Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves (Jeeves Omnibus #4.3) ★★★☆½

stiffupperlipjeeves (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #4.3
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 240
Words: 45K

 

Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

Jeeves comes home after serving as a substitute butler at Brinkley Court, the country house of Bertie’s Aunt Dahlia. She tells Bertie that Sir Watkyn Bassett was there and was impressed with Jeeves. Additionally, Sir Watkyn bragged about obtaining a black amber statuette to Aunt Dahlia’s husband, Tom Travers, who is a rival collector.

Jeeves dislikes Bertie’s new blue Alpine hat with a pink feather. Bertie continues to wear the hat, and has lunch with Emerald Stoker, the sister of his friend Pauline Stoker who is on her way to the Bassett household, Totleigh Towers. He then sees Reverend Harold “Stinker” Pinker, who is upset that Sir Watkyn has not given him the vicarage, which Stinker needs to be able to marry Stephanie “Stiffy” Byng, Watkyn Bassett’s niece. Stinker tells Bertie that Stiffy wants Bertie to come to Totleigh Towers to do something for her, but knowing that Stiffy often starts trouble, Bertie refuses.

Gussie Fink-Nottle is upset with his fiancée Madeline Bassett, Sir Watkyn’s daughter. Jeeves suggests that Bertie go to Totleigh Towers there to heal the rift between Gussie and Madeline, or else Madeline will decide to marry Bertie instead. Though Bertie does not want to marry Madeline, his personal code will not let him turn a girl down. Bertie reluctantly decides to go to Totleigh, saying, “Stiff upper lip, Jeeves, what?”.[2] Jeeves commends his spirit.

At Totleigh Towers, Madeline is touched to see Bertie, thinking he came to see her because he is hopelessly in love with her. Sir Watkyn’s friend Roderick Spode, formally Lord Sidcup, loves Madeline but hides his feelings from her. At dinner, Madeline says that her father purchased the black amber statuette from someone named Plank who lives nearby at Hockley-cum-Meston. Stiffy says the statuette is worth one thousand pounds.

Jeeves tells Bertie that Gussie is unhappy with Madeline because she is making him follow a vegetarian diet. The cook has offered to secretly provide Gussie steak-and-kidney pie. The cook is in fact Emerald Stoker, who took the job after losing her allowance betting on a horse. She has fallen for Gussie.

After telling Bertie that Sir Watkyn cheated Plank by paying only five pounds for the statuette, Stiffy orders Bertie to sell it back to Plank for five pounds, or else she will tell Madeline that Gussie has been sneaking meat, and then Madeline would leave him for Bertie. Stiffy takes the statuette and gives it to Bertie. Bertie goes to Hockley-cum-Meston and meets the explorer Major Plank. Plank mentions that he is looking for a prop forward for his Hockley-cum-Meston rugby team.

When Bertie tries to sell the statuette back to him for five pounds, Plank assumes Bertie stole it from Sir Watkyn, and intends to call the police. Jeeves arrives, saying he is Chief Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard. He tells Plank that he is there to arrest Bertie, claiming that Bertie is a criminal known as Alpine Joe. Leading Bertie safely away, Jeeves tells him that Sir Watkyn actually paid the full one thousand pounds for the statuette and had lied to spite Tom Travers. Jeeves returns the statuette to Totleigh Towers.

Spode sees Gussie kissing Emerald, and threatens to harm him for betraying Madeline. When Stinker moves to protect Gussie, Spode hits Stinker. Stinker retaliates, knocking out Spode. Spode regains consciousness, only to be knocked out again by Emerald. Seeing Spode on the ground, Madeline calls Gussie a brute. He defiantly eats a ham sandwich in front of her, and their engagement ends. Gussie and Emerald elope. Sir Watkyn offers Harold Pinker the vicarage, but changes his mind when he finds out that Stinker punched Spode. Meanwhile, Madeline resolves to marry Bertie.

