Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (audio)

What a charming little venture into the British peerage. This may be a first for me, but I think the audio format actually improved this experience! (I actually have Right Ho, Jeeves at home in paperback, so I can compare then. Although the voice may already be established in my head… we may never know.)

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was an extremely prolific British humorist; he wrote plays, poems, short stories, novels, and more (I’m getting this mostly from Wikipedia, FYI, along with a general sense I’ve had of him). The stories in his Jeeves series are among his best-known, and I, not knowing much about him, decided to start there.

Thank You, Jeeves is just silliness, but of the most enjoyable sort.

Bertram Wooster (Bertie), our narrator, retires to the country when London society ostracizes his playing of the banjolele, and for the same reason he loses his valet, Jeeves, who can’t stand the playing of the banjolele any more than London can. Jeeves enters the employment of Bertie’s old friend Chuffy, who also houses Bertie in a cottage on his country estate. American millionaire Stoker shows up to discuss business dealings, along with his daughter Pauline, formerly engaged to Bertie, soon engaged to Chuffy. A rather Shakespearean case of mistaken identities, love triangles, and well-meaning bumblings ensues. (Like so often in Shakespeare, a good dose of Telling Everyone The Truth In A Forthright Manner would have solved everything early on, but then there wouldn’t have been a funny book.) Also in Shakespearean fashion, the servant Jeeves is a sharper tack than his employers. Eventually the talented, intelligent, well-read, scheming, and discreet Jeeves solves everyone’s problems up neatly, reuniting several estranged couples, keeping everyone out of jail, and even returning Bertie to London where he belongs, and himself to Bertie’s employ. But not before I get to enjoy all sorts of hilarity and irony, in the events of the book but most especially in the dialog. I think this Wodehouse is a master of goofy dialog, and this narrator Jonathan Cecil performed it admirably. Husband did not follow the action at all but greatly enjoyed hearing the characters exclaim over Lord Whatwhatly (I don’t know how this is spelled as I was listening, not reading, but it is funny-sounding).

I will definitely search out more Wodehouse; he is deserving of his fine reputation as a humorist. This was funny and lighthearted and easy to “read.” I recommend.

12 Responses

  1. This sounds like a book I would listen to…just for the British voice. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for speaking of the Jeeves seeris. I have so often wondered what these Wodehouse books are like [never having read any of them]. The covers are always so rollicking-looking. Whimsically inviting!Your verdict that this one will not at all be the last Jeeves book that you read is a significant endorsement, for me.Cheerio!

  2. […] British accents accompanying me to and from work (recall, the last audiobook I listened to was Thank You, Jeeves). Happy […]

  3. Thanks for this! I love Wodehouse but have only read, never listened. I prefer the Blandings Castle books (Heavy Weather, Leave it to Psmith, etc.) to the Jeeves stories though.

  4. I first met Jeeves and his cleverness on a BBC TV program some decades ago. That was a fun intro. I wonder if it’s still out there and available?

  5. […] to Jeeves, we are! I so enjoyed Thank You, Jeeves that I picked this up on an evening when I was feeling a little down and not quite ready for bed. […]

  6. […] […]

  7. […] valet, Jeeves. This is the third full-length novel in the series (see my reviews of the first two, Thank You, Jeeves and Right Ho, Jeeves). In this installment, Bertie is recovering from a hangover following his old […]

  8. […] Jeeves! (See my past readings here, here, here, and here.) At this point I’m recognizing all the Bertie-and-Jeeves patterns. There will be daunting […]

    • I understand comlpetely! I try to get the audio book most of the time to let it read to me while I follow along so I get the best of both worlds: the pronunciations and if needed, the accents. Right now I’m listening/ watching Neil Gaiman read The Graveyard Book.

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