© and (P)2006 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
This is my most favorite performance of Wodehouse’s lovable characters. Richard Briers interprets Bertie with a great vocal range, showing his skill as a stage actor. I love the Bertie that Hugh Laurie (Dr. House, if you can picture him) created for television along with Stephen Fry. It is difficult to ascertain whether Richard Briers inspired Hugh Laurie, or the reverse happened. If you watched the series in the 80's, listening to this recording will bring echoes of Hugh's interpretation as young, humorous, innocent and insouciant (is that the word I want?) Bertie. Michael Hordern is a miracle of word economy and has at his disposal a great array of vocal contrasts. As a stately Jeeves, he gives height to such a phrase as, "Indeed, Sir?" with great efficiency, innuendo, double-entendre and a wink, that, on hearing him saying this, you all but see Jeeves raise his left eyebrow a fraction of an inch. Miriam Margolis bristles with energy and humor as Aunt Dahlia. The cast knows very well their characters and inhabits them with great skill. The direction of this performance is excellent. It never slows down. If you want the best or your wits (Imagination and Fantasy) tickled, by all means, proceed with this recording, you will not be disappointed.
I'm a fan of the Jeeves books mostly for Bertie Wooster, and he is wonderful as always here.
Although this is the one Wodehouse novel where I think Hugh Laurie (in the TV show) does a better "Bertie Wooster" than Richard Briers (in this audiobook), Briers remains my favourite Wooster overall and is very, very good here. The rest of the cast is very good here: the actresses playing Madeline Bassett and Aunt Dahlia nail their characters perfectly, and the entire cast does a brilliant job of bringing Wodehouse's novel to life.
It's very long! But it's only a couple of hours, and is pretty fast-paced. If I hadn't heard this story before, I might have been tempted.
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