Major Plank, after learning from a telephone call with Inspector Witherspoon that Harold Pinker is a skilled prop forward, comes to the house and gives him the vicarage at Hockley-cum-Meston. Because of this, Stiffy no longer needs the statuette, which she stole a second time to blackmail Sir Watkyn, so she gives it to Jeeves to return it.

Hiding from Plank behind a sofa, Bertie overhears Spode and Jeeves convince Madeline that Bertie did not come to Totleigh Towers for love of her but rather because he wanted to steal the statuette, which Jeeves says he found among Bertie’s belongings. Madeline decides not to marry Bertie. Spode proposes to Madeline and she accepts. Bertie is discovered and Sir Watkyn, a justice of the peace, intends to make Bertie spend twenty-eight days in jail. After being arrested by Constable Oates, Bertie spends the night in jail. In the morning, Bertie is released. Sir Watkyn is dropping the charge because Jeeves agreed to work for him. Bertie is shocked, but Jeeves assures him it will only be temporary. After a week or so, he will find a reason to resign and return to Bertie. Moved, Bertie wishes there was something he could do to repay Jeeves. Jeeves asks Bertie to give up the Alpine hat. Bertie agrees.

 

My Thoughts:

By the time I was done with this book I wanted to read another. Light and funny really hit the spot at the moment and if one of something is good, then isn’t two of something even better? Thankfully, I DO know better. The humor in these books continues to work for me BECAUSE I know when I’ve had enough. I am rather proud of myself, to be honest, for not only finding this balance, but sticking to it as well. It is much easier to gorge on chocolate eggs until you’re sick and then not eat another for 6 months than to simply eat one chocolate egg every 3-4 weeks for 6 months.

Of course, the problem with reading so many of these books (this IS the twelfth one so far) is that at some point you run out of things to say about the story, especially when the stories all run in similar veins.

But they’re still working for me and I’m still smiling at the antics of Bertie Wooster and his superhuman gentleman’s gentleman Jeeves! So eat some fish to make your brain bigger, get some spineless friends and have a laugh at your local castle!

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Jeeves in the Offing (Jeeves Omnibus #4.2) ★★★☆½

jeevesintheoffing (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Jeeves in the Offing
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #4.2
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 200
Words: 41.7K

 

Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

An old friend Bertie went to preparatory school with, Reginald “Kipper” Herring, is staying with Bertie for a week. Bertie eagerly accepts an invitation from his aunt, Aunt Dahlia, to her home, Brinkley Court, since Jeeves is about to go to Herne Bay on holiday. Aunt Dahlia’s husband, Bertie’s Uncle Tom, is trying to make a business deal with an American named Homer Cream. While the two of them are in Harrogate, Mr. Cream’s wife Adela Cream, an author of mystery stories, and their son Wilbert Cream are staying at Brinkley Court. The mischievous Roberta “Bobbie” Wickham, and Aubrey Upjohn, who was once Bertie and Kipper’s oppressive headmaster, will also be there, along with Phyllis Mills. She is Upjohn’s stepdaughter and Aunt Dahlia’s goddaughter. Upjohn hopes to stand for a local election after giving a speech at the Market Snodsbury grammar school, and Phyllis is typing his speech.

Before going to Brinkley Court, Bertie learns that Kipper, who works for a weekly paper and is vengeful towards Upjohn, wrote a scathing, anonymous review of Upjohn’s recently published book. Jeeves tells Bertie that Willie Cream is a notorious troublemaking playboy known as “Broadway Willie”. After Jeeves leaves, Bertie sees a jarring announcement in The Times stating that he is engaged to Bobbie.

At Brinkley Court, Bertie finds Wilbert Cream reading poetry to Phyllis. He then finds Bobbie, who assures him that the engagement announcement was merely to scare her mother, who dislikes Bertie, into approving the man Bobbie really wants to marry, Reginald Herring.

