Containing drafts of stories later rewritten for other collections (including Carry On, Jeeves), My Man Jeeves offers a fascinating insight into the genesis of comic literature’s most celebrated double-act. All the stories are set in New York, four of them featuring Jeeves and Wooster themselves; the rest concerning Reggie Pepper, an earlier version of Bertie. Plots involve the usual cast of amiable young clots, choleric millionaires, chorus-girls, and vulpine aunts, but towering over them all is the inscrutable figure of Jeeves, manipulating the action from behind the scenes.
Early or not, these stories are masterly examples of Wodehouse’s art, turning the most ordinary incidents into golden farce.
©2005 by the Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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I read another review for this audiobook that said the narrator was an American and mispronounced words, however I think that must apply to a different version of this audiobook, as this one is read by Jonathan Cecil, who was very definitely English.
Cecil was a theatre actor, renowned for playing upper class English characters - including Bertie Wooster on TV in 1981.
Who could be a more perfect narrator? (Except maybe Hugh Laurie)
For those that don't know, these are a series of individual short stories about an upperclass English man living in New York.
Bertie Wooster is a kind hearted, loveable dimwit, who relies on his valet, Jeeves, to extricate him and his friends from various scrapes and difficulties.
The joy is in the contrast between what Wooster observes and what the reader is able to see is really happening, with the all-knowing Jeeves firmly guiding Bertie through life.
There are also some short stories about Reggie Pepper, who may have been an earlier version of Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster character, but in my opinion seems to have slightly more brains (if only slightly). These stories are entertaining but suffer from a lack of Jeeves, who I adore!
The stories in this book are:
Leave it to Jeeves
Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest
Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg
Absent Treatment (a Reggie Pepper story)
Helping Freddie (a Reggie Pepper story)
Rallying Around Old George (a Reggie Pepper story)
Doing Clarence A Bit Of Good (a Reggie Pepper story)
The Aunt and the Sluggard (Jeeves and Wooster)
"My man Jeeves"
A bit disappointing. Read by an American, and moreover an American who can't pronounce Chiswick! Also a lack of editing, so you sometimes get the benefit of hearing the narrator having two or three practices before he gets it right. The wit of PG shines through, but short of top hole.
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