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If I Were You
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If I Were You

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  224 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
An unflinchingly hard-hitting Wodehousian look at the dual themes of hair restoration and heir restoration. This richly comic 1931 novel is one of the master's rarest works.
Paperback, 305 pages
Published December 1st 1989 by International Polygonics (first published January 1st 1931)
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The Code of the Woosters by P.G. WodehouseRight Ho, Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseLeave It to Psmith by P.G. WodehouseThe Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseCarry on, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
Best P.G. Wodehouse
35th out of 104 books — 105 voters
The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyOf Mice and Men by John SteinbeckThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Best Books of the Decade: 1930s
206th out of 456 books — 788 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 480)
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Douglas Wilson
Nov 01, 2015 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wodehouse, fiction
Always fun, but this was funner than most.
Ian Wood
Dec 08, 2007 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
‘If I Were You’ published in Wodehouse’s greatest age harks back to his earlier novels without the looseness of relying on his stock characters from the Drones club or the Blandings or Dolly the Dip sagas. Despite the more Edwardian feel to the novel it is a great Wodehouse yarn that underplays its more farcical elements.

Anthony, fifth Earl of Droitwich, is engaged to a millionaires daughter, Violet, which was a result of his families rather than natures course. Their plan to maintain the family
Minty McBunny
Aug 28, 2015 Minty McBunny rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, august-2015
Not as good as the Jeeves books, but entertaining nonetheless.
Jun 08, 2014 Nick rated it really liked it
If I Were You is fairly early Wodehouse, and as such it feels a little thin, but overall endeavours to and ultimately succeeds in giving satisfaction, as Slingsby the butler might say. It's based on The Prince and the Pauper and a few other classical models, but Wodehouse does manage to give it his own stamp with the jolly figure of the hero, Tony, the occasional Earl of Droitwich. Tony keeps his spirits up despite the turns and twists of fortune befalling him and in that sunniness of character ...more
Aug 02, 2007 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor-whimsy, fiction
Lighthearted romp á la The Prince and the Pauper -- here an earl and barber had been switched at birth. Wodehouse has a great time playing on class dynamics and tying all the characters up in knots before giving it his trademark magical shake and straightening everything out. Anyone who's familiar with "Pirates of Penzance" will recognize the inept nursemaid as a familiar character, but musical predecessors aside, Wodehouse's version more than holds its own with that wonderful snappy dialogue an ...more
Jun 20, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I promised myself I'd read a Wodehouse after enjoying Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, Sebastian Faulk's tribute to his style and the original is just as enjoyable. With lines like 'I admit...that he has the crushed, drooping look of a married man, but at present he's only engaged.' and ' ...I asked her how she'd like to see my name on her tombstone.' you can't go wrong.
Apr 06, 2016 ideallaedi rated it really liked it
(Err.. spoilers ahead)

Wodehouse's Prince and the Pauper, except his Prince is Anthony the Earl, his pauper, Sid the barber and it is the nanny who does the switcheroo. Now when all is revealed, what will happen to

a) the American millionaire's daughter engaged to be married to the Anthony (the Earl)
b) Sid's socialistic policy
c) Polly, the girl Anthony has run into and fallen in love with
d) The hair restorer

Anthony's aunt and uncle and his younger brother Freddie hatch all kinds of plots to scar
Aaron Wittwer
Mar 24, 2016 Aaron Wittwer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have yet to read a Wodehouse that didn't overwhelm me with joy from start to finish. This one is no exception. Serious, clinical, scalp-tingling, uncontrollable grinning, wordgasmic joy. It's a switched-at-birth story of an Earl and a barber, and the problems that arise when this long-ago mixup is revealed. The Earldom is thrown into question, high society descends into chaos, but of primary concern is whether the Earl turned Barber still has to marry his conniving heiress fiancé or whether hi ...more
Andrew Fish
May 30, 2013 Andrew Fish rated it really liked it
Babies of different social orders swapped at birth is, as the jacket blurb for the Everyman edition of If I were You concedes, hardly an original idea for a novel. We may not be able to name a specific example of the genre but we can all remember having read or seen such a story somewhere. Such stories have been deployed frequently in England's class-riven past either to show the virtue of knowing one's place or to suggest that breeding will tell regardless of upbringing.

Wodehouse wouldn't be Wo
Dec 15, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys Wodehouse.
I've been waiting to read this one for years. It's been out-of-print for quite some time, and it was never available at any library that I could find. I wasn't disappointed. If I Were You reads a lot like a funnier version of Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson, in that two babies were switched at birth. One is nurtured to be an Earl, while the other grew up to be a barber. The greedy barber upon hearing of his stolen birthright, decides to give being an Earl a chance through blackmail and sheer obst ...more
Miguel Jiménez
Jan 20, 2014 Miguel Jiménez rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor-absurdo
Una comedia amena, divertida, en la que las situaciones suceden una tras otra partiendo del tema central.

