How to read PG Wodehouse? The different series can be confusing. Here are some practical tips to get started.
How to read PG Wodehouse: the problem
I recently inherited a splendid shelf-full of P G Wodehouse in a hand-tooled Folio edition.
Comic writing is a passion of mine. I have even attempted my own modest tribute, Seven Hotel Stories. Click on the link to check it out!
My shelf of Wodehouse
But where to begin with PG Wodehouse?
The excellent Plumtopia
Pondering this problem, I was delighted to come across fellow WordPress blogger Plumtopia, who specialises in, amongst other things, how to read PG Wodehouse. I discovered two invaluable articles:
- Getting started with Bertie and Jeeves: a chronological challenge considers where new readers should begin reading the series. It is a terrific piece and includes admirable advice about ignoring its own advice if you so wish.
- P G Wodehouse reading list: the Jeeves and Wooster stories is also a splendid introduction.
Where I started
Following the advice at the first link, I started with The Inimitable Jeeves and Carry on Jeeves. Both are packed with laugh-out-loud moments; I can recommend them wholeheartedly. Fine quotes include:
- The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and had forgotten to say ‘When!’
- Mike nodded. A sombre nod. The nod Napoleon might have given if somebody had met him in 1812 and said, “So, you’re back from Moscow, eh?”
- It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.
How to read PG Wodehouse: Jeeves and Wooster
It should not be for me, as a mere novice student of “Plum”, to offer definitive guidance. But the bumptious dimness of the “mentally negligible” Bertie Wooster and the calm brilliance of Jeeves the butler has a reassuring, satisfying rhythm and from Very Good, Jeeves I could safely classify myself as an addict, craving time spent in their company.
I look forward to moving forward with the works of P G Wodehouse over the months and, possibly, years ahead (have just finished Joy in the Morning, which surely qualifies as one of the best novel titles ever). If you adore Wodehouse quotations, see my reviews in the “PG Wodehouse” tab under “Categories” or in the list below.
Further reading: 1
You might want to look at my reviews of the Jeeves and Wooster novels – most with numerous luscious quotes. They include:
- Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen;
- Thank You, Jeeves;
- Right Ho, Jeeves;
- Ring for Jeeves;
- Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves;
- Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit;
- Much Obliged, Jeeves; and
- Jeeves in the Offing.
I have also reviewed the six Blandings Castle novels by PG Wodehouse in my Folio Society edition:
- Summer Lightning
- Heavy Weather
- Uncle Fred in the Springtime
- Full Moon
- Pigs have Wings
- Service with a smile
Further reading: 2
Jeeves’s problem-solving abilities are, along with Sherlock Holmes, a model for my very own Ms N, the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, in my own comic writing, Seven Hotel Stories. Feel free to take a look.