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Leave it to Psmith (Wodehouse, P. G. Collector's Wodehouse.) Hardcover – September 15, 2003

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover; Repirnt edition (September 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158567432X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585674329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Wodehouse is the funniest writer--that is, the most resourceful and unflagging deliverer of fun--that the human race, a glum crowd, has yet produced." --Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

“He who has not met Wodehouse has not lived a full life.”  --San Francisco Chronicle

From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

One of the most perennially popular of all the Wodehouse titles, Leave it to Psmith, according to Wilfrid Sheed, "helps to usher in the Wodehouse golden age" -- the age of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Blandings Castle and all the rest, among whom the ingenious Psmith ("The p is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan") is entirely worthy to be counted. A debonair young Englishman who has quit the fish business, "even though there is money in fish and decided to support himself by doing anything that he is hired to do by anyone, Psmith, wandering in and out of romantic, suspenseful and invariably hilarious situations, is in the great Wodehouse tradition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I finished the tapes a few days ago, but am still reading the book.
S. Burton
I've always enjoyed P.G. Wodehouse's absurdity, and PSmith is, in my opinion, even more charming, convoluted, and funny than the Bertie and Jeeves stories.
Sonja Hakala
It's a wonderful comic tale, and a pleasure to see what Wodehouse does with the language at every turn.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jason Dejoannis on January 10, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you own 10 Wodehouse books, this should be one of them. For years I have been a huge fan of the farcical Bertie & Jeeves stories. This book also throws some romance and a touch of mystery into the brew. Be careful that you are not in public or that you are not in the middle of having a drink when you reach page 198, because I am warning you - you will erupt into a fit of freakish laughter which probably won't subside for another 5 or 10 minutes, with intermittent relapses thereafter.
The eccentric and congenially self-absorbed Wodehousian hero of this novel is Psmith - pronounced with a silent P as in Ptarmigan (he finds that his birth name, Smith, is just too boring). Although he holds a membership to London's six most exclusive clubs and never a wrinkle or misplaced crease did find its way into his impeccable attire, he finds himself in dire financial straits. To make it worse, while lounging in the smoking-room window of the Drones Club, he instantly falls in love with a passing young dainty - but he has no idea how to introduce himself into her society.
Yet there might be a solution to his problems through the ad for work-wanted that he recently placed in the Morning Globe. In the caption he expresses the sentiment that he will take on any job whatever (including assassinating Aunts) except for anything relating to fish. You have a problem? "Leave it to Psmith!"
He ends up impersonating a well-known Canadian poet in order to introduce himself onto the guest list at beloved Blandings Castle, presided over by the eminent Lord Emsworth. While there he must steal a diamond necklace from under the tireless eye of The Efficient One - Emsworth's flower-pot-wielding secretary Baxter. Enjoy!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Leave It to Psmith (pronounced "Smith") is the first P.G. Wodehouse novel about Blandings Castle and its inmates, Clarence, ninth earl of Emsworth, his daunting sister, Lady Constance Keeble and Beach, the butler. Fans of later Blandings Castle tales will be a little puzzled by this one. Clarence is obsessed with flowers and gardening rather than pigs. The Empress of Blandings is nowhere in sight. And the main plot catalyst is Psmith, that remarkable public school character from the early Wodehouse novels, rather than Galahad Threepwood or Uncle Fred.

Although this is not the best of the Blandings Castle tales, it has one of the best plots and does an effective job of introducing the ongoing characters and jokes. The interrelationships of the characters in the past and present are remarkable for their complexity and present lots of deja vu scenes.

Psmith and Clarence are two of Wodehouse's finest creations and the central joy of this book is found in their extended interactions.

As usual, love and money are at the bottom of the plot. Psmith cannot bear to be in the fish business any longer and advertises that he will do anything -- even commit a crime -- to get a change of pace. Clarence's son, Freddie Threepwood, contacts Psmith and asks him to help with an inside-the-family theft of his aunt's necklace. Although his uncle is rolling in the stuff, Lady Constance keeps him on a short leash. Freddie's uncle will give her another necklace like the one that's "stolen" and use the money to help Freddie and his uncle's step-daughter Phyllis. Freddie needs the money to attract a bride and Phyllis needs to help her new husband get a start on life.

Like the other Blandings Castle stories, the castle is full of imposters.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paul Donovan on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"Leave it to Psmith" concludes the evolution of the Psmith character, from Wodehouse's earliest style of writing with the "Schools" genre, to a comic character whose dialogue keeps the reader entertained throughout. This story sees Psmith enter into Blandings Castle, and though Lord Emsworth is not the dominant character he later becomes, flashes of brilliance are visible in his appearances (and in those of Lady Constance, who plays an important role in this book).
"Leave it to Psmith" is packed full of witty dialogue, readily suited to Psmith's character, and the traditional Wodehouse farce for the plot (misunderstandings, a stolen necklace, and so forth). The ending is predictable, of course, but this is hardly the point. It is the use of language that makes this such an enjoyable tale. Wodehouse connoisseurs all have their own favourite phrases, or particular sections of books that strike them as humorous from the prolific collection of Wodehouse's works. Suffice to say, several of my personal favourite sections appear in this book - Psmith at the employment agency, or describing his career as a fishmonger spring to mind. Those who enjoy the Blandings or Jeeves and Wooster series would do well to read this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "laddie5" on April 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Written at the request of his daughter Leonora, this is the best and most popular book by the prolific P.G. Wodehouse. Psmith was his greatest creation, and if you've read the other three Psmith books first (and you should), it's very touching and funny to see him fall in love and make the ultimate sacrifice: masquerading as a sensitive poet and a jewel thief all at once. Highly recommended.
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