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on 5 April 2017
The source material is wonderful, of course. You know that if you are a connoisseur of Plum's works. And the acting here is the top of the heap. Once might even say it is nonpareil. Hordern coughs or sighs and it conveys the emotion to a T of Jeeves dealing with that young hound Bertie, his dissolute friends, menacing acquaintances and coven of chivvying aunts. Briers has just the right amount of innocent goofiness for the role, curious and willing to learn but almost completely devoid of machinery to do so. And the other minor parts are universally well played.

Where then is the fly in the ointment?

Two things - both lack of completeness

1. When broadcast, each episode would be topped by an intro from Bertie, outlining the current imbroglio and often touching on other matters as one of his characteristically amusing asides. Each of these was a gem of sympathetic adaptation and (although slightly repetitive when listened to in one "binge listen") are missed here for every episode apart from the the first i.e., up to 7 helpings of sauce.
2. The Missing series -> Thank You, Jeeves. Now I can certainly speculate as to the reason that it is missing. It is, after all, the book that uses the N-word (and its derivatives) to refer to the personnel of a musical troupe that are staging a banjolele concert, and so are utilized as a plot device to extricate Bertie from the yacht of Mr J. Chichester Clam in blackface. We have now reached the point where such things are verboten even with fair warning, I suppose. Context is all, but I do not suppose that the PC police are any more amused than Police Sergeant Voules was to unearth Bertie for the third time at Wee Nooke to find it lurking in the archives even though it is from a novel written long ago about a world that scarcely had even existed and does not use the offending terms in a derogatory or belittling way. I guess we have to wait until these words can be seen as un-provoking as calling Othello a moor - and thus the quality of the art becomes the only criteria. I just hope that, in a fit of zeal, some functionary does not turn all Gauleiter and destroy the tapes and so they will be re-discovered in a less sensitized age.

Overall though, while these omissions lose it a "star", it is a huge enough portion slice of aural steak and kidney pie to satisfy even Glossop, Tuppy.
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on 7 July 2017
Superb. Briers and Hordern are magnificent.
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The literary output of Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was prodigious. Songwriting, plays and numerous books. Of all his work none have found a home in peoples hearts quite so much as his most famous creations, the perennial batchelor Bertie Wooster & his gentleman's gentleman Jeeves.
Bertie is always on the brink of disaster,(usually marriage), usually because of some interfering family member,(in particular the much feared Aunt Agatha),. It is then up to the unflappable Jeeves to calmly ensure the matter is sorted and normality promptly restored.
There have been many incarnations of this inimitable pairing with perhaps the television duo of Fry & Laurie being the most popular. For my money however the finest, funniest and most enjoyable work was done by the superb Richard Briers as Bertie & Michael Hordern as a simply unforgettable Jeeves. Their interpretation has Hordern as an older and infinitely wiser Jeeves who is almost a father figure to Briers' rather hopeless but well meaning ditherer. The two spark off each other to great effect and are given excellent support by the likes of David Jason, John Le Mesurier, Miriam Margolyes, Jonathan Cecil, Maurice Denham & Paul Eddington amongst others. The BBC's production values are at their best here with a very sharp script alongside great effects and a clear as a bell recording.
The six titles included are 'The inimitable Jeeves', 'The code of the woosters', 'Right Ho, Jeeves', 'Stiff upper lip, Jeeves', 'Jeeves and the feudal spirit' & 'Jeeves:joy in the morning'. The running time is around 17 hours.
These have all been around for some considerable time in CD format, never mind the audio cassette version, so what does the box set offer? Well frankly nothing new. If you already have these then this box set is of little use to you. However if you are looking to invest in them all in one go, are looking to replace your cassette versions or are in need of a prezzie for a Wodehouse fan then this represents not only a very attractive and neat set but also very good value for money.
These really are a combination of some of Wodehouse's finest writings, Hordern & Briers finest acting & the BBC at doing what they do best. The stories are all long enough to allow proper development and all are very very funny. The pairing will keep you entertained and wishing there were more to enjoy. There simply isn't anything to criticise with this collection and I recommend it totally without reservation.
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on 15 November 2012
I am a big fan of audio books and have listened to a number of P.G. Wodehouse audio books over the years by various actors. This is my favourite by far. Each story is fully dramatised using actors with voices just perfect for the role.

For those not familiar with the Jeeves and Wooster books prepare to laugh a lot. The stories involve larger than life characters, bizarre situations and the calm assistance of Jeeves to put everything right again. Nothing that bad ever happens in the world of Jeeves and Wooster, it is the perfect audio book to relax with if you need cheering up and can be listened to time and time again.
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on 11 September 2016
Great
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2010
The televised series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry is unbeatable but there are times when you just want to listen and create your own mental images. Who better than Richard Briers and Michael Horden to do that for you? From the packaging art work to the content, this series is flawless.

Treat yourself and be transported to an era depicted beautifully by Plum (P G Wodehouse). I never stop smiling as I listen.
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on 30 January 2011
Unlike the patchy Fry & Laurie TV portrayals,which started well but where the scripts regrettably eventually evolved into something far removed from Plum's writing, these are absolute gems. The scripts are very sensitively adapted for radio drama and the quality and feeling of the books has been beautifully captured.

Michael Horden displays an effortless gravitas which surpasses even the Denis Price performance and Richard Briars reads superbly as Bertie.
But, particularly in comparison with the TV series, this series really scores in the magnificent supporting cast - we are treated to the definitive portrayal of Aunt Dahlia which is worth the price of admission alone as are the portrayals by Jonathan Cecil, Lisa Goddard and numerous others. The whole ensemble deliver quite inspired characterisations and they seal the success of a near flawless selection.

My only grumble is that I believe 'The Mating Season' was also recorded by the same cast and I can only presume that the original tapes/transcription must have disappeared as this has never been released. (Can anyone advise?)

There is no 'remastering' which might have been welcomed as the sound quality could have been cleaned up a little for CD release beyond that of the original cassettes but the production and acting are first class.

Outside of the books, which will always be the best way to encounter Jeeves and Wooster, this are quite wonderful performances and highly recommended for both the novice as the best way of easing into some of the finest comedy to be heard, and for the enthusiast, who will almost certainly own them in one form or another already.
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on 16 September 2013
I listened to these when they were first broadcast, and the cassette tapes were always favourites for my small daughters on long car journeys. Now I have the complete set on pristine CD's. Richard Briers was the perfect voice of Bertie, with his machine-gun fast delivery, his inspired goofiness and good nature. Standout for this listener was Vivian Pickles as Aunt Dahlia!
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on 30 March 2012
The other reviewers must be commended for their taste in favourably reviewing this product, but they do themselves a disservice by asserting that the television series also served well.

The radio series is the absolute zenith of comedy and high-quality radio-play. Laugh out loud funny and brilliantly produced. I have listened to the set dozens of times and also bought it for others as a fantastically received gift.

Buy this without delay! Toodle pip!
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on 24 November 2013
This is best possible listening when driving long distances at dark autumn evenings. It keeps you amused and because there is always something happening - at least with words, it's possible to listen to the stories over and over again.
Lovely acting, too, from the main characters to the smallest of roles.
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