is the worst of the lot. She is so romantic that she makes you want to vomit and you share Bertie's distress at the impending nuptials and how to avoid them in this wonderfully funny book.
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on 12 April 2002
I came late to Jeeves and Bertie but when I did I loved it. I am a big fan of good audiobooks but not normally of adaptations. But this BBC Radio production is terrific. Michael Horden is suitably aloof and commanding, conveying entire paragrpahs in a single "Sir". Richard Briers is simply wonderful as Bertie and the whole thing is a wonderful way to pass a long car journey or even a long commute. Highly reccommend it.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 November 2012
This is another of the wonderful Jeeves and Wooster stories by P G Wodehouse. In this story, Bertie is horrified to find that Gussie Fink-Nottle is fed up with his bride-to-be Madeline Bassett. For if Madeline and Gussie don't get wed, then Madeline will come looking for Bertie to be her husband; and wedded bliss with Madeline is the last thing Bertie looks forward to. Add to that, the tribulations of his old friend Harold "Stinker" Pinker who wants to marry Pop Bassett's niece but can't without getting promoted from being the curate, and Jeeves' disapproval of Bertie's Alpine hat (blue with a pink feather), and Bertie finds himself in the soup right up to his neck.

This is a gem of a book, with old favourites Gussie, Madeline, "Stinker", Stiffy Byng, Pop Bassett, Roderick Spode and of course Jeeves and Bertie. Add to that the intrepid explorer Plank, Aunt Dahlia and collectible curios, and you have a typically complicated and wonderfully funny book. Highly recommended.
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on 27 April 2016
An enjoyable romp, as usual, but the laugh out loud bits were well spaced out in this one. Jeeves was too much off stage for my liking, leaving Bertie, Gussie, Stiffy and Stinker too much time to engage in meaningless dialogue. One mention of a little black table figure is enough, but I feel that Wodehouse laboured this point just a bit too much.

