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Title: The Inimitable Jeeves
Series: The Jeeves Omnibus #1.3
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
A collection of stories about Jeeves and Bertie that center mainly around Bertie’s friend Bingo Little and his constantly falling in love and with Bertie’s two younger cousins who are identical twins.
Through it all Jeeves must put up with Bertie’s poor sartorial choices.
Chronologically, and in order of publication too I believe, this was the first Jeeves & Wooster book. I found the short story format much easier to deal with than the longer novel length. Also, while Wodehouse’s writing wasn’t quite as polished, I enjoyed Bertie more as a person, as he wasn’t always shortening things to their initials. This was Bertie in the raw and I enjoyed it.
Bertie’s cousins, who’s names I can’t even remember, are young scaliwags who end up getting kicked out of college and sent off to South Africa to serve in the British Government there. The hopes being that responsibility will straighten them out. This is all Aunt Agatha’s doing, as is much in this book. We learn, through one sentence, that Bertie’s parents are dead and he is immensely independently wealthy, which makes Aunt Agatha’s power over him all the more puzzling.
Then you have Bingo Little. My goodness, that man was falling in love and having problems in every story. In one story he fell in love with a communist for goodness sake! He does finally get hitched in the end. Bertie’s aversion to marriage is made plain throughout these stories and along with Aunt Agatha, is a building block of the whole series.
Jeeves plays a very small part in all of this. He’s simply the deux ex machina that solves things, except when Bertie refuses to listen to him in regards to style and fashion. But once Bertie relents, Jeeves simply solves everything. I’m not sure if it is amazing or just how pathetic everyone else is.
In any case, I found this very amusing and liked the short story aspect much more to my taste. I remain confused about the order of the books, as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to why they are so mixed up.