While her regular butler Seppings is away on holiday, the psychiatrist Sir Roderick Glossop is working undercover for Aunt Dahlia as a butler named Swordfish. Upjohn is urging his daughter Phyllis to marry Wilbert. Aunt Dahlia does not approve of Willie’s reputation, so at her behest, Glossop is there to observe Wilbert’s behaviour. Bertie tries to keep Wilbert away from Phyllis. By letter, Jeeves informs Bertie that Willie Cream is a kleptomaniac. Uncle Tom’s silver cow-creamer goes missing.

While Bobbie is away, Kipper comes to Brinkley Court. He was engaged to Bobbie, but thinks it is over after seeing the marriage announcement for Bertie and Bobbie. He is relieved when Bertie tells him the announcement was fake. Glossop searches Wilbert Cream’s room for the cow-creamer, and bonds with Bertie. Bobbie ends her engagement to Kipper after reading an angry letter he wrote when he first saw the marriage announcement, and proclaims she will marry Bertie. Bertie does not want to marry her, but is prevented by his personal code from turning down any woman, so he drives to Herne Bay to get help from Jeeves. Jeeves agrees to return to Brinkley with Bertie. Bobbie soon forgives Kipper’s letter, but Kipper, to spite Bobbie, becomes engaged to Phyllis.

Aunt Dahlia tells Bertie that Wilbert Cream did not steal the cow-creamer. Uncle Tom sold it to him. Meanwhile, Upjohn intends to sue Kipper’s paper for libel. While his review was mostly legitimate, a small libellous portion was secretly added by Bobbie. Apologetic, Bobbie reconciles with Kipper. Glossop suggests that Kipper save his job by rescuing Upjohn from drowning. After Bertie and Bobbie fail to push Upjohn in the nearby lake, Bertie and Phyllis’s dog Poppet fall in instead. Kipper dives in to help Bertie, mistaking him for Upjohn, and Wilbert dives in to help Phyllis’s dog Poppet. Moved, Phyllis gets engaged to Wilbert. This initially upsets Aunt Dahlia, though it turns out that Wilbert is not actually the infamous Broadway Willie: that is his younger brother, Wilfred.

Upjohn becomes aware that Kipper wrote the scathing review and refuses to stay in the same house. Jeeves packs for Upjohn, neglecting to pack Upjohn’s typed speech. After receiving the typescript from Jeeves, Bobbie makes Upjohn withdraw his libel suit before she returns it to him.

Thinking Wilbert stole it, Glossop confiscated the cow-creamer. Adela Cream finds the cow-creamer in Glossop’s room and thinks he stole it. To prevent a misunderstanding, Glossop has revealed his true occupation. Following Jeeves’s advice, Glossop has claimed he had been brought to observe Bertie and had recovered the cow-creamer from Bertie’s room. Bertie is upset that the Cream family thinks he is a kleptomaniac, but Jeeves placates Bertie by saying that he has the satisfaction of helping his uncle. Bertie, remembering receiving gifts from Uncle Tom while at prep school, replies, “How right you are, Jeeves!”

My Thoughts:

By this time I have begun to realize that most stories about Jeeves and Wooster follow a loose pattern. Bertie gets ensnared into some imbroglio or other. He makes the situation worse by trying to solve it himself. He asks Jeeves for help. Jeeves apparently makes things worse but in the end reveals that that was just a part of his machinations and everything turns out according to plan.

Sure enough, this had most of those elements. Jeeves plays a VERY small part in this novel while Bertie tries to solve things on his own multiple times (usually he learns after one disastrous attempt) and of course, his attempts are huge failures.

In most of these stories by Wodehouse I tend to find at least one character very annoying. Sometimes it is Bertie Wooster, sometimes it is one of his friends, sometimes it is one of the love interests of his friends and sometimes it is the “villain” of the story. This time around it was the love interest Roberta “Bobby” Wickham. I wanted to take her over my knee and just paddle her for the absolute nonsense she spouted and completely idiotic actions she took. I considered knocking this down to a 3star just because of her, she really annoyed me that much.

