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©The Trustees of the Wodehouse Trust; (P)1994 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"Jonathan Cecil gives a sparkling performance of this classic piece of Wodehouse humor. Cecil's Jeeves speaks with the great dignity and classic accent one expects of the ideal valet. In contrast, Cecil performs Bertie with all the winsome frivolity due to the fictional aristocrat. Wodehouse's confection of muddled engagements and provoked musicians is perfectly narrated." (AudioFile)
Hysterically funny and for the most part extremely well narrated. The narrator does a stupendous job with very well-acted dialog between Jeeves and Wooster. My only criticism would be his failed attempt at voicing an American female -comes off more campy drag queen than belle of the ball. Other than that, an absolute scream and thoroughly enjoyable listen.
The action of this Wodehouse romp takes place in the small English village of Chufnel Regis,where Bertie Wooster has taken a cottage so he may continue to practice the "banjolele." This alleged instrument is so offensive that he has been threatened with eviction from his London flat, and Jeeves has given notice.
Such is Bertie's devotion to his music that he suffers to lose Jeeves, who is promptly hired by Lord Chufnel, Bertie's old school pal. Thus, the action moves to the country, where a former flame of Bertie's, her millionaire father, and Sir Roderick Glossip show up proposing to purchase Chufnel Hall and set up a private mental hospital. Chuffy falls for Bertie's old flame, and plans to marry her on the proceeds of the sale of the estate.
This is P.G. Wodehouse, so the course of love does not run smooth. Complications involve some over-conscientious police officers, a drunken butler with a penchant for carving knives, heliotrope pyjamas, a troupe of minstrel singers, copious amounts of bootblack and a distinct lack of butter.
A significant amount of the plot turns on both Bertie and Sir Roderick wearing blackface in order to impersonate the minstrel singers. This is an artifact of the period this was written, but may strike modern readers as unfunny, so be warned.
Otherwise, a classic of the England that never was.
I'm a big P.G. fan. I've read most of his works, and have reread favorites to the point that I can quote whole paragraphs.
This rendition is an utter delight. I laughed out loud often in my car driving to and from work.
The earlier Wooster and Jeeves books seemed a little faster paced with the fun and action than this one. However, the language is still irrevocably Wodehouse, and certainly passes the time pleasantly enough!
Jonathan Cecil strikes the perfect tones for Wooster and Jeeves themselves, but struggles very occassionally with voices of other characters. His young American northern woman accent is hysterically bad, but I'm a young American northern woman, so it may not strike others so poorly. In general I am impressed with Cecil's vibrancy when reading.
Recommended for a light listen, but not the gut buster laughs of The Inimitable Jeeves.
it's all about the language
I go to Wodehouse for a light and funny romp and this was the perfect Wodehouse
Yes, and this is flawless Cecil.
Near the very top!
The part when the new butler mistook Bertie for the devil!!!
Spot on narration. I forgot that I was listening to ONE person reading.
Cute, witty, entertaining!
The wry humor is similar to Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, just more sophisticated.
Always Bertie. :)
Yes! I typically listen to a chapter or two before retiring... couldn't bring myself to hit the pause button.
I'm a hard-core Wodehouse fan. There. I said it. LOL.
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