©1923 Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This book is fantastic, one of my favorite titles by Wodehouse. While listening to this title, I had an epiphany about the inspiration and influence that Douglas Adams found in the work of P.G. Wodehouse, especially for the Dirk Gently series by Adams - my absolute favorite books. The writing style, clever use of the English language, and the fundamental interconnectedness of all things (including all elements of the plot) brought me to a new of appreciation of both authors' work.
If you are new to Wodehouse, “Leave it to Psmith” is a great place to start. I was so happy to see that Chivers finally released the title to Audible. Jonathan Cecil’s reading is more of a performance, than a reading, both rich and full of character; Cecil’s voice brings Wodehouse to life. The story contains several of my best loved Wodehouse moments, the infamous “pale parabola of joy”, the wonderful image of a muddily yet efficient secretary throwing flower pots thought windows, along with a pistol wielding poetess.
My advice, scoop this one up, and fast.
Many modern comic authors state their admiration of Wodehouse and it is easy to see why. These books are such fun. This book is packed with wild schemes, comically desperate situations, a henpecked husband and a number of monetary troubles that might be solves by the theft of a necklace. The whole tale is told with the typical comic warmth of a Wodehouse story. My only complaint is that the audio quality could be a little better. It seems that no one has bothered to clean up the recording since it was a book on tape (Last one I listened to by the same narrator had left in a direction to turn the tape to side to at one point). So the volume and clarity go in and out from chapter to chapter. However, it is still easily listened to and the narration is quite good.
This audio strongly gives the impression of having been cheaply transferred from cassette. The sound is generally muddied, making the narrator hard to understand, There are alsoinexplicable changes in volume and sound quality (for some sections of the book, the sound goes clear, and much louder.) The end result is a good book that I find myself struggling to listen to. Please, Audible, consider getting a sound engineer to clean this one up!
This is my first encounter with Psmith. Such a fabulous creation, and I particularly loved hearing him in action at Blandings. I'm now off to find more Psmith, as this is exactly the kind of escapism I need on my commute!
This is P. G. Wodehouse at his best. The writing is witty, the characters are interesting, the plot hopelessly complicated, and imposters abound (as is always the case at Blandings Castle.) Jonathan Cecil is an excellent reader for this and other Wodehouse novels--the voices, the timing, the inflections. Highly recommended.
I want everyone to read P G Wodehouse
Baxter and the flowerpots
Psmith of course!
Everyone should read Wodehouse to brighten their day
Jonathan Cecil is, in my opinion, the best of the many narrators of Wodehouse, and Leave It to Psmith one of the funniest Wodehouse novels, both of which are saying a good deal. This is very highly entertaining and will not disappoint fans of Psmith or Blandings.
My only reservation is that, although this audiobook has been issued on CD and is available for MP3 download elsewhere, Audible's copy is taken from cassettes, and the sound quality is accordingly variable.
Psmith is the best of Wodehouse's characters--better even than Bertie & Jeeves--and Jonathan Cecil is the king of Wodehouse narrators.
I agree with the other reviewers who noted the poor audio. I look forward to them reissuing the entire Jonathan Cecil series with digital recording that is also correctly synced with the digital chapter markers. I prefer B J Harisson as narrator - Cecil is OK.
"A classic Wodehouse"
This is a tale of life at Blandings Castle, the home of Lord Emsworth, short-sighted peer, and a true lover of flowers. Psmith is the hero, a perfect gentleman, and his affection for his own voice and the way he tends to 'run on' is most amusingly told. The story encompasses the plans of various parties to steal Aunt Constance's diamond necklace, but of course there is romance, villainy, and Wodehouse's usual masterly turn of phrase along the way. All the threads are gathered perfectly in the obligatory happy ending.
The reading is of course expertly done by Jonathan Cecil, but as with other titles I've listened to, the original cassette tape quality shows through in one or two places.
"Totally ruined by muffled recording."
Any Wodehouse will enjoy this story. However, it sounds like it's been ripped by a well worn out cassette Most of the time the recording is so muffled, you can hardly hear it and the quality seems to alter every 30 minutes or so, thus reinforcing that supposition.
Favorite character has to be The Hon Freddie.
The bits that aren't muffled are good. Maybe the dreadful American accents could have been better.....
As it's unabridged, none... Doh.
Don't waste your money on this version.
It's so badly dubbed from tape that it'll just drive you mad. I can only assume Audible picked up a tape at some car boot sale and used it to convert to MP3..
I've been playing this in the car and I have the volume turned up full on both MP3 player and car audio up loud and it's still only just bearable, but attention tends to wonder off as the experience is just not good, and I'm being polite.
Not had this problem with any other Audible title...... so far......But I suspect the other Blandings recordings might suffer from same effect....
In one word: Dreadful.
"Ripping yarn, poor sound quality"
I love the Wodehouse stories - and Jonathan Cecil is an excellent reader. I've got several others, so bought this one without a second thought.
The sound quality is really inconsistent. There are long pauses in the narrative and some of the "cues" have been left in (I think mistakenly). Sometimes it sounds great, other times (often in the middle of a chapter) it'll suddenly switch to sounding like the reader is at the opposite end of a very long tube.
All in all - worth it if you like the story, but the sound quality affected my enjoyment of the book.
"Another superb performance "
A real treat for PSmith and blending a fans. Jonathan Cecil performs all characters brilliantly making this a real pleasure to listen to.
The only disappointment is Wodehouse didn't write any more with PSmith as secretary.
"Great story. Poor-quality recording."
Unfortunately, the recording changes volume in places and is quite muffled. I checked my speakers with other recordings and they were all fine. Still a great story and rendition though!
A wonderful story, with much witty repartee. A classic from the Wodehouse pen and a fun and lively work to listen to.
"An amusing romp"
Another goody from Wodehouse. No nasty surprises, lots of silliness, barmy aristocrats, good-humoured romance and happy endings. We listened to this as a family and it was the children's first taste of Wodehouse (they were 11 and 9 at the time). Although sceptical to begin with, they ended up by enjoying it: indeed, we recently listened to it again.
Blandings never had the same appeal to me as the Wooster and Jeeves books, but I'm such a fan of Wodehouse I had to give it a try. The book starts slowly and the characters introduced at the beginning lack the charisma of some of those from the Jeeves series. However once Psmith arrives on the scene things pick up and the plot develops real momentum. If you were describe the plot it would sound too ridiculous to work, but in Wodehouse's hands, it does. As absurd coincidence is pile upon absurd coincidence it's simply hilarious.
Psmith is a great character, one of Wodehouse's best and it's a shame he doesn't feature in the other Blandings novels. The narrator is excellent too. I am impressed by how well the book works as an audio book.
Really amusing and good narration
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