Other than her, I enjoyed this quite a bit. I’d read this back in ’07 but honestly, I don’t remember reading it or any of the details so it was like I read it for the first time all over again. Apparently I also enjoyed it a lot more this time around, as last time I only gave it 2 stars. I’m guessing I had even less empathy for Bobby Wickham back then 😀

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (Jeeves Omnibus #4.1) ★★★★☆

jeevesandthefeudalspirit (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #4.1
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 304
Words: 49.3K

 

Synopsis:

From Wikipedia

Bertie has grown a moustache, which Jeeves disapproves of. G. D’Arcy “Stilton” Cheesewright, a fellow member at the Drones Club who has drawn Bertie’s name in the annual club darts sweep, becomes jealous when Cheesewright’s fiancée Florence Craye says she loves Bertie’s moustache. Florence and Bertie were engaged in the past, and Stilton mistakenly believes Bertie still loves her. Stilton is also jealous of Percy Gorringe, a playwright dramatizing Florence’s novel Spindrift.

Disappointed with Stilton after he refuses to grow a moustache, Florence asks Bertie to take her to a night club for research for her next novel. Hoping to talk her into returning to Stilton, Bertie agrees. However, the night club is raided. When Florence tries to run away, Bertie trips a policeman chasing her. Florence escapes and Bertie spends the night in jail before paying a fine of ten pounds. Shortly afterward, Florence and Stilton reconcile when Stilton agrees to grow a moustache.

At her home of Brinkley Court, Aunt Dahlia, Bertie’s aunt who runs a magazine called Milady’s Boudoir, is trying to sell the paper to the Liverpudlian newspaper magnate Mr. Trotter, who brought along his wife Mrs. Trotter and his stepson, Percy Gorringe. Aunt Dahlia has hired the successful novelist Daphne Dolores Morehead, who is staying at Brinkley, to write a serial for Milady’s Boudoir, to make the magazine appear successful to Mr. Trotter. Aunt Dahlia is also trying to win over Mr. Trotter with the magnificent cooking of her French chef, Anatole, though this does not seem to be working.

Florence has also gone to Brinkley Court. Aunt Dahlia tells Bertie to come to Brinkley to cheer up Percy, who is in love with Florence and upset that she is with Stilton. Stilton discovers that Florence and Bertie went to a night club together, and breaks his engagement to her by telegram. He comes to Brinkley Court, seeking revenge on Bertie, who avoids Stilton.

Bertie learns from Aunt Dahlia that she pawned the pearl necklace her husband Tom Travers bought her to pay for the new serial, without telling Tom. She is wearing a fake pearl necklace instead, and fears that Lord Sidcup, a jewellery expert who is coming to see Uncle Tom’s silver collection, will reveal the necklace as a fake. Jeeves suggests that Bertie act as a burglar and steal the fake necklace. Bertie attempts to do so but mistakenly enters Florence’s bedroom. She is moved to see him and assumes that he is in love with her. When Stilton comes to return her letters, Florence says she will marry Bertie, and Stilton, finding Bertie in Florence’s room, becomes aggressive. Bertie saves himself by reminding Stilton about the Drones Club darts sweep: hurting Bertie could cost Stilton fifty-six pounds and ten shillings. Uncle Tom locks Aunt Dahlia’s necklace in a safe. In addition, Lord Sidcup is revealed to be the recently elevated Roderick Spode.

After selling his Drones Club darts sweep ticket to Percy Gorringe, Stilton again threatens Bertie. Bertie tries, unsuccessfully, to fend off Stilton with a cosh, though Stilton forgets about Bertie and Florence when he sees Daphne Dolores Morehead and falls for her. Seeing Uncle Tom’s safe open, Bertie takes a pearl necklace he sees there. Next he talks to Aunt Dahlia, who says she took the fake necklace from the safe. The necklace Bertie took belongs to Mrs. Trotter. Bertie tries to put back the second necklace, but is unable to do so since Mr. Trotter shuts the safe door.

