on 23 May 2008
`Jeeves in the Offing' is a Jeeves and Wooster novel which yet again sees our hero's tasting the gastric delights at Brinkley Court, where they have been enlisted to re-unite the union of Bertie's school pal `Kipper' Herring and one Bobbie Wickham, who has not only haunted them previously but also that other Wodehouse great Mr Mulliner.
Also on hand is Psychiatrist Roderick Glossop whom is no longer a spectre to Bertie but a co-conspirator posing as the butler, Swordfish, in order to bring about a discrete analysis of the son of Mrs Cream, noted crime novelist.
As ever with the Jeeves and Wooster books Bertie's prose steals the show with lines such as `I ignored the remark with a coldness which must have made itself felt' which are only ever bettered by the dialogue such as a greeting between Wooster and Aunt, `Turned up again, have you?' `Just this moment breasted the tape.' priceless.
on 12 July 2006
It's not unusual for Jeeves to slope off and leave poor Bertie to struggle and flounder alone, what with taking holidays, resigning over trifles and the like. So when Jeeves pushes off to Hern Bay for his hols, it seems like a timely stroke of luck that aunt Dahlia should choose the very day of his departure to telephone and invite Bertie to Brinkley Court for a relaxing sojourn (if only that were aunt Dahlia's true intention), where he can enjoy the excellent cuisine prepared by the French chef, Anatol. There are several other guests staying at the country house, including a couple of Bertie's old enemies, an old girl friend, an American crime writer and her son, the sweet but soppy god daughter of aunt Dahlia, a daft dachshund and a lazy cat. The location and situation is exactly the sort to generate a complicated and hair-raising adventure for young Wooster - and without Jeeves to soothe and guide him, it could all turn very ugly. Fortunately, Jeeves is only across the other side of the country and is happy to postpone the end of his holiday and bring his problem-solving talents to Brinkley when he receives his employer's distress signal.
There are 3 CDs in the box and the running time is 2.5 hours. It's another feast of bumbling buffoonery, brilliantly read by Simon Callow. Highly recommended!
With this play on lines from Robert Burns, Bertie Wooster, the aristocratic and and dithery protagonist of P. G. Wodehouse's "Jeeves" novels, expresses his dismay at the way matters of love and quiet country life have "ganged" since his arrival at his aunt Dahlia's country estate. Shortly after his arrival, he is surprised to read in the newspaper that Roberta "Bobby" Wickham is engaged to marry him. Bobby, upon her arrival, quickly sets him straight--she is in love with his best friend Reginald "Kipper" Herring, and because she knows her parents find Herring unsuitable, has made them believe she will marry Bertie, whom they dislike even more. She believes that their discovery of the truth will be a relief.
At the same time, Aunt Dahlia persuades Bertie to try to break up the budding romance between Phyllis Mills and the American Willie Cream, also staying at the estate. Phyllis's mother, Aunt Dahlia's friend, does not like "Broadway Willie." Tact is necessary in dealing with this matter since Willie's father is a wealthy man negotiating important business deals with others at Aunt Dahlia's country estate.
Jeeves is on vacation, and Aunt Dahlia, needing a butler of her own, hires Sir Roderick Glossop, a well known psychiatrist, to act as butler, his real job being to spy, purportedly, on Willie Cream to uncover unsavory details which can be used to break up his romance with Phyllis. During Bertie's stay, a piece of valuable antique silver, a creamer in the shape of a cow, disappears--perhaps a result of Willie Cream's "kleptomania."
As always, Bertie engages in word play and puns, the coining of new words, and quotations from well known works. He sometimes massacres English words, and he delights in misquoting in foreign languages. As always, he must rely on Jeeves, called back from a fishing vacation, to rescue him from the complications which result from his meddling.
The intricacy of the plot, the overlapping relationships of the characters, the use of irony and gentle satire, and the sparkling dialogue keep the reader engaged, despite the predictable outcome of the plot. First published in 1960, this type of mannered novel is now dated, and many readers will expect more from the novel than "just" entertainment. Wodehouse, however, is as good as it gets in providing clever, light entertainment, with delightful wordplay--while poking fun at the English countryhouse life which has now largely disappeared. Mary Whipple
on 24 January 2016
Another foray into the wonderful world of Wodehouse!
