This is the book that started it all, the meeting of Bertie and Jeeves and I for one can't be thankful enough that it happened. These characters enrich my life like no one else can. Brilliantly funny and life affirming. Hooray!
on 4 January 2000
If you haven't read a Jeeves & Wooster book before, this is the perfect place to begin. Jeeves enters Bertie's life and immediately turns it around. Wodehouse is the greatest master of prose in the English language and he uses metaphors and similies to superb comic effect. A classic.
on 5 September 2006
Or those of us who are constantly tumbling into tricky situations and who therefore require repeated extraction from a variety of snaggles, by our own faithful, gentle and uncritical expert, need a Jeeves. Bertie Wooster is a lucky lucky man and it's little wonder that his friends, rivals and other 'low blighters' sometimes try to steal Jeeves away. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's man - it says so in the rules somewhere, doesn't it? In fairness to Wooster, he doesn't keep his treasure all to himself, but allows his predicament-prone friends to benefit from the problem solving genius of his man. He's such a decent chap. Listen to Martin Jarvis reading these 7 sprightly adventures of Jeeves and Wooster and you'll see what I mean. The 7 stories are:
1) "Jeeves Takes Charge", where Jeeves first enters Bertie's employ and makes himself indispensable almost immediately.
2) "Jeeves & the Unbidden Guest", where Bertie is constrained to accommodate the peculiar son of a friend of his bossy aunt Agatha, in his New York apartment.
3) "The Artistic Career of Corky", where Bertie, still happily exiled in New York, tries to help an artist friend to avoid being sucked into his uncle's jute business.
4) "The Aunt and the Sluggard", where (still yet in New York) Bertie's idle poet friend from Long Island has to be rescued from an energetic aunt.
5) "Clustering Round Young Bingo", where Bertie's aunt Dahlia and friend Bingo swap domestic staff by means of complicated, underhand jiggery-pokery.
6) "Jeeves & the Hard-boiled Egg", where (in New York again) one of Bertie's chum's is under pressure from his uncle and benefactor, the Duke of Chiswick.
7) "The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy", where poor old Biffy has carelessly lost the love of his life because he can't remember either her name or the name of her hotel.
Jeeves is the quiet and unassuming hero who saves Bertie and his pals from calamity every time. It's a box of gems. Martin Jarvis reads them better than well. There are 4 discs in the CD case and the reading time is about 5 hours. Highly recommended!
on 5 November 2009
I used to love Fry and Laurie in ITV's series Jeeves and Wooster but had never read any of the books before. I'm not usually a fan of short stories and I didn't realise that rather than being one story, it was going to be a series of adventures which aren't really linked, although there are references to other adventures in some of them, but that didn't matter a jot! It's rather formulaic writing ... but that didn't matter a jot!
Of course, having loved the TV series I was unable to read this without picturing Fry and Laurie but... you've guessed it... that didn't matter a jot either, and the stories made me laugh out loud in places.
There are 10 mini-adventures in total in this book. Number 10 was unique in this collection in that it is told from Jeeves' perspective instead of Bertie's which came as a nice surprise.
on 19 February 2003
What can I say about P.G. Wodehouse that hasn't been said before. He is one of the most wonderful writers in the English language. Period! QED.
This review is about Martin Jarvis.
Martin Jarvis is a one man acting troupe. His handling of these stories is the best I've ever heard. His Bertie Wooster voice is nothing like his Jeeves voice, which is nothing like his Florence Craye voice, which is nothing like his Lord Worpelston voice, which is nothing like, etc.
Jarvis knows, and handles these stories like they're his old friends, which they may very well be. He has the skill to tell these stories the way they should be told- not missing a single trick.
Wodehouse always said that his stories should be read out loud. These tapes/cds are proof that he was right. They are incredible, thanks to the charm, wit and skill of Martin Jarvis! You'll love them.
on 28 December 2011
This was my very first 'go' at a PG Wodehouse. Read the whole thing in one sitting (housework be damned!) and am now shopping for more. Absolutely loved it, so very, very funny but gentle in it's humour. Poking fun with a polite and small stick, rather than finding humour in humiliation.
on 20 November 2008
You can't go wrong with a good bit of Jeeves. I rarely laugh out loud at books, but P.G. Wodehouse has never failed me and Carry On, Jeeves is no exception.