At breakfast, Aunt Dahlia’s butler Seppings presents Mrs. Trotter’s pearl necklace on a salver, stating that he found it in Jeeves’s room. Though Bertie prepares to confess stealing the necklace to save Jeeves, Jeeves says he planned to find the necklace’s owner, since he realized the pearls were fake and assumed the necklace belonged to a housemaid. Spode, or Lord Sidcup, confirms the pearls are fake. Percy admits that he pawned his mother’s real pearl necklace to produce the play based on Florence’s novel. Florence is touched, and she and Percy get engaged.

Mr. Trotter dislikes Anatole’s cooking. However, he feels much better after having one of Jeeves’s special drinks, and purchases Milady’s Boudoir. Grateful to Jeeves, Bertie agrees to shave off his moustache.

 

My Thoughts:

Much like authors, I am going to dedicate this review to someone. I’ve never understood why authors do that, because who cares? I’m doing it because I like poking people for the fun of it 😀 Back when I started this Jeeves series, or maybe even before, I talked with Irresponsible Reader on one of his posts and he really doesn’t like the humor of Wodehouse. I on the other hand absolutely LOVE the humor in these books. So, HC, here’s mud in your eye 😉

This was a full length novel but surprisingly, to me, I enjoyed the whole thing. It didn’t feel overly long or stretched out. The stupid-humor of Bertie Wooster never grated or came across as “too much”. So many mis-happenings and accidents just made me smile.

Now, I never did find myself laughing out loud, as I have in previous books, but I also never groaned. It felt very much like a “Classic Jeeves” story. Besides a short story collection, this felt like a high point.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Target Rich Environment, Vol. 2 (TRE #2) ★★★★½

tre2 (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Target Rich Environment, Vol. 2
Series: TRE #2
Author: Larry Correia
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 450
Words: 122K

 

Synopsis:

From Amazon

“Tokyo Raider” pits giant robots against very big monsters in the Grimnoir Universe. “The Testimony of the Traitor Ratul,” set in the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior series, lets a man who has been called a fanatical rebel, despicable murderer, and heretical traitor tell his side of the story. And “Reckoning Day” gives an insider view into the day-to-day life of some of the most popular characters from the Monster Hunter International series.

Plus, stories set in the world of both Aliens and Predator; an Agent Franks /Joe Ledger mash- up cowritten by best-selling author Jonathan Maberry; a V-Wars story; a story set in Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold series—and more.

Finally, Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent, is back in “A Murder of Manatees,” appearing in print for the first time!

Me

Tokyo Raider

Testimony of the Traitor Ratul

Shooter Ready

Three Sparks

Reckoning Day

Weaponized Hell

Son of Fire, Son of Thunder

Episode 22

Absence of Light

Psych Eval

Musings of a Hermit

Instruments of War

Murder of Manatees

My Thoughts:

Just like the previous volume, this was loads of fun! Definitely a contender for Best Book of the Year.

My two complaints first, hence the docking of a ½star. One of the novellas, Instruments of War, is set in some other franchise fiction universe and went on just a bit too long for my taste. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t to my taste. Secondly, the Tom Stranger novella wasn’t quite as funny as the first one. So those are really my only “complaints”.

I was really glad to FINALLY read Tokyo Raider. It has been audio only for years and I am not going to pay $10 for a novella on audio, or join Audible and use one of my promo credits for a novella. No one had even bothered to transcribe it and release it into the wild either. So I was pleased as punch to get to it. It wasn’t the greatest story, but I’ll take anything Grimnoir at the moment.

Three Sparks was a Predator versus Samurai story. After the abomination of a movie that was AVP, it was great to get a Predator story that was good.

Reckoning Day was a fun little MHI story about the orcs and how Shelly the female gunslinger is introduced. I’d never heard of her so I’m wondering if she is in some of the non-book stuff or in the new book, Guardian which is a collab between Correia and Sarah Hoyt.

Finally, I also enjoyed Weaponized Hell, a story about Agent Franks from MHI and some guy named Joe Ledger from another author. It was good enough that I’m adding the first couple of Joe Ledger books to my tbr to see if I like them (in a year or 3 of course). A short story that can lead me into another author’s series? I count that as good story telling!