This is not, perhaps, the finest of the Jeeves and Wooster novels, but that still leaves plenty of scope for it to be very good. Many of the old favourites are present, including Aunt Dahlia and Roderick Glossop, and we finally get to meet Aubrey Upjohn, former headmaster of Bertie's preparatory school. Connoisseurs of the Wodehouse oeuvre will be pleased to know that the story even features a cow creamer, and Augustus the cat makes a couple of appearances.
The characters are as wonderfully crazy and unreal as ever and the plot has all the customary convolutions, though (as always) Wodehouse resolves all the numerous threads of the story line.
In this outing the story revolves around the complicated course of true love for Roberta "Bobbie" Wickham (one of the seemingly endless stream of gorgeous women to whom Bertie Wooster had at one time been engaged) and Reginald "Kipper" Herring (lifelong friend of Bertie and one of his fellow inmates all those years ago at Aubrey Upjohn's school).
Beautifully written, and faultlessly plotted, this book was as enjoyable now as when I first read it more than thrity five years ago.
Trying to explain the plot of a Jeeves and Wooster novel is like trying to unravel soup, so I won't bother. You don't need to know anything except that these books are comic gems that should be treasured and read and read until the pages fall out.
Bertie Wooster is one of P.G. Wodehouse's greatest comic characters. He is normally balanced by the quick wit, aplomb and shimmering progress of Jeeves, his butler. But even butlers need a vacation. So Bertie bids good-bye to Jeeves for the year . . . and promptly faces all sorts of unexpected problems.
The troubles begin a most distraught telephone call to Bertie from Lady Wickham. She sobs between words as she demands to know if "this awful news is true." The awful news is in this morning's Times. When Bertie opens the Times, he finds an announcement of his engagement to Lady Wickham's daughter, Bobbie, a woman to whom he has tried to become engaged to in the past. Darned if Bertie can figure out what it's all about. Bobbie, although beautiful, is one of those women who want to improve their men, and Bertie isn't up for such improvements. The path to solving the challenge leads him to his aunt Dahlia's country home, Brinkley Court, to help her entertain Homer Cream, an American tycoon who is doing a deal with her husband, Tom, where Bobbie is also staying. Bertie's old headmaster is also in residence, which leaves Bertie quaking. But the lure of Anatole's delightful cooking draws Bertie to Brinkley.
Once there, events become ever wackier. Sir Roderick Glossop, who thinks Bertie is dotty, is posing as the butler to evaluate a fiancé.
As usual, romance, plots to gain funds, weird collections and mistaken identities quickly twist the story into unexpected complications and directions.
The pages are filled with original similes and metaphors that will delight any student of the English language. This story has great fun with the fish theme. Bertie's great friend Reginald Herring has the nickname of "Kipper." At one point, Bertie says coldly that "I have every right to goggle like a dead halibut . . . ." Elsewhere, Bobbie's motives are described as, "She wanted you to see the big fish . . . you must have been surprised to see Kipper . . . ." Cream and cream pitchers are also done well in this story.
But the best schemes of Bertie and Kipper come a cropper, and Jeeves has to be called back to make a miraculous recovery for the causes of love and the old feudal spirit.
on 5 March 2016
As usual, when life gets tough, I turn to Jeeves. An absolute joy, although the man himself features less in this story than others. This is my second reading, and I hope to re-read them all again, so have now invested in the elegant hardback editions. Wodehouse was a genius. I can't think of anyone who writes more wittily. His use of the English language astonishes me - virtually on every page.
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.
on 15 December 2013
I calculate that Wodehouse would have been about 78 years old when he wrote this book - born 1881, published in 1960 - and I found it just as funny as his earlier Jeeves and Wooster books. The dialogue is as delightful as ever and the plot more than plausible - at least in his invented world, which, as Waugh said, was a lot less irksome than the real one! Thoroughly recommended, and if you haven't tried the Ukridge stories, they are just as brilliant.
on 2 July 2014
Image of the cover of the book is the incorrect version. I was looking for the version as in the picture to complete my collection, however the book sent was an older edition. Shame.