Very Good, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

 

Very Good, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse is a collection of eleven short stories. All of these stories feature Bertie Wooster and his trusted butler Jeeves.

The collection was published in 1930. The stories themselves appeared in various magazines from 1926 to 1930.

In Jeeves and the Impending Doom (1926) Bertie must stop young cousin Thomas from exacting revenge on the Right Hon. A.B. Filmer all the while trying to appease aunt Agatha and keeping his friend Bingo Little out of trouble. I found the part about the short tempered swan to be particularly hilarious!

The Inferiority Complex of Old Sippy (1926) has Bertie trying to help Sippy become more confident by standing up to his old headmaster and wining the hand of a young poetess. Meanwhile, Jeeves hates Bertie’s new vase. It is a reasonably funny story.

In Jeeves and the Yule-tide Spirit (1927) Bertie goes to spend Christmas at Skeldings Hall instead of Monte Carlo much to the chagrin of Jeeves. I think this is the story where the reason behind Bertie’s thirst for revenge against Tuppy Glossop is mentioned for the first time. This revenge story becomes a recurring one in almost every story that features Bertie and Tuppy together.

Jeeves and the Song of Songs (1929) has Bertie right in the middle of Tuppy Glossop’s tangled love life as he is forced to sing at a concert for Beefy Bingham. Anyone who has seen the 1990 series Jeeves and Wooster will appreciate this story even more. I recently watched a re-run of the show (I am too young to remember its original run) and thought  Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry were absolutely marvellous in it!

In Episode of the Dog McIntosh (1929) the capricious Bobbie Wickham returns after the debacle of the Skeldings Hall Christmas as Bertie once again gets in to trouble with Aunt Agatha. This is an okay story.

In The Spot of Art (1929) Bertie falls for an artist, Gwladys Pendlebury and his rival in love Lucius Pim moves in to his house. I didn’t really find this story very interesting.

Jeeves and the Kid Clementina (1930) finds Bertie face to face with Bobbie Wickham again and soon he is in trouble anew. This story was reasonably funny. I enjoyed it.

In The Love That Purifies (1929) young Thomas’s true love for a screen goddess puts aunt Dahlia in danger of losing her cook extraordinaire Anatole. This story is funny and enjoyable.

Bingo Little’s married life is once again in jeopardy and once again its Jeeves to the rescue in Jeeves and the Old School Chum (1930). This is one of the best stories of the book.

In Indian Summer of an Uncle (1930), uncle George’s entanglement with a young waitress enrages aunt Agatha and Bertie, much to his dismay, is given the responsibility of breaking the affair up. Once again a funny and interesting story.

In the final story, The Ordeal of Young Tuppy (1930), young Tuppy Glossop intends to impress a country girl by playing a rather brutal game of village rugby. Jeeves duly interferes. This story was quite enjoyable.

My favourites are Jeeves and the Impending Doom, Jeeves and the Song of Songs, The Love That Purifies, Jeeves and the Old School Chum, Indian Summer of an Uncle and The Ordeal of Young Tuppy.

The book actually gets better as it goes on. The last few stories were really enjoyable.

I think I prefer Jeeves short stories to the novels. As it is I am really fond of short stories and the Jeeves short stories are definitely right up my alley.

I really enjoyed reading Very Good, Jeeves. It’s a pity it was a library book and I had to return it. This is the kind of book that I’d like to re-read in the future. Recommended.

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