★★★★½

bookstooge (Custom)

Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) ★★★★☆

threemeninaboat (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog)
Author: Jerome Jerome
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Pages: 231
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

J, and his two friends George and Harris, along with J’s dog Montmorency, all decide that they’ve been working too hard and they need a break. So they decide to go on a boating trip up the Thames.

What follows are the antics of 3 urban idiots, a dog who likes to fight and a travelogue. A very peculiar mix.

 

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed parts of this. The parts I did not care for, or that bored me really, was where Jerome went into travelogue mode. Travel and I don’t get along real well. Scenery bores me to tears and while I hate cities, I still want to pave the planet and get rid of all that nasty “nature” stuff. So books that are travelogues ♪in disguise♪ don’t do it for me. At all. It is the reason I don’t ever plan on re-reading Dickens’ Pictures from Italy or his American Notes.

Thankfully, those bits were interspersed with the humorous bits. I read a short wiki article on Jerome K. Jerome and it would appear that he was the inspiration for such authors as P.G. Wodehouse. While not quite up to the Bertie Wooster level of helpless obliviousness, J and his companions are doing their best to achieve it. Part of it is that they are not independently wealthy and while they are pretty pathetic at their jobs (one of the friends works at a bank and pretty much sleeps all day there), at least they have jobs. They are the idle middle class as opposed to the idle rich. If you’ve ever read Wodehouse and like or dislike his brand of humor, then I can safely say you’ll feel the same way about Jerome.

Probably not a book that I’ll ever re-read but I am glad to have read it for the first time and to expand my knowledge base. I suspect I’ll be flashing back to this book whenever I read something by Wodehouse in the future.

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Very Good, Jeeves (Jeeves Omnibus #3.3) ★★★★☆

verygoodjeeves (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Very Good, Jeeves
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #3.3
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 273
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Another collection of short stories about Bertie Wooster and his fish-fed super-brainy man-servant, Jeeves.

Whether it is potential marital status change for Bertie (who seems to be afraid of said status), or a friend being forced to eat nothing but vegetables because of his wife’s friend, or an Aunt forcing Bertie to something he doesn’t want to (like pay off a waitress who Bertie’s Uncle George wants to marry), Bertie is always in a maelstrom of chaos. Thankfully, with Jeeves guiding the good ship Wooster, the apparently inevitable crash upon the rocks never happens and it is smooth sailing, until the next adventure.

 

My Thoughts:

The only complaint I have about short story collections is that it is wicked hard to synopsize each and every one. So as I’ve written before, and I’m sure you may have noticed, I simply don’t. Of course, I also have to complain about these omnibus editions, yet again. This book was the 3rd book published by Wodehouse and yet it is the 9th book in these collections. It also has no relationship in time to the previous book or two. What phracking idiot curated these anyway? I’d like to make them walk the plank, after I’ve tied them to the mast and given them a taste of the cat’o’nine tails!

Staying on the nautical theme, this was a boatload of fun. Captain Wodehouse excels in navigating the reader through a funny story that has a beginning, a middle and an end all within 10-40 pages. For the most part, Wodehouse’s humor tickles my fancy so even if the particulars of a story doesn’t really interest me, the humorous shenanigans do and that keeps me reading. I experienced no doldrums while on this pleasure cruise and what’s more, none of the offerings gave me food poisoning or led me to being sick.

Good times!

★★★★☆

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

The Mating Season (Jeeves Omnibus #3.2) ★★★★½

matingseason (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Mating Season
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #3.2
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 304
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

2 of Bertie Wooster’s friends get in a spot of trouble. To prevent the fiance of one of them finding out, Bertie fills in for Friend One and pretends to be him down in the country. Friend Two pretends to be Bertie’s serving man. Then shenanigans and Friend One shows up pretending to be Bertie. A Country Squire, a local policeman, several young ladies and a gaggle of Aunts are thrown into the mix.

