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Jeeves and the Wedding Bells (Jeeves and Wooster Novels) Hardcover – November 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

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*Starred Review* What, ho?! This blighter Faulks, after making a reasonably good show of posing as Ian Fleming (Devil May Care, 2009), has the unmitigated gall to take a run at impersonating the inimitable P. G., the very incarnation of sui generis? Doesn’t he know that Wodehouseans far and wide, well born and less so, will be sharpening their incisors for the chance to take a chomp at the hindquarters of the cheeky upstart? But wait. Hold off, old sports. Young Faulksie just may have the gray matter to make a go of it. The first order of business when attempting to offer homage to Sir Pelham Grenville is to construct a plot as screwball crazy as anything Shakespeare ever concocted in the Forest of Arden (disguises, mistaken identities, catastrophic kerfuffles all de rigueur); next is to plop bumbling aristocrat Bertie Wooster in the middle of the muddle; and, finally, of course, it’s necessary to set Bertie’s unflappable manservant, the all-knowing Jeeves, to the herculean task of making it all work. Faulksie’s plot is spot on: Bertie’s pal, Peregrine Woody Beeching, has been dumped by his beloved, but Bertie is on the case. The plan, for reasons only a savvy Hegelian could fathom, involves Bertie posing as a manservant and Jeeves as his master. Brilliant stroke, that, allowing Jeeves to show his stuff at dinner-table chitchat and Bertie to, well, spill the gravy. Naturally, it all takes place at a country house (Wodehouse’s Forest of Arden), and, equally naturally, Miss Georgiana Meadowes, who makes Bertie’s heart go pitty-pat, is also in attendance. OK, fine, this P. G. poseur gets the plot right, but what about the all-important patter, the Bertie-isms and the priceless Bertie-Jeeves dialogue duets? But Faulksie nails it again, evoking rather than imitating, but doing so in perfect pitch. Finally, old-timers will doubtless recoil in horror at the shocking conclusion, but let’s all loosen our stuffed shirts and let the new guy have his way. Top drawer. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Expect major media attention for the return of Bertie and Jeeves. --Bill Ott


“Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever.” –Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“[Wodehouse is] a brilliantly funny writer—perhaps the most consistently funny the English language has yet produced.” –The London Times

“Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.” –Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited

“The funniest writer ever to put words on paper.” –actor Hugh Laurie

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Product Details

  • Series: Jeeves and Wooster Novels
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250047595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250047595
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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51 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Lonya VINE VOICE on November 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
And even fewer are Wodehouse. Great literary characters don't always die after the creator moves on to the great publishers' clearing house in the sky. Perhaps the more beloved the character the more of a need there is to create a fresh adventure for them. There has been no shortage of homages to Sherlock Holmes or James Bond for example. It should be no surprise that most of these efforts are unsuccessful. At best they seem like pale imitations of the original and at worst they tarnish your memory of the character(s) you came to know and love. There are many talented Elvis impersonators out there but no matter how good no reasonable listener would mistake the latter for the real thing. Sebastian Faulks has entered this arena (as he has apparently done with James Bond) and penned "Jeeves and the Wedding Bells" and he's made a very good job of it. In the vernacular of Bertie Wooster there were parts of the book that made me feel pretty bobbish. That said, I think there were a couple of areas, one minor and one major, that didn't quite work for me. All in all, I did enjoy the book. It was a fun story to read and had many of the antics that fans of Jeeves and Wooster have come to know and love. But it isn't quite Wodehouse. I don't know who could be, but it was a good effort nonetheless.

Trying to sort out the plot line in a Jeeves and Wooster story is something of a fool's errand. As with Wodehouse's own stories this one has too many comedic twists and turns to be summarized without spoiling the entire plot. I think it fair to highlight two interesting plot points. First, romantic entanglements, engagements, and romantic misunderstandings are center stage as they often were in the original. Second, the book opens with Wooster playing butler to Jeeves.
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Format: Hardcover
Any reservations I may have had about Sebastian Faulks doing justice to P.G. Wodehouse were canceled on page one. Bertie Wooster’s alarm clock shrieks him into wakefulness, he curses and shoves the wretched thing beneath his mattress, and regrets having too little of “nature’s sweet restorer,” as Jeeves calls it. Bertie is in a pickle because he is trying to help a friend and must turn to Jeeves for advice. Faulks has caught him: Bertie is back.

