The Man With Two Left Feet (Everyman's Library P G WODEHOUSE) Hardcover – 29 May 2009
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"The handsome bindings are only the cherry on top of what is already a cake without compare." (Evening Standard)
"He exhausts superlatives" (Stephen Fry)
"Wodehouse's idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in" (Evelyn Waugh)
A collection of Wodehouse's earliest fiction includes the first appearance of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster.
The begininning of it all... a must have for collectionists,
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Top Customer Reviews
In the Title story the man with two left feet is concerned that his wife is bored due to his inability to dance when they venture out. His taking dancing lessons on the QT drives their marriage to the brink but when it is discovered that she is at her happiest home listening to her husband reading aloud from his encyclopaedia things work out in typical Wodehouse style.
The mixer is the poorest story in this collection written in the first person and telling the story of a dog from being a puppy until it finds its place in the best of all possible worlds.
Also written in the first person is `Extricating young Gussie' which first introduces us to Jeeves and Wooster or at least Wooster. The potential of Jeeves as a wealth of all knowledge has yet to be tapped and Bertie is bungling the case of Gussie without any help. Jeeves is very much noises off making the tea and laying out suits.
Bertie is virtually fully formed and it his with his voice we learn `New York is a large city conveniently situated on the edge of America, so that you can step off the liner right on to it without an effort' and that `The Mannering-Phippses were an old established clan when William the Conqueror was a small boy going round with bare legs and a catapult.'
Without Jeeves coming up with all the answers Wooster can never amount to nothing but both he and Wodehouse are now on the cusp of greatness.
I'm pretty sure I've read some of these stories before, but that didn't matter at all. I particularly enjoyed a two-part tale narrated by a dog where the humour relies on the dog's trust in human nature, and some rather clever writing that lets the reader understand what's really going on. There are also more standard stories of relationships marred by misunderstandings, of mishaps and mistakes that, while naturally seeming a little old fashioned, are still relevant to the modern mind.
The title story - about a man who is unable to dance - is the last one in the book, and one which, like several, was rather predictable; not that this matters with Wodehouse humour, as the gently ironic style and upper-class language are what make the stories so enjoyable. While his brilliant use of language hasn't quite come to the fore in this selection, there were some passages that made me smile; for instance, in describing an area populated with artistes of all kind, from the perspective of a policemen, he writes:
'They assault and batter nothing but pianos, they steal nothing but ides, they murder nobody except Chopin and Beethoven.'
Definitely recommended for any Wodehouse fans who enjoy short stories, but not ideal as an introduction to the great man. Available in paperback or Kindle format.
The kindle version (free) is a real bargain, well-formatted in kindle: I found no irritating typos in my copy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Are you prepared to read a text that calls itself Revised Edition without saying what the revisions are? They certainly aren't Wodehouse's.Published 4 months ago by David T Derrick
written with a craft and wit from the pen of a true legend, dated perhaps, but well worth a read.Published 5 months ago by Mr. R. A. Roe
My first Wodehouse. The characters jump out of the page right into your lap-wonderful!Published 6 months ago by Tony Booth