Jeeves stirs everything, bakes it just right and from a gloopy mess comes a beautiful bunt cake complete with happy endings for just about everyone.

 

My Thoughts:

This was very much a situation of “The Right Book at the Right Time”. If I ever re-read this, I highly doubt I’ll rate it this high again. It was pretty much on par with most of the Jeeves books that have come before but this time I just laughed at almost every chapter.

Where does Wodehouse come up with the names he does? Finknoddle, Catsmeat, etc. They fit perfectly with Bertie’s personality and the situations he gets himself into. Jeeves was very much in the background for this book and it allowed Bertie to trample all over the story like a drunken elephant. It was glorious!

And to top it all off, Jeeves koshes a policeman on the back of the head. How great is that?

From the title, you can tell that a lot of young people are falling in and out of love at a moments notice and the story is driven by that force. While I did feel an occasional eye roll coming on, Wodehouse masterfully turned each instance of that into a very humorous situation. So far, I’ve usually been a fan of the short story collections that make up a Jeeves & Wooster book but this time, the novel length story actually worked for me.

★★★★½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Cornerstone (Shaman King #25) ★★★☆½

Cornerstone (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Cornerstone
Series: Shaman King #25
Author: Hiroyuki Takei
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 192
Format: Digital Copy

 

Synopsis:

Yoh steps in between Marco and Luchist. Yoh sets himself in opposition and yet another battle begins. Just as the fallen angel Lucifer is about to destroy’s Amidamaru, “Lady Jeanne” appears and captures Yoh. It’s all a deception though, as this “Jeanne” is a creation by Lyserg and a part of a plan by Yoh. Only it is a double trap because they know Luchist will see through it. The real Lady Jeanne appears and destroys Lucifer, causing Luchist to faint.

Turns out Jeanne was being used by the X-Laws while Marco was the real leader. And the angels were just sports cars imbued with spirit energy. Marco starts blabbing it all out and then prepares to blow his brains out in despair. Lady Jeanne tells him to keep on fighting and stay alive and she tells Yoh they’ll face each other in an official shaman fight to determine who will get to take Hao down.

Then everyone, Luchist, the X-Laws and Yoh’s gang all have breakfast together and hijinks ensue. The X-Laws are “x”ing all over the place and the little minion of Hao’s that’s hanging out with Yoh starts copying them.

Yoh reveals that Hao’s winning the tournament is inevitable but that at some point the winner must undergo a purification ritual where he is helpless. Then he can be attacked a new Shaman King declared. But the ritual is protected by the 10 most powerful Patch Warriors.

The next day Team Ren faces off against the Wisdom Kings, a sub-group of the Gandala gang that helped Joco. They can negate mana and oversouls, so Ren has to figure out how to take them down. He exposes their weakness and then we get a flashback to Super Joco training Ren and Horohoro to make them stronger.

The volume ends with Ren defeating his opponent and the next Wisdom King stepping up to fight.

 

My Thoughts:

There is a small character named Opacho, one of Hao’s minions, who’s been sent to spy on Yoh and his friends. He’s only 5 years old and he is funny as all get out. Thankfully, the manga-ka makes full use of him in this volume to provide a lot of comic relief, if you’re looking for it. Opacho is in a lot of the panels but off to the side or something and usually doing something funny. Made me laugh several times and definitely brought the “humor” back into the series.

The revelation by Yoh about their ultimate plan makes a lot of sense AND neatly solves most of the issues the manga-ka created by backing everyone into their corners. How it works out though, well, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

It is also a lot of fun to see how Yoh makes friends of everyone he comes into contact with, even those opposed to him and allied with Hao. After the battle with Luchist and Lucifer, you see everyone sitting down at a breakfast table the next morning and Anna complaining about yet even more people hanging out. Very light hearted and brought the focus back on Yoh and his ethos for becoming Shaman King.

As a side note, I also started using the Adobe Reader program instead of the CdisplayEx program and every page rendered correctly. Made for a much more enjoyable read. Really weird why CD wouldn’t properly display the last couple of pages though. Eh, whatever, I’ve got it working now with Reader.