Bertie explains the complex plot that has put Jeeves into the drawing room of Melbury Hall and the driver side of the Wooster two-seater, while he remains below as the manservant and the passenger. He will steal the well-thumbed volumes of peerage and baronetage (to protect Jeeves’s impersonation of Lord Etringham), and bring in ringers for a vital cricket match. All the while, he little knows “what the lead-filled sock of fate” has in store for him. It is an excellent Wodehousean beginning.

Faulks has kept the Wooster outrage intact. When Jeeves suggests that members of the serving class wear a pair of side-whiskers, Bertie takes umbrage. Sort of. “There are times to take offence, but this was not one of them. I left my high horse unmounted --- though tethered pretty close.” He continues with his plan.

And Bertie’s perfect assessment of his formidable aunts and other large matrons of society remains intact. “If you were a Sumerian tablet beneath Dame Judith’s scrutiny, one imagined, you would give up your secrets pretty quick, cuneiform or not.” His Aunt Agatha does not appear in JEEVES AND THE WEDDING BELLS, but her impending visit is an impetus for Bertie and Jeeves to leave for the country.

Always important for a reader’s quiet delight, Bertie’s references to the classics remain in this homage.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Michael Birman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read every Jeeves and Wooster novel and short story as well as all of the Blandings novels. To say that I'm a fan of both series and their creator P.G. Wodehouse is an understatement. When I heard that author Sebastian Faulks had written a new Jeeves and Wooster novel I was both thrilled and concerned. Wodehouse was a comic genius, the finest writer of comic novels the world has yet seen. To emulate his style is to attempt to write a perfect souffle: something that is lighter than air and containing astonishing grace and wit. I thought that it would be impossible to capture the essence of the Wodehouse perfection and so I was concerned. But to have another Jeeves and Wooster novel is tempting so I applauded the effort. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells manages to capture something of the Wodehouse style but not its essential wit and grace. Faulks is an excellent writer but he is not a comic genius. He reproduces a semblance of the smart Jeeves and Wooster dialog as well as some stylistic similarities that lovers of Wodehouse will recognize. Ultimately, however, Faulks creates a palimpsest of Bertie and Jeeves and fails to reproduce that timeless lighter-than-air grace that Wodehouse seemed to create so effortlessly. You can enjoy Jeeves and the Wedding Bells as a novel that is a great deal of fun to read but true Wodehouse aficionados will quickly miss the touch of the master.
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45 of 58 people found the following review helpful By The Ginger Man VINE VOICE on October 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The PG Wodehouse basic bibliography lists 99 books beginning with The Pothunters in 1902 and concluding with the unfinished Sunset at Blandings in 1977. The Jeeves and Wooster books had a slightly shorter, though still impressive, run from 1915 through Wodehouse's final completed novel -Aunts Aren't Gentlemen - in 1974. I was introduced, mostly be accident, into the idyllic world of PG Wodehouse in 1980 when I picked up a second hand copy of Code of the Woosters at a pharmacy in Peabody, Massachusetts during a lunch break from work. Immediately hooked, I have read most of the great humorist's work since that fateful day, including all of the Jeeves and Wooster novels and short stories.

Because of this, I was, of course, excited that Mr Faulks had the courage to try to continue the Wodehouse legacy, much as he had previously attempted to extend Ian Fleming's James Bond series. This more recent homage is, however, far more formidable than Faulk's effort to add to Bond's adventures as Wodehouse has been described by the London Times as "the most consistently funny (writer) the English language has yet produced."

Faulks begins the matter gamely enough. As I read the opening chapters of Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, I was struck by how well the author had seemed to capture the Wodehouse style. As I read on, however, I found myself smiling less and working more at getting through the book. Wodehouse possesses a lightness of touch often displayed through the prism of a complex plot that resists emulation. Faulks tries nobly but fails as the plot of the novel wanders rather than builds and familiar characters disappoint.

Faulks' biggest problem is a mishandling of Bertie Wooster and, as a result, of Bertie's interactions with Jeeves.
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