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P.G. Wodehouse : Five Complete Novels (The Return of Jeeves, Bertie Wooster Sees It Through, Spring Fever, The Butler Did It, The Old Reliable) Hardcover – November 15, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 682 pages
  • Publisher: Avenel Books (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517405385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517405383
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
but I wouldn't want anyone basing his/her opinion of the large and largely breathtakingly wit of Wodehouse's collected work based merely on this budget anthology.
The novels are set in post-World War II England, and as such they reflect those dispiriting times. The great mansions are in ruin from confiscatory taxation, TV distracts the intellect, Hollywood (not the London theater) dominates popular entertainment, and a loyal butler like Jeeves is clearly a holdover from a different era in which his employers were not, relatively speaking, impoverished.
Wodehouse's fans (of which there are many, both in the UK and the USA) will probably want to read these novels anyway. But if you are contemplating your first exposure to Wodehouse, I'd recommend instead any of his "classic" Bertie-and-Jeeves novels from the 1920s, when social class, punctilio, pith, dry wit and a plenitude of household help for the rich were integral elements of this type of humor. CARRY ON, JEEVES! happens to be my favorite, but there are plenty of other wonderful reads from this era.
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By A Customer on October 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge Wodehouse fan, and I find this to be the oddest of all collections. Unlike anything else I've read by Wodehouse, these tales take place after WWII, imbuing the normally bucolic Wodehousian universe with a discomforting sense of dread, of post-war angst. Wodehouse, who himself had much angst following the War, seems to let it show in these stories. A Postlapsarian Wodehouse is a very shaky Wodehouse indeed; oh, for the edenic airs of Blandings Castle, or the gentle hum of the Drones in the early afternoon. The reader is better off there.
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Format: Hardcover
Fans of P.G. Wodehouse often refer to Jeeves as a butler, but as Bertie Wooster reminds us, Jeeves is actually a gentleman's gentleman, a valet. But on occasion, Jeeves is pressed into service as a butler, and performs quite well.

Imagine the surprise that many P.G. Wodehouse fans have when they open The Butler Did It and find that the butler in question is a Mr. Augustus Keggs, the English butler for one J.J. Bunyan, an American multimillionaire. But this Keggs is a worthy character who fans of Jeeves will find to be very rewarding.

The book has one of the most intriguing plots in all of the Wodehouse novels. As the story opens, it is the night of September tenth, 1929, just before the collapse of the American stock market. Bunyan is entertaining a group of bored millionaires who are having a hard time deciding how to spend the money they are raking in. Among his guests is Mortimer Bayliss, his art curator, who cannot help but want to stir up the philistines. Bayliss proposes that the men each put up $50,000 with the proceeds of the tontine to go to the last of their sons to marry. Naturally, they have to keep the whole matter a secret or deny themselves the possibility of ever having grandchildren.

The book then glides forward in time to the mid 1950s in England as the end game of the tontine arrives. Mr. Keggs is a fellow tenant with Lord Uffenham (who has fallen on hard times), whom he formerly served as a butler, and his niece, Jane Benedick. Mr. Kegg's own niece, Emma, is engaged to marry Roscoe Bunyan, son of the late J.J. Bunyan, of the tontine. Like the wise and omniscient butler he is, Mr. Keggs had recorded the conversation that night and knows all about the tontine. The tontine is down to Roscoe and one other. Mr.
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By A Customer on October 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This collection is absolutely terrific. Wodehouse has written better Jeeves stories, and for some reason the editor saw fit to omit a Blandings Castle story, and yet the book is nonetheless wonderful. "The Butler Did It" is possibly the best story Wodehouse has ever written. Which means it is the best comedy ever written by anybody anywhere. A must buy.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this set of five novels over last Thanksgiving, while cooped up in a car with the 'rents on a trip to visit my sister. It was my introduction to Wodehouse, and served me well in that capacity. I very rarely laugh out loud at books, and I did so several times while engrossed in this collection. But... reading five Wodehouse novels in two days makes you realize just how formulaic the characters and plots can be. Essentially Wodehouse novels are the literary equivalent of sitcoms. Very good sitcoms, to be sure, more on the order of "Frasier" than of "Friends," but by the time you read the fifth novel in this book, you won't be surprised by any of the plot's turns. My advice -- don't read 'em all at one sitting, and you might enjoy the experience more.
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Format: Hardcover
I was more disappointed with the reviews of this book on Amazon.com than with the book itself! O.K., maybe it is "post-war angst", maybe it's the Long Island malaise, these stories are a bit darker than the "classics" of Blandings Castle or the Drones Club.
But, dash it, they are Wodehouse and show an important part of his personality and the personality of his wonderful characters. Imagine a Jeeves-on-loan! Brilliant! It proves that Jeeves isn't only Jeeves at Bertie's side.
By the way, isn't "Bill" Shannon (aka, "The Old Reliable") an lovely example of the modern, liberated woman! "The Butler Did It" also takes a deserved, but painless, whack at modern art.
Don't let preconceptions tarnish what could well be "five of the best" from the master.
I enjoyed them immensely.
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