rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is first Jeeves and Bertie Wooster novel Wodehouse wrote and was published in 1934. Previously Jeeves appeared only in various short stories. It's a usual mix of humor and mix up and has lots of characters from the stories make a re-appearance, such as Roderick Glossup (a psychiatrist who Bertie often describes as a "looney Doctor") along with beautiful and head strong Pauline Stoker (one of Bertie's numerous former fiancees) and her equally strong willed father, who of course doesn't think much of Bertie.
The crux of the story is that Bertie and Jeeves part ways due to Bertie's latest musical addiction, banjo playing. Jeeves ends up in the employ of Bertie's old classmate Chuffy, while Bertie ends up in a summer cottage on Chuffy's estate, along with his new valet, who is definitely not anything like Jeeves. Before the end, Bertie will be shanghied, engaged against his will, and forced to pretend to be part of a minstrel troupe.
An enjoyable story, the only jarring note being the usage of racist terms to describe the mostly off stage minstrel troupe. I realize that the book was in some ways a product of it's time, but hearing Wooster use the "n word" even a couple of times was too much for my modern sensibilities. I gave the book a 4 instead of my usual Wodehouse 5, other works of PGW's are just as humorous and don't have the racist terms.
Still, if you are a Jeeves and Wooster fan, you need to read this one, as several characters make their appearance again in later novels.
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