Pocos libros recuerdo que me hayan situado tan rápido en la historia, en este P.G. Wodehouse te mete de lleno desde la página 1 o 2.

Es la primer novela independiente que leo de Wodehouse, antes me adentré a la serie Jeeves —magnífica, por cierto—, pero aún así me agradó este libro. La variedad de personajes, el ingenio para dotar a cada uno con gracia y el mundo en que te sumerge es único.

A rather disappointing Wodehouse novel, especially given that it was published in 1931, when he was at the peak of his powers. It's obviously fleshed out from a play script, and feels very static and stagy for that reason. It never quite takes off, and while there are some classic Wodehouse turns of phrase they are sadly few and far between.
May 27, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Wonderfully done, like all Wodehouse writing. But this one doesn't make it on to my list of favorites only because Syd Price is such a genuinely unlikeable character; I enjoy ridiculous and absurd Wodehouse characters, but a really vile one grates on the charm of the whole work, for me.
Jun 29, 2014 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Initially I was going to give this four stars because, while it had me laughing out loud, I wasn't weeping helplessly as was the case with many of his fruitier and frothier novels I went ahead and bunged the fifth star on there after one of the characters was described as being "a pretty asinine sort of old ass".
Oct 21, 2008 Libbeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1993, humour
I will use this "review" for all the P. G. Wodehouse I have read. I read them all so long ago and enjoyed them so much that I have given them all 5 stars. As I re-read them I will adjust the stars accordingly, if necessary, and add a proper review.
When I first discovered P. G. Wodehouse I devoured every book I could find in the local library, throughout the eighties and early nineties. Alas, this means that I have read most of them and stumbling across one I have not read is a rare thing. I'm su
Jun 13, 2014 T.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread this book recently and it was just as funny the second time around. It had me laughing out loud. I love the way Wodehouse writes.
Jan 18, 2015 Somdutta rated it liked it
A confusion a heir restoration gets finally solved when the problem of hair restoration gets solved. A known problem of baby-switching starts the confusion and gradually gets sorts out in the end , which is a trademark of a Wodehousian novel.
Jul 03, 2015 Caroline rated it liked it
More plot than most, less lovely language.
Nov 06, 2011 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Typically Wodehousian humour with engagements on and off, identities in question and an Aunt in the background.

Lord Droitwich and Syd Price are the two main protagonists and identities are switched much to the family's delight or disgust depending on which side they are on! The family lawyer gets involved as the respective families and servants fight it out. In the end everything turns out for the best and one of the engagements, at least, goes ahead.

A laugh a minute and, if I were you, I would
May 03, 2016 Ronald rated it really liked it
read some time in 1994
Jun 23, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another jolly romp from PGW. Given the very limited locations (country house drawing room / barbers shop / drawing room again) and a set of characters with no supporting or incidental cast, I suspect it was intended to be a play. Al the usual Wodehouse tropes present and correct and none the worse for that
Feb 12, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Top-shelf Wodehouse ... a tangled web, potential switched identity, some light class conflict ... and the sparkling prose, as always. Very enjoyable.
Book -O-Holic
Jun 01, 2016 Book -O-Holic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned

"I asked her how she'd like to see my name on her tombstone."

I needed a funny read after such tiring month and I'm extremely happy about this. The writing was funny, easy to read, witty and generally fast paced! Ahh the characters, you feel for them and then you're angry and then you feel for them too! I am in love with the brother though. I picture him as Jude Law so that's always a plus! haha

Dec 19, 2013 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a perfect remedy for the melancholy of a dull, cold, overcast winter's day. This is just what I needed right now. Although a novel, it is set up more like a three act farce, loaded with sprightly dialogue and other forms of word play. Wodehouse is almost always a sure thing to cheer you up.
Sep 08, 2012 heidi rated it it was amazing
Read April/May-ish 2011

Absolutely loved it. One of my favorite Wodehouses now, along with The Adventures of Sally. And A Damsel in Distress.

I've grown to love Wodehouse's non- Jeeves stories so very much.
Dec 08, 2008 Rickeclectic rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Diehard Wodhousers
Shelves: wodehouse
Hard to find Wodehouse book, not one of the mainstream characters. Mostly for Wodehouse lovers filling in the gaps.
Nov 03, 2009 Bruce rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
Not Jeeves and Wooster but still I light romantic comedy. Don't let the page count fool you, the typeface was huge.
Apr 25, 2009 Shibbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Comedic writing at it's best.
Apr 25, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
Petra Piiroinen
Petra Piiroinen rated it liked it
Aug 26, 2016
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Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE, was a comic writer who enjoyed enormous popular success during a career of more than seventy years and continues to be widely read over 40 years after his death. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of prewar English upper-class so ...more
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