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The Small Bachelor

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  710 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
What must a man do in order to put an end to his bachelorhood? For George Finch, one of nature's white mice and probably the worst artist ever to put brush to canvas, there are many obstacles. Undoubtedly the greatest is his beloved Molly's fearsome stepmother, Mrs. Waddington, who has her eye on an eligible English lord for a son-in-law. Luckily, George has an ally in sha ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 7th 1991 by Penguin Books (first published 1927)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,144)
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Nov 25, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: humour
I didn't enjoy The Small Bachelor as much as the Jeeves book I read, though it did help with the Jeeves book that I could see parallels with Bunter and Lord Peter in Dorothy L. Sayers' books. The humour isn't so great for me when a lot of it revolves around embarrassment and ridiculous situations -- that came off better for me in the Jeeves book than in this one, I think.

Still, it's well-written and entertaining, definitely: I had a pretty high standard set for Wodehouse from the first book of h
Jun 22, 2014 Nick rated it it was amazing
Small the bachelor may be, but this is a giant book. It's all here: love, loss, and good advice about what to do when a pickpocket shows up at your wedding claiming to be your sordid scarlet woman past. This is an early Wodehouse set in New York, and we get a bit of additional fun from the Englishman's slightly skewed take on how Americans speak and act. If you haven't read it, and need a night off from your worries, this is the book and the author for you. If you have read it, the plot is much ...more
Jan 07, 2015 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Brilliant and classic prime PG Wodehouse. As others have noted, it has no Jeeves or Wooster; but Finch and Ferris, along with Mr and Mrs Sigsbee H. Warrington, lack nothing but the privilege of serial recurrence to equal Bertie and his butler in the power of bringing joy.
Apparently based on a Wodehouse/Bolton musical - that would have been good to see - it certainly has the action and the stage business that origin would suggest, but translated excellently to running prose, as one would expect.
Andrew Fish
Aug 04, 2013 Andrew Fish rated it it was amazing
This book started its life as a musical stage-comedy and, at first, it looked as if this would be a weakness: the early chapters are dense with Wodehouse's wonderful prose, but thinner on what you might call the meat of the thing. You could even tell where a song or two might have been inserted. This, however, was not to last, and when the plot began to thicken, landing poor George Finch firmly in the mulligatawny, you could see the book was going to be a classic high-speed farce. By the last fe ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Emily rated it really liked it
Good old Wodehouse. This was a fun one, with lots of great wordplay, and hilarious characters. I lost track of how many times I stopped to read sections out loud to my husband. Wodehouse's talent for elaborate exaggeration is one of the things I love most about his writing. Instead of simply stating that George Finch's future mother-in-law was giving him dirty looks at the dinner table, Wodehouse put it this way:
It was the kind of look which Sisera might have surprised in the eye of Jael the wi
Aug 14, 2013 Davidg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The short opening chapter of just over three lines sets the scene in the Sheridan Arpartment House in New York. The second paragraph then commences:

"The Sheridan stands in the heart of New York's Bohemian and artistic quarter. If you threw a brick from any of its windows, you would be certain to brain some rising young interior decorator, some Vorticist sculptor or a writer of revolutionary version libre. And a very good thing too."

Instantly you know you are in safe hands and Wodehouse is on fo
Max Brown
Sep 17, 2015 Max Brown rated it it was amazing
I think this novel is an adaptation from a musical so has the flavour of entrances and exits. The departure of Fanny complete with fake pearls is a bit of a giveaway
Feb 09, 2015 Erica rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Picked up an ancient copy of 'The Small Bachelor' at Shakespeare&Co in Paris. It's strange Wodehouse, certainly a step away from his Jeeves or Drones stories, but full of the same themes of the upper class, instant love, and a comedy of errors. Wodehouse spent time in the USA and was fascinated by the vernacular, but wasn't really on point here. One of the main characters, the typical upper-class father who gambled away his money, is obsessed with going west, but is a New Yorker at heart. Hi ...more
Brea Jewell
May 04, 2016 Brea Jewell rated it it was amazing
I am completely in love with P.G.Wodehouse and have been for years! As a writer he is so incredibly talented. Wodehouse has the incredible ability to immerse you into the most wonderful completely ludicrous world. If you are ever in need of a pick me up or simply need to read. laugh out loud kind of book this one is for you. My top 5 Wodehouse reads for sure!
Jun 08, 2014 Titta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I heard about The Small Bachelor from a friend that recommended P.G. Woodehouse for me. I had know about the Jeeves, the butler character that the author had created but never realized that it was Woodehouse. I found this book from my uni's small take and bring back a book - shelf and decided to give it a try. And I am glad I did. The Small Bachelor is really enjoyable and the writer uses really diverse English in his writing.

The Small Bachelor is based on the America during the Prohibition. Ge
Nov 19, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
this was my first p. g. wodehouse book. though it wasn't part of any of the jeeves series, i feel like i at least got a taste of wodehouse's style. this novel was light and funny and endlessly optimistic about love and circumstance. i quite enjoyed it as a quick fun read. i particularly liked the cover illustration of the edition i had, which displayed a very tiny, cute, bespectacled bachelor man holding dumbbells on the roof of his nyc apt. super cute.
Mar 16, 2015 Tom rated it really liked it
My tastes normally run to Wodehouse's early 'English' novels (especially anything involving Jeeves and Wooster) rather than his later 'American' books. This outing, however, set in New York City at the height of Prohibition, finds the author in his finest form. Full of vivid one-liners, wit and style, and it all builds up to a lengthy finale full of twists, turns, reversals, police raids, fire escapes and people hiding under beds.

As usual, Wodehouse eschews any sort of social commentary, his on
Mar 10, 2016 Lynette rated it liked it
George Finch lives in a small bachelor apartment in NYC, at the Sheridan: "If you threw a brick from any of its windows, you would be certain to brain some rising young interior decorator, some Vorticist sculptor or a writer of revolutionary vers libre. And a good thing, too." This small bachelor falls in love with Molly Waddington, whose father, Sigsbee H. Waddington, longs to move out west where men are men. The usual complications ensue, but all comes out happily, except perhaps for Garroway, ...more
Fazackerly Toast
Dec 13, 2013 Fazackerly Toast rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
a delicious farce with all the Wodehouse ingredients gradually falling into place.
Another wonderful one-off Wodehouse novel (not part of a series). Once again there is love in the air, a disapproving matron, butlers, and jewelry thrift. The criminals have hearts of gold and behave nobly. And, by the end, pretty much everyone gets his or her heart`s desire. Yes, another musical comedy production without the music.

The small bachelor of the title is not a person. It is a tiny, utilitarian apartment in New York City. The novel passes through three apartments in a building of smal
Nina Ivanova
Apr 13, 2013 Nina Ivanova rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, british
Full review/Пълно ревю - Bla bla bla

"Нюйоркски гении" ни среща с леко смотания Джордж Финч, който съхне и вехне по красивата Моли. Когато най-накрая узнава, че всъщност вече е спечелил сърцето и, оказва се, че друго зло стои на пътя им - а по-точно страховитата и мащеха. В цялата история се замесват не един нюйоркски гений - докато Джордж сам се опитва да се оправи, на помощ му се притича приятеля му Биймиш, автор на брошури със съвети. Икономът на Джордж и бивш джебчия има свои, макар и съвсем
Ian Wood
Nov 07, 2007 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
‘The Small Bachelor’ is a Wodehouse farce spanning a larger canvas than usual. George Finch has fallen in love with Molly Waddington and intends to marry her despite her mothers ‘reservations.’ Mrs Waddington wants Molly to marry Lord Hunstanton. Hamilton Beamish has fallen in love with Mrs Waddington’s fortune teller and intends to marry her despite his distrust of love at first sight. George’s ex-con Valet has managed to marry his sweetheart pickpocket Fanny but she has disappeared from her ho ...more
Martin Allen
Dec 07, 2015 Martin Allen rated it it was amazing
PG Wodehouse can tie the most complicated of plot-knots over the course of 300 pages and then unravel it all satisfactorily in a four-page denouement.

My favourite non-Jeeves&Wooster PG Wodehouse book so far. Zipped along with all the usual situational farce you'd expect, but where others of his, whilst great reads in their own right, have sometimes just lacked the dazzling spark of Jeeves and Wooster stories (eg The Girl In Blue and The Adventures of Sally), this one didn't.

He really is on
Mar 20, 2015 John rated it really liked it
Late 1920s Wodehouse so this one's on good form. It's a farce (apparently it started as the book for a musical comedy) with the usual society ladies, henpecked husbands, silly ass English milords, sweet young things and a sniffy butler. Once again, though, the whole thing turns on some stolen jewellery. Just how many times did Wodehouse use this particular plot device - quite naughty really.
Oct 29, 2014 E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite up to the Jeeves/Bertie Wooster standard, perhaps because it was based on a musical that Wodehouse co-wrote with another gent. It's also difficult to match the running first-person internal dialogue of the Wooster series.

But still, this is good stuff. A typical Wodehousian conflagration of coincidences, hijinks, and derring-do.
Suriya Gayathri
Feb 20, 2014 Suriya Gayathri rated it really liked it
It's an enjoyable light read and is a true page-turner. This may be one of the books which I read with an interesting and rapid pulse. The plot is pretty neat, humorous and simple. I’ve ordered more of his books as the author becomes one of my favourites.
May 01, 2014 Lani rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Fun but not really my cup of tea. It felt like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a novel or a play. A nice read it for book club.
Victoria Jackson
Apr 08, 2016 Victoria Jackson rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, wodehouse
Quite funny, but not his funniest. New York setting, George Finch the hero is a contradiction - an artist who is quite wealthy.
Mar 14, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, s, male-author
After a lot of recent moaning about PG Wodehouse and the similarities of some of the stories, I actually found myself enjoying