If I Were You
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If I Were You

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  17 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. WodehouseThe Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseLeave It to Psmith by P.G. WodehouseRight Ho, Jeeves by P.G. WodehouseVery Good, Jeeves! by P.G. Wodehouse
Best P.G. Wodehouse
35th out of 103 books — 84 voters
The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellBrave New World by Aldous HuxleyThe Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Best Books of the Decade: 1930s
171st out of 349 books — 494 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-28 of 239)
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Nick
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
Ian Wood
Dec 08, 2007 Ian Wood rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Kay
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
Andrew Fish
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...more
Christopher
Dec 15, 2013 Christopher rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.

Pa...more
Jane
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.
Betsy
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".
Libbeth
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...more
T.R.
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.
Gerry
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...more
Matt
Top-shelf Wodehouse ... a tangled web, potential switched identity, some light class conflict ... and the sparkling prose, as always. Very enjoyable.
William
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.
heidi.
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.
Rickeclectic
Dec 08, 2008 Rickeclectic rated it 1 of 5 stars
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.
Bruce
Nov 03, 2009 Bruce rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
Not Jeeves and Wooster but still I light romantic comedy. Don't let the page count fool you, the typeface was huge.
Shibbie
Comedic writing at it's best.
Rory
Rory marked it as to-read
Jul 09, 2014
Shatha AlDana
Shatha AlDana marked it as to-read
Jun 07, 2014
Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill marked it as to-read
May 25, 2014
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7963
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 30 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
More about P.G. Wodehouse...
My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1) Carry on, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3) The Code of the Woosters (Jeeves, #7) Right Ho, Jeeves (Jeeves, #6) The Inimitable Jeeves (Jeeves, #2)

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