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Old 10-10-2021, 05:33 PM   #1
Loosheesh
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Where to start with P G Wodehouse?

I would like to read some P G Wodehouse - where should I start? I bought a collection from Amazon which supposedly includes the Jeeves & Wooster series, the Psmith series, and some other novels.
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Old 10-10-2021, 05:43 PM   #2
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I'm rather a bit of a skinflint when it comes to paying for public domain books. A bunch of his stuff is available from Project Gutenberg. But he died in 1975 so I'm guessing they're available there because of the screwball US copyright laws.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/783
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:06 PM   #3
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I would like to read some P G Wodehouse - where should I start? I bought a collection from Amazon which supposedly includes the Jeeves & Wooster series, the Psmith series, and some other novels.
Psmith is a good place to start; short series and good Wodehouse flavor. Obviously you can’t go wrong with J&W and it really doesn’t matter what order you read them. An earlyish stand-alone I like a lot is The Small Bachelor. If you don’t like that, Wodehouse isn’t for you.

It took Wodehouse a while to run in high gear. I wouldn’t advise starting from the beginning even though the novels are all available in Gutenberg US. The early stuff is more interesting once you’re a fan, when you can trace his beginnings. They’re not terrible, but they’re weak and there are a couple of stinkers.

As an aside, for several years I’ve been pursuing a quest to read all of Wodehouse in order. I’ve logged 68 works to date.
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:18 PM   #4
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An addendum: Your omnibus probably doesn’t have all the Jeeves and Wooster novels; my guess is that it’s a collection of US public domain works which only scratch the surface in regard to J&W.
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:51 PM   #5
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Psmith is a good place to start; short series and good Wodehouse flavor. Obviously you can’t go wrong with J&W and it really doesn’t matter what order you read them. An earlyish stand-alone I like a lot is The Small Bachelor. If you don’t like that, Wodehouse isn’t for you.
Now I don't feel so overwhelmed

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It took Wodehouse a while to run in high gear. I wouldn’t advise starting from the beginning even though the novels are all available in Gutenberg US. The early stuff is more interesting once you’re a fan, when you can trace his beginnings. They’re not terrible, but they’re weak and there are a couple of stinkers.
I was afraid this would be the case, so I came here for advice on a starting point. I find that when I settle into an author I like, I don't mind their bombs as much as I would if I had encountered them right at the beginning.


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As an aside, for several years I’ve been pursuing a quest to read all of Wodehouse in order. I’ve logged 68 works to date.
That's like me with Georgette Heyer ... of the 60 I own, I still have 9 books left to read, plus two biographies
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:53 PM   #6
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An addendum: Your omnibus probably doesn’t have all the Jeeves and Wooster novels; my guess is that it’s a collection of US public domain works which only scratch the surface in regard to J&W.
Yes, I believe so as well; I read a couple of Amazon reviews that mentioned something similar.
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:55 PM   #7
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I'm rather a bit of a skinflint when it comes to paying for public domain books. A bunch of his stuff is available from Project Gutenberg. But he died in 1975 so I'm guessing they're available there because of the screwball US copyright laws.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/783
I only paid $0.49 for it and, from a quick scroll through, the formatting looks decent. Thanks for the PG link - I'll keep it handy in case there are books there that are not in my collection.
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Old 10-11-2021, 01:09 PM   #8
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Old 10-15-2021, 10:34 AM   #9
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My favorites are the Blandings Castle books.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:19 PM   #10
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I started Mike and Psmith first and it's going great so far
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:26 PM   #11
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My favorites are the Blandings Castle books.
I vaguely remember watching a few episodes in a TV series called Blandings on AcornTV; I'm guessing it was probably based on these books?
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:25 PM   #12
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P.G. Wodehouse is almost a genre in itself. The language, the turn of phrase, the acronyms. I was surprised (after reading much of Bertie, Blandings & cow creamers) that he also wrote some more "novel-like" novels. I just read "The Coming of Bill" which isn't quite in the vein of some of his other stuff.
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:57 PM   #13
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P.G. Wodehouse is almost a genre in itself. The language, the turn of phrase, the acronyms. I was surprised (after reading much of Bertie, Blandings & cow creamers) that he also wrote some more "novel-like" novels. I just read "The Coming of Bill" which isn't quite in the vein of some of his other stuff.
The Coming of Bill is pretty bad. Not as bad as Not George Washington or William Tell Told Again, but pretty bad. There's gonna be some clunkers in such a large oeuvre.
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Old 10-26-2021, 01:59 AM   #14
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I haven't read "The Coming of Bill" (published 1920), but is there any chance that the title could be a comment to Saki's "When William Came" (published 1913), or is it just a coincidence?
Saki's story is about a Britain which is occupied by Germany, and how a lot of British people are eager collaborators because that's convenient and profitable.
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:17 AM   #15
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I haven't read "The Coming of Bill" (published 1920), but is there any chance that the title could be a comment to Saki's "When William Came" (published 1913), or is it just a coincidence?
Saki's story is about a Britain which is occupied by Germany, and how a lot of British people are eager collaborators because that's convenient and profitable.
Bill is a baby. The title is straightforward.

In the larger context, P.G. Wodehouse was unaware politically to his very great detriment; his radio addresses while interned in Germany during WWII landed him in serious hot water. He was arrested in France after the liberation and was investigated in Britain. He never returned to Britain again.
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