I don’t know that this book needs any kind of review honestly. If you are a reader who loves British humor, and if you love P.G.Wodehouse, then this set of short stories is a must-read for you.
If you haven’t read Wodehouse, this book is a good starter book if I may call it, which introduces the many different types of books, plots, and amazing characters that Wodehouse has written.
There are a few Jeeves and Wooster stories, a few Ukridge stories, then the Mr. Mulliner stories, and then there are a few golf-based stories as well. A bit of everything in this one little gem of a book. OK, maybe not everything, I was a little disappointed to see that there were no Blandings stories in this book. Blandings is my favorite Wodehouse series, and it would have been great to revisit Lord Emsworth of Blandings and his sisters. But that was my only disappointment with this book.
I adore Wodehouse, the man can do no wrong, and I’ve read everything he’s put out, and so this set of classic short stories was all sorts of reading fun. I’ve not read his books for almost 5-6 years now, and I spent the entire weekend chortling to myself as I revisited Wodehouse’s wonderful world.
The title story is not particularly Christmassy, which was a bit of a disappointment. But it does contain two of the most famous Wodehouse characters – Jeeves and Wooster. The story itself is funny, but it’s not his best. The other two Jeeves and Wooster stories – The Spot of Art and Indian Summer of an Uncle are much more humorous and far less predictable. However, frankly, the best Jeeves and Wooster plots are found in his longer books, the short stories don’t do enough justice to Jeeves’ brilliance.
The other non-Jeeves stories are better. My favorite primarily for the unusual style employed is Honeysuckle Cottage. It starts out a little spooky, but then turns hilarious playing around with the conflict between a romance writer and a thriller writer, and then turns a supernatural again. One of the best, in my opinion, and a story that really showcases Wodehouse’s versatility.
One of the things I love about Wodehouse, is how he quotes classic authors such as Shakespeare, and Byron, and so many others, but gives his own spin on it. For example, here is Bertie Wooster quoting Shakespeare in his own inimitable style:
As Shakespeare says, if you’re going to do a thing you might just as well pop right at it and get it over. The man would be disappointed, of course, and possibly even chagrined: but, dash it all, a splash of disappointment here and there does a fellow good. Makes him realize that life is stern and life is earnest.
The hard-cover edition that I got for review is just fabulous, and would make a perfect Christmas gift.
A blurb at the back of the book says:
P.G.Wodehouse should be prescribed to treat depression. Cheaper, more effective than valium and far, far more addictive.
I couldn’t agree more.
Huge thanks to Penguin Random House for providing me with a few hours of bliss.
You can also purchase a copy of this book from Amazon