The World of Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse

I firmly believe that P.G. Wodehouse is best experienced in the short-story format. Sure, I've laughed myself sick over individual scenes in his full-length novels, but let's face it: every Jeeves and Wooster novel is really just a short story on steroids, so why bother with the needlessly hulked-out version when you can enjoy the exact same ideas in a faster, funnier form?

While I own several collections of Wodehouse's short stories (I keep them because they feature noticeable editorial discrepancies between one version and the next), it is 100% worth hunting down the 1989 omnibus edition The World of Jeeves, which includes all 34 short stories featuring wealthy dimwit Bertie Wooster and his endlessly resourceful valet, Jeeves. Not only does it boast a really great Art Deco-inspired cover, The World of Jeeves is both comprehensive and well organized—other collections feature stories placed out of chronological order, or fail to include some of the lesser-known titles. On the downside, collecting all of Wodehouse's short stories in one place emphasizes the author's weaknesses (in addition to the racism and class prejudice typical of his era, he was irritatingly prone to recycling his own jokes), but that's a small price to pay for having all of his wittiest, sharpest, and most gloriously ridiculous work in a single volume.
Posted by: Julianka


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