The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse is a collection of eighteen interconnected stories. The book follows the adventures of Bertie Wooster’s clueless friend Bingo Little, as he keeps falling in love with every other girl he meets. Wooster and Jeeves, of course, get entangled in it all and hilarity ensues.

The book was first published in 1923. All the stories had previously been published in the Strand Magazine between 1918 and 1922.

The stories mostly come in pairs. In most cases the first story ‘starts’ while the second story ‘concludes’ another one of Bingo’s romances.

In Jeeves Exerts the Old Cerebellum and No Wedding Bells for Bingo, Bingo Little loves Mabel the waitress. His uncle poses a threat to his matrimonial designs. So, Bertie Wooster has to pose as an author named ‘Rosie M. Banks’.

Aunt Agatha Speaks Her Mind and Pearls Mean Tears are two of the stories that do not deal with Bingo Little’s many love affairs. Instead they deal with Bertie’s troubles with the frightening Aunt Agatha and how he finally manages to get one up on her.

The Pride of the Woosters Is Wounded and The Hero’s Reward deals with Bingo’s love for Honoria Glossop and his hatred for her kid brother Oswald. While trying to assist Bingo, Bertie gets unwittingly engaged to a girl he loathes.

In Introducing Claude and Eustace and Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch, Bertie’s cousins, Claude and Eustace, come home with a top hat, several cats and a Salmon. Meanwhile, Sir Roderick Glossop, the noted nerve specialist, comes to lunch and questions Bertie’s sanity.

A Letter of Introduction and Startling Dressiness of a Lift Attendant sees Bertie fleeing for his life from Aunt Agatha after the incidents of Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch. Bertie and Jeeves land up in America where they endeavour to stop Cyril Bassington-Bassington from acting in a ‘musical comedy’.

Bingo Little falls for the formidable Charlotte Corday Rowbotham and vows to bring forth a revolution in Comrade Bingo and Bingo Has a Bad Goodwood.

The Great Sermon Handicap sees Bingo hiding out in Twing Hall after the events of Bingo Has a Bad Goodwood. While there he promptly falls for Lord Wickhammersley’s daughter Cynthia. Bertie goes to keep him company and also to indulge in a spot of gambling. The mischievous twosome, Claude and Eustace, reappear.

In The Purity of the Turf, still staying at Twing Hall, Bertie and Bingo bet on the ‘Annual Village School Treat’ and try to fight off Rupert Steggles’s attempt to sabotage their prospects.

The Metropolitan Touch brings about the end of Bingo’s sojourn in Twing Hall. He falls for Mary Burgess and tries to impress her by organizing the ‘Village School Christmas Entertainment’. Needless to say his attempts backfire much to the delight of Rupert Steggles.

In The Delayed Exit of Claude and Eustace, Bertie tries to ship off Claude and Eustace to South Africa. Matters get complicated when the twins try to woo the same girl.

Bingo and the Little Woman & All’s Well, sees Bingo Little finally settling down to marital bliss and the real identity of ‘Rosie M. Banks’ is revealed.

My favourites are from the book are Introducing Claude and Eustace, Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch, The Great Sermon Handicap and The Purity of the Turf. I like Pearls Mean Tears because it is one of those rare Jeeves and Wooster stories where Bertie gets to win albeit with the help of Jeeves.

Bingo Little is irritating at times. Seriously, the amount of times he falls in love is ludicrous to say the least! He is possibly stupider than Bertie Wooster and that’s saying a lot.

Wodehouse’s writing is as usual funny and easy to read. I have come to realise that his shorter fictions always manage to entertain me better than his longer novels.

I liked reading The Inimitable Jeeves. The stories may seem repetitive at times but they are mostly funny. Recommended.

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