This book is an excellent introduction to the Jeeves genre, since it features several short stories about the gentleman's personal gentleman, including the story in which he first appears on Bertram Wooster's doorstep. Jeeves quickly makes himself indispensible to the fun-loving man-about-town and the stories which follow see him extricate Bertie and his friends from numerous sticky situations.
The real joy of any Wodehouse book is the language: the dialogue zips along at a wonderful pace, scattering fantastic images and outrageous '20s slang as it goes. This comes to a halt, however, in the final story, which is narrated by Jeeves rather than Bertie. The story and the characters are as perfectly-formed as ever, but as I polished off the last few pages in the book I found myself missing Bertie's garrulous companionship. Far from ruining the book for me, though, the unexpected end simply whetted my appetite for more in this wonderful series. If there is still anyone out there who has yet to sample the delights of P.G. Wodehouse they should read this book immediately.
on 16 February 2012
There have been many excellent comic writers throughout the ages, but surely there has never been one as good as P G Wodehouse. With a canon of work stretching back now over 100 years he is almost unrivalled in his output, and has produced some of the funniest passages of prose ever committed to paper.
If you like your humour edgy, gritty and hard-hitting then you've come to the wrong place. There's not so much as one thing in any of his books that you wouldn't be happy to trot out in front of your most straight-laced maiden aunt. He never once relies on the slightest hint of crudeness, but instead revels in the richness of the English language to get his laughs and there's never so much as one word in his prose that's surplus to requirement, or indeed a passage approaching anything less than perfect in its pace or construction. It's as if his work was edited by some sort of super human deity. There is nothing jarring or awkward; just fabulous comic writing page after page, time and time again.
His command of the perfect sentence is second to none and his light touch is just peerless. He can deliver the most barbed comment and make it sound like the most pleasant of compliments. Wodehouse's work is nothing short of true genius; if I may use that most horrible of overused expressions.
I first read this particular book 35+ years ago as a mere stripling myself, and have read and reread it over and over so may times since. I don't think that in all of those encounters I have ever read it and not found some new additional little gem between its pages that I had somehow managed to miss on previous readings.
Wodehouse is pure farce in its most distilled form, and even if you're feeling like everything's become too much and the prospect of leaping off a cliff beckons as a viable way forward, then just start reading this and you'll banish all such thoughts within the first two pages. There are some truly brilliant short stories here, without even the hint of a dud anywhere to be found; one of particular note, where unusually the narrator is Jeeves and not Wooster, is 'Bertie Changes His Mind'. It is simply wonderful in its execution and the section where Bertie has to address the school assembly of young ladies is, for me, priceless. I can't think of a funnier three pages in any book anywhere.
If you haven't read Wodehouse before then do yourself a favour; start here and work your way through Jeeves and Wooster. But then don't just stop after that, read the Blandings saga, Psmith, Mr Mulliner and his hilarious golf stories too. Then there are the standalone one-offs to explore. I believe there are almost 100 books one way or the other and I have never found a turkey in among them. I think I've read practically everything he's written in book form, and with a bit of luck and a following wind I certainly intend to do so again and often.
on 5 March 2016
I'm working my way around to getting every Wodehouse in the series, replacing tatty old paperbacks with hardbacks (and filling in the blanks in my collection).
The books are a fantastic read, and this edition will please every Wodehouse fan.
The "cove of rare intelligence" is, of course, the eponymous Jeeves. In the last of the stories in this collection he takes over from Bertie Wooster as narrator, permitting himself to observe that his personal motto is "Tact and Resource." If not before, the reader will have discovered just how resourceful Jeeves can be.
The stories are formulaic, often featuring some frightful dilemma that has befallen one of Bertie's friends, and frequently overshadowed by a battle axe of an aunt or an uncle about to cut off the money supply. While restraining the worst excesses of his employer's taste in suits and ties, this epitome of a gentleman's gentleman can always contrive a solution.
Coincidence plays a recurring part but what matter? The joy of Wodehouse is that in Bertie and his manservant he has created two characters who will live long in the English language. Carry On, Jeeves, after all, was first published nearly ninety years ago. Superficially, the stories may appear no more than amusing trifles but the world the author creates so apparently effortlessly is real enough within the conventions of its creator. The pleasure, the unfailing pleasure of revisiting this world again and again, is ours.
Hopefully, there are generations out there who come to these stories unsuspecting the joy that lies ahead. Old hands will return with gratitude.