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Jeeves and the Wedding Bells Paperback – 14 Aug 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099588978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099588979
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It is a wonderfully happy book." (Guardian)

"This light-hearted romp is delightfully witty, packed with puns and boasts a few phrases that Wodehouse himself would have deemed top-hole. Splendid stuff." (Sunday Mirror)

"The finished product resembles, in all but cover, a traditional Wodehousian yarn. Harking back to the summer of 1926, it is a gentle, jolly tale – of farce and mistaken identity, of love lost and found, of cricket matches, village fetes and the eccentric upper classes." (Telegraph)

"At two memorable moments in Jeeves and the Wedding Bells I did indeed laugh until I cried… Jeeves and the Wedding Bells is a masterpiece… This is a pitch-perfect undertaking: proof, almost a century after his debut, that Jeeves may not be so inimitable after all." (Spectator)

"The plot is satisfyingly convoluted in the best Wodehouse tradition . . . A genuine addition to my growing Wodehouse collection and there is no higher tribute." (Daily Express)

"He catches the Wodehousean idiom, periphrasis, surreal similes and bally silliness to a T, all done with love. Please commission a dozen more, Hutchinson." (Literary Review)

"From the first page of Sebastian Faulks’s entirely delightful book . . . we are transported to Wodehouse land. All the details, of plot, of character, and of setting, are lovingly drawn. The hours spent reading Jeeves and the Wedding Bells are pure pleasure." (Financial Times)

"Faulks has caught the mood and the dialogue perfectly" (Sunday Express)

Book Description

A gloriously witty novel from Sebastian Faulks using P.G. Wodehouse’s much-loved characters, Jeeves and Wooster, fully authorised by the Wodehouse estate.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I should declare an interest. No - I don't know Sebastian Faulks. No - we don't share a publisher - and no - he's never reviewed any of my books. My interest is simple. I'm a P.G.Wodehouse fan. Specifically I'm huge devotee of the Jeeves books. I was therefore solidly in the folded-arms/outraged-that-anyone-should-try-to-imitate-the-master camp, and I bought this book at an airport bookstall simply to confirm my fears that the publishing world had taken leave of its senses. No one, I believed, could ever hope to do anything more than an embarrassing pastiche of Wodehouse's unique style. No one could hope to capture the gentle buffoonery of Bertram Wooster's narrative voice. No one in the Twenty First Century could re-create the gentle country-house farce, could mix allusions from Hymns A&M with Shakespeare and Spinoza, or could nail the affectionate repartee between Jeeves and Wooster.
I was wrong.
It's a coincidence that the last book I reviewed was the new Asterix volume - the first officially sanctioned story by a new writer and illustrator. I gave that a warmish welcome. But frankly, they had a much easier task than Faulks. B Wooster is a much more slippery fish to land than Asterix and Obelix. The almost unbelievable news is that Faulks carries it off with extraordinary aplomb. I was waiting for the lines that would jar or the situation that would affront - and they never came. Within pages you're forced to forget that this isn't Wodehouse, and it isn't an undiscovered volume that you discovered in a dusty second hand book shop. If anything - and it almost pains me to say this - Faulks has improved on the master. I know. I know.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers who are devoted fans of The Master, I was highly sceptical when I first heard about Mr Faulk's endeavour, and my first reaction was "How dare they!" But encouraged by some favourable reviews, I decided to give it a go, and I readily admit to being converted. This is not a parody or a pastiche, nor is it simply a reworking of chunks lifted from Plum's original work; it is an entertaining read in its own right, with an original and well developed plot full of typical Wodehouse twists and misunderstandings, masterly use of English throughout - including some very happy turns of phrase that I'm sure Plum himself would have admired and envied - and characters that in my view remain very faithful to the Master's creations.

Another reviewer commented that it was like reading a hitherto undiscovered Wodehouse, and I felt the same; there were times I had to remind myself that it wasn't. I set myself three critical tests:

(i) Did the characters (chiefly Jeeves and Bertie) jar with the characters I had come to know and love, bearing in mind I have read and re-read the entire Wodehouse canon many times over the past 35 years? Well, at one point Bertie mentions the swimming pool at the Drones with the rings over it, but doesn't refer to the time he was forced to take an unexpected plunge into the bath because a fiend had tied the last ring back; I doubt Bertie would have missed the opportunity to vent his perennial grievance over the incident! However, the fact that this one point stood out sharply to me is a measure of how the rest of the time Mr Faulks' characterisations were spot on.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jeeves!
Sir?
That manuscript I left on the hall table for you last night?
I have flicked through it, sir.
And?
The style is pleasing, sir, but the author appears to have an imperfect grasp of our essential relationship.
You mean - it floats but it seldom flies?
Yes sir, as the poet says -
Never mind what the poet says, Jeeves. Save him for later! This is Amazon - they like short pithy - if pithy is the word I'm thinking of - reviews.
Yes, sir.
So four stars will suffice?
Precisely, sir.
Thank you, Jeeves.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I am only a third of the way through, it is probably premature to file this entry. My doubt as to whether I can stagger on to the bitter end has led me to jump the gun. When I received JATWB, I dipped in to random sample passages. My initial feeling was " By Jove, this is not bad. The fella's got it about right". And indeed he has. There's no doubt he knows his Wodehouse - so the references to previous experiences and the Wooster language are pretty good but the problem is that like Sebastian Faulk's effort to "write as Ian Fleming" and all the other writers who have attempted follow-ons of much-loved writers, it can't be done. Broadly speaking I'd say Wodehouse is to comic writing as Fred Astaire is to popular dance. Another competent dancer might mimic Astaire's moves but he could never achieve the originality, the joie-de-vivre and the apparent (though hard won) effortlessness of the original, thus with PGW's writing. So, as he was, I believe, aware of this - why did SF bother? And finally, surely it is well established that the World of PGW is not the real world but a parallel idyll, populated with innocent souls who are not of this world, so introducing real events like the General Strike and the suffragette movement stick out like a sore thumb. and "thus far", "shooting the breeze", in 1926? Cloth Ears, anybody.

A day or so later. I have now finished the book - and I have completely revised my opinion. This is a small gem and should not be measured against the Master, P G Wodehouse. It is a charming story told by an excellent writer. It takes PGW's characters and weaves a credible tale around them - not one that Wodehouse would ever have written - but one that gives Bertie a happy ending that no one could have expected but which he richly deserved and with Jeeves still at his elbow. Well done Sebastian Faulks.
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