This review is from: Very Good, Jeeves! (Paperback)
This collection of short stories from the Jeeves and Wooster series was first published in 1930. If the proof of classic status lies in how well a book stands the test of time, then this volume is indeed a classic. All eleven stories herein are excellently written and slyly humorous. Wodehouse once remarked that his stories were the opposite of \\\"real world\\\" stuff and in a way that is true, as his created world of Bertie Wooster and his butler Jeeves is in many ways a delightful fantasy. Having said that however, Wodehouse\\\'s comic situations and droll characterizations and observations reveal that he knew a lot about human nature. Like James Thurber his humorous fantasy is both an escape from and simultaneously an insight into human relationships and social situations.
One reviewer once remarked of this book\\\'s stories that \\\"everyone was the best,\\\" and I\\\'m tempted to agree, as all are worth reading and remembering. Perhaps my own favorite is \\\"Jeeves and the Old School Chum\\\" in which Wooster\\\'s former school mate newlywed Bingo Little suffers unmercifully from the ideas foisted on his romance novelist wife Rosie M. Banks\\\' way of thinking regarding the pleasures of the dinner table, due to a visit from her \\\"old school chum\\\" Laura Pyke. Pyke is a \\\"food crank\\\" who (horrors) forces the rest of the household to abstain from cigarettes, alcohol, and most nourishment this side of tofu and bean sprouts for a time. Visiting Bertie suffers along with his buddy Bingo until such time as Jeeves can put things right. Along the way Bertie learns a little about the realities of marriage (the husband is master in his own home, unless the wife has an opposing viewpoint), the proper tactics for a male when intervening in an argument between two ladies (don\\\'t!, imitate the opossum and play dead), and how to bargain with a surly homeowner who has just gotten the baby to sleep (you\\\'ll have to read the story to find this one out).
A simply worded plot summary such as this can\\\'t even begin to come close however to conveying Wodehouse\\\'s command of the English language and his gift for humorous understatement. He has to be read to be truly appreciated. My own wish to anyone reading this review is for you to certainly find this volume or another one of the novels or short story collections in the series and give them a try. You won\\\'t be disappointed.