★★★☆½

 

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Target Rich Environment (TRE #1) ★★★★★

targetrichenvironment (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Target Rich Environment
Series: TRE #1
Author: Larry Correia
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Short Story Collection
Pages: 359
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A collection of many of Correia’s short stories that have only been published in magazines throughout the years. 2 Audible Exclusives were also turned into text, one taking place in the Grimnoir Universe and one about an Interdimensional Insurance Agent.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a rollicking good time. I was reading along, having a blast, figuring I’d give it 4 stars and then I read the final piece about Tom Stranger the Interdimensional Insurance Agent and this rocketed up to a 5 Star lickety-split! The humor in Tom Stranger might not appeal to everyone but it was certainly right up my alley.

I’d read a couple of these before, namely Tanya, Princess of the Elves that takes place in the MHI universe and is about how Tanya and Edward the Urk meet. Just as good the second time around. There were 2 Grimnoir Chronicles stories, one a prequel, Christmas in Detroit and a sequel, Murder on the Orient Elite. Jake Sullivan is a fantastic protagonist as he’s smart, capable and not just a Gary Stu.

The rest of the new stuff was a lot of fun to read too. Several of the stories took place in pre-existing franchise universes (mainly games) and while good, didn’t stand out to me. The one that really did stand out was a Cthulhu horror’esque story about a planet where humanity accidentally awakens an old one of that world which ripples out and the story ends with the Old One on Earth beginning to stir, so you know Humanity is DOOMED! If you’ve ever read much Lovecraft, this story would have fit in perfectly.

I don’t know what else to say. I never review each story in a collection, as that would make a review of a short story collection about 10,000 words and that would kill any joy for me. I am giving this the “Best Book of the Year” tag not for any richness or deep insights but because it kicked ass in every single story and I had so much fun reading it. After the debacle of Valor, this was needed to restore my faith in authors as a whole. If you ever do read this, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Highly Recommended

★★★★★

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

Ring for Jeeves (The Jeeves Omnibus #3.1) ★★★☆½

ringforjeeves (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Ring for Jeeves
Series: The Jeeves Omnibus #3.1
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 256
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

In this novel, Bertie Wooster has gone to school to learn to take care of himself and so Jeeves is on loan to another useless lump of English Aristocracy. Unfortunately for this lump, he’s not rich like Bertie so his life is a bit harder. He wishes to marry the local veterinarian but without the funds, well….

Jeeves suggests he become a bookie and between the 2 of them, they start bringing in the money. Until the Lump (as I shall be calling him from here on out) goes against Jeeves’ advice and covers a bet. The horse wins and suddenly the Lump owes an african hunter 3000 pounds, plus some odd change. At the same time the Lump’s ancestral house is falling to pieces and the only way to save it is to sell it. Hopefully to a rich american widow. Unfortunately for the Lump, the Great White Hunter chases him and Jeeves and tracks him down to his ancestral home. Where it turns out the rich american widow is someone he knows and has loved.

Hijinks ensue, Jeeves gives advice and the Great White Hunter and the Widow marry, the Widow buys the house and ships it to America and the Lump now has the money to marry the Vetinarian. And Jeeves gets a call that Bertie has been kicked out of the school for hiring an old woman on the sly to do his darning of socks for him.

 

My Thoughts:

While this was amusing, Lumpy Aristocrat was no Bertie Wooster. And Jeeves taking an active part in the proceedings seemed a bit out of character for him. Wearing a fake mustache and hoofing it with a fiver when Lumpy welshes on the bet, well, it just didn’t seem like Jeeves.

Lumpy was useless. Bertie isn’t useless because he has money but Lumpy? That guy needs to be cut out of the gene pool. Makes me wonder how long before this starts happening to the nouveau rich here in America in this day and age.

I breezed through this and while I wouldn’t recommend skipping it if you’re reading the omnibus editions, I certainly wouldn’t recommend seeking it out just on its own.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)