P G Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster books are some of the funniest stories I've ever had the privilege to read. 'Thank you, Jeeves' is one of the best of the lot. I've just listened to the audiobook read by Simon Callow, who does Wodehouse's characters full justice. He made it very easy to imagine all the different personalities and the extraordinary and outrageous situations they tumbled into, only to be patiently extricated by the wise and resourceful Jeeves. The tale starts with the unthinkable. Jeeves hands in his notice because Bertie has taken up the playing of an infernal instrument, the music of which, it seems, he alone can appreciate. He leaves for the country rather than give up his banjolele in the interests of peace with his neighbours. His old school chum Chuffy (who is now Jeeve's gentleman), provides him with an out-of-the-way cottage on his estate. From start to finish poor Bertie is dogged by unlikely coincidences and runs into shadows from the past. Even in the rural south west extreme of England he meets an old Nemesis from across the Atlantic who briefly manages to kidnap him in an attempt to force Bertie to marry his beautiful daughter (and Chuffy's intended). In the meantime, Jeeves has left Chuffy's employ and joined the service of Mr Stoker (the American Nemesis) and manages to rescue Bertie from certain matrimony by disguising him and smuggling him off his erstwhile father-in-law to-be's yacht. As usual, everyone gets the wrong end of the stick because, of course, every stick is presented wrong end first - so the father, the daughter, Chuffy, the policemen and anyone else grasping for a stick, are under misapprehensions that only Jeeves can remedy. In addition to the old school chum and the old girl-friend and her despotic dad, the story is populated by: Bertie's downstairs neighbour and her Pomeranian, her doctor (a nerve specialist who also turns out to be Chuffy's aunt's doctor), two hellish kids - one belonging to Chuffy's aunt and one belonging to Bertie's Nemesis, two bumbling policemen, Bertie's new and unstable valet who goes on an alcoholic bender and, hovering on the periphery throughout there's a troupe of minstrels that Bertie was hoping to meet and get a few tips on playing his banjolele. I recommend this audiobook. Other readers might have read it well, but I'm sure none could have read it better than Simon Callow.
A delightfully amusing tale from the master of gentle English situation comedy. His dynamic duo of the good natured but accident-prone toff Bertie Wooster and the unflappable all-knowing valet Jeeves are again in fine form. This story centres around Bertie's attempts to cement a union between two of his friends, the fifth Baron "Chuffy" Chuffnell and an American ex of his called Pauline Stoker, with the usual hilarious results. The union is opposed by Pauline's tyrannical father J. Washburn Stoker, a millionaire, who gets it into his head that Bertie should marry his daughter instead, an idea which appalls both Pauline & Bertie. Beginning with a breach between Bertie and Jeeves over the formers obsession with playing his banjolele, the plot moves from London to Chuffnell Regis in Somersetshire where Bertie's misadventures begin as he becomes embroiled, much against his wishes, with Chuffy's guests; J. Washburn Stoker, his daughter Pauline and son Dwight, plus his friend the nerve specialist Sir Roderick Glossop, not to mention Chuffy's aunt, the Dowager Lady Chuffnell and her "gangster" son young Seabury who causes all manner of problems for people. There are many memorably funny scenes including the scene where Bertie is trying to get some kip in various places outside his cottage (his bed being occupied by Pauline) only to be continually disturbed by the local police, in the form of Sergeant Voules & Constable Dobson and the scene where the scullerymaid has a seizure on being confronted with a black-faced Bertie at the back door is also very funny. For me though the most hilarious character has to be Brinkley, Jeeves' replacement as Bertie's valet, who gets drunk and ends up wrestling with a grandfather clock, burns Bertie's cottage down and then takes over the Dower House in the grounds of Chuffnell Hall, repelling all invaders with potatoes. One of the joys of Wodehouse for me (apart from the comical scenes) is the way in which he exercises to the limit the English language. I find the words "rummy" and "bally" creeping into my own vocabulary although I haven't yet succumbed to using Bertie's exclamations of "What ho, what ho !" or describing someone as being "...off his onion". To me the book is a joyous experience and will lift your spirits as you follow Bertie in a distinctly "rummy" adventure in a book that can be best described as an English gem.
I am not in the habit of, gone midnight, finishing my book and then turning on my computer just to sing its praises, but that is exactly what I am doing now. This is the funniest book I have read in years, and I mean that. If you have never read any Wodehouse before, you will love this book, if you have then you will adore it. In essence it is just another Jeeves and Wooster caper, but it is, I dont think it would be unfair to say, the best and funniest of its kind - I actually found myself folding over pages and re-reading large stretches. This book is absolute proof, if alsolute proof were needed, of Wodehouses' utter genius, not only as master of the English tounge, but as a comic beyond compare. I will shortly be re-reading it and pinning up passages all over my walls. If that's not high praise I dont know what is.
This book has me in stitches. I think it is one of the funniest books in the English language. The whole drunken butler episode is wonderful and the episode with the policemen and the potting shed had tears rolling down my face. It makes me smile just to think of it. A classic.
P.G. Wodehouse is the funniest writer of the past century. Wodehouse defies superlatives. He is, quite simply, the best comedic writer to ever put pen to paper. I am a confirmed Wodehousian and revel in the man’s comedic genius. I have read numerous books by the great man and all, to one degree or another, are a delight.
I read Thank You, Jeeves for my book group and, once I had started, I realised this was the third time I’d read it. It was like meeting an old and valued friend. It is one of my favourites: sublime, splendid, superb…in short, PG perfection.
I chuckled, I laughed and I even guffawed. Upon finishing this wonderful book, I discovered that this is the first of the Jeeves and Wooster novels. Up until the publication of this novel, the characters had only appeared in short stories.
A rift between Jeeves and Wooster separates our two heroes, Jeeves being unable to stand Bertie’s latest craze - the Banjolele (who knew Banjos were known as Banjoleles?) and so tenders his resignation.
Lovelorn characters, a country house, buffoonery, and moronic misunderstandings are all present and correct. The happy ending even bought a tear to my eye.
As is so often the case with books written in the early 20th century, the modern reader may look askance at some of the racial epithets that were acceptable at the time however, and whilst I do not for one moment excuse it, sadly it was socially acceptable back in 1934. That important point aside, I say again this is PG perfection.
Suffice it to say that, if you don’t know why so many people worship at the comedic altar of PGW, this novel will reveal all.
as ever brilliantly clever and funny and just pure escapism from the horrors of this millenium - who wouldnt want to live in jeeves and wooster world if at all possible, however anachronistic it is. my main cure for depression is to listen to these stories. should be prescribed on the nhs.
The combination of Simon Callow's reading and Wodehouse's novel is first class. Callow relishes the humour - you can hear the laughter in his voice as he reads - and his command of the range of voices required is excellent.