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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest comic writer in the English language, 6 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Jeeves Omnibus - Vol 1: (Jeeves & Wooster): No.1 (Paperback)
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.

Addendum:
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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