This is not a criticism because I am hooked on all the Jeeves and Wooster stories, and have read some more than once. It's just that this is not my favourite by a long way
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on 1 March 2004
To make it clear from the outset - the book is great. There is no point saying the same thing over twice, so if anyone wishes to get my views on the Wodehouse text, there is a review out there somewhere in the system, with five stars.
The danger with a dramatisation of a favourite book - radio or TV - is that it never matches your mental image of the characters. Coming to a dramatisation like this, therefore, one always has to brace ones self for a bit of jarring. This dramatisation jarred me a little too much, however. The actors were fine, the adaptation of the script was very good - if occasionally a little clumsy in communicating some of the scene setting. The problem was that the principle characters of Richard Briers as Bertie Wooster and Michael Hordern as Jeeves.
Hordern comes across as very remote, and more than a little disdainful of the young lord and master. This may have been how the very early Jeeves was written, but it did not last long. Wodehouse wanted to build Jeeves into a sympathetic character, tolerant - even indulgent - of Wooster. Hordern plays Jeeves as if he were on the verge of resigning in irritation with Wooster.
Jeeves is given a fairly limited presence in the dramatisation. This is generally the case in the book, of course, where (with the exception of one short story) Bertie Wooster is the narrator. However, Jeeves always "punches above his weight" because the text always gives Bertie's thoughts on Jeeves, or reactions to him - and that is quite lacking here. The limited role for Jeeves also exposes the second key flaw, which is that Richard Briers (though putting in a commendable performance) can not pull-off the voice of a young man in his mid twenties. Briers sounds like a middle aged person playing a young person, and it grates in a role like that of Bertie Wooster. This far more pronounced than with the TV part played by Hugh Laurie - who was also playing a younger person - perhaps because Briers has chosen to emphasise the "breathless schoolboy" enthusiasm in the part. Unfortunately for Briers this does not create an image of a social butterfly in his twenties, and instead reminds the listener of Briers playing "Tom" in "The Good Life" sitcom. We have the same endearing boyishness, but it is a middle aged man exhibiting this attitude, and that does not come across correctly.
There are, of course, a limited number of these dramatisations available, and as previous critics have noted there are far worse ways of passing a drive. The story is good, and that helps carry the audiobook. The actors are not bad by any means, but the interpretation of the two principle characters makes it very difficult to suspend disbelief and give oneself over to enjoyment of Wodehouse's sparkling prose.
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Dante had his Inferno. Odysseus had to get past Scylla and Charybdis. And Bertie Wooster has to darken the dangerous halls of Totleigh Towers again to avoid the unwelcome bands of matrimony with Miss Madeline Bassett.
Madeline's engagement to that world-class newt lover, Gussie Fink-Nottle, is on the rocks when Madeline insists that the meat-loving Gussie become a vegetarian. That's dangerous because Madeline has always made it clear that she will have no other man than Bertie as her husband if Gussie isn't available. So Bertie volunteers to enter that place where all others abandon hope in order to try to repair the engagement. But he's soon in trouble because Emerald Stoker, daughter of the American millionaire, has taken a temporary job as the cook at Totleigh Towers and is tempting Gussie with steak and kidney pie and ham sandwiches. Soon love is following the growls of Gussie's stomach, and Gussie insults the sunset and Madeline's favorite fictional character.
At the same time, Stiffi Byng's engagement to Stinker Pinker is on the rocks as well because Pop Bassett won't come through with the vicar's job that Stinker needs to be able to afford to marry. A rocky day at the school treat makes progress even more problematical.
Jeeves is the source of the all the solutions as he often is, but relations are strained even there by Bertie's new hat which Jeeves feels is unsuitable.
Stiffi also takes to absconding with Pop Bassett's prize gee-gaw, which Bertie's Uncle Tom covets, and matters develop to make Bertie look like a thief again. Can Bertie escape the goal?
In the best of the Jeeves stories, the plot unfolds in a fairly straightforward fashion that holds Bertie at ransom to fate. Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves has such a plot. I highly recommend this book to you.
This book should also remind you to read the Jeeves books in order of their publication. Many of the best are sequels to the finest of the early stories. Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves is one of those sequels. Enjoy!
Are you ready for something to wet the old tonsils?
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`Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves' carries on the saga starting with `Right Ho, Jeeves' and continuing through `The Code of the Woosters', `The Mating Season' and `Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit'. The same cast of characters are reassembled at TotleighTowers the ancestral home of Sir Watkyn Bassett father of Madeline Basset whom is yet again estranged to her fiancé Gussie Fink-Nottle. Once the engagement is under the cosh, Bertie and Jeeves are summand to restore the larch to the thorn and God to the heavens. Matters are not helped by the further complication of the engagement of Madeline's cousin `Stiffy' Byng to the local Curate `Stinker' Pinker and that they require Sir Watkyn to give Stinker the Vicarage that is in his gift in order for the banns to be read. Also present is Wodehouse's most unfortunate Character, one Roderick Spode recently ascended to the title Lord Sidcup.

Gussie on being pushed to far by having to become vegetarian to curry favour with Madeline elopes with the cook and Jeeves must find away to prevent Madeline from marrying Bertie as the old standby whilst setting up Stinker up with a vicarage. He eventually brings about a fantastic conclusion with the un-witted assistance of Major Plank whom had previously conspired with Uncle Fred in `Uncle Dynamite'.

And so Wodehouse, again, leaves us in the best of all possible worlds with God in his heaven.
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on 8 July 2013
I love Jeeves and once again he gets Bertie out of a few sticky wickets. Wodehouse was a master of his craft and once again te has written an master piece. I recommend this wholeheartedly if you want a smile a minute and to laugh out loud
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 August 2010
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you've read any Wodehouse before, you'll already know what to expect, story-wise.

If you haven't, this would be the perfect introduction.

Here we have all the typical Bertie Wooster elements - eccentric friends, despotic aunts, crazy plots and (of course) Jeeves.

In this audiobook version, the reader is Jonathan Cecil, and he does a wonderful job at bringing a wide cast of characters to life. He has such a distinctive intonation for each person in the story that we were never in any doubt about who was actually speaking.

The story itself is just plain hilarious. We listened to the disks during long car journeys, but I'm not sure I should recommend this. At one point on a very busy roundabout, the story set us all laughing so uncontrollably that we're probably lucky that we didn't come to grief!

Definitely five stars!
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