02/04/2011

My Man Jeeves (by P G Wodehouse)

I started reading PG Wodehouse books when I was about thirteen, I suppose, at my father's recommendation. I was captivated pretty quickly - the stories are light, full of satire, and with some great characters. Over the years I've collected several Wodehouse books, mostly the ones about the wealthy - if a little gormless - Bertie Wooster and his highly intelligent valet Jeeves.

I wondered if any of his books were available for the Kindle, and found several; but none were free at Amazon. So I popped over to Project Gutenberg, and was delighted to discover quite a number of Wodehouse's books available (free) in ebook formats, including for the Kindle. It was the work of a moment, as Bertie Wooster himself would say, to download 'My Man Jeeves' and copy it across.

I've been reading it as I eat breakfast for the past week or so. It's a book of short stories, the first few - unsurprisingly - featuring Jeeves and Wooster, during their time in New York. I'm sure I've read these stories before; they were included in the ones made for TV too, featuring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (available on DVD as Jeeves And Wooster - The Complete Collection). But they're the kind of stories that can be re-read regularly, and still enjoyed.

I was a little surprised that, after a few chapters, we switched viewpoint to a different young man, Reggie Pepper, who has a similar character to Bertie Wooster, but is not blessed with anyone as wonderful as Jeeves. Reggie Pepper attempts to sort out his friends' romantic lives and other problems. Then the final story is back to Bertie and Jeeves.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes this kind of light humour which pokes fun at the idle rich at the turn of the 20th century, Nothing deep; ideal for holidays or solo mealtime reading since the chapters aren't long and are complete in themselves.

Note: Amazon links are to paperback versions of this book; the e-books are available at low price on Amazon or for nothing at Project Gutenberg.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 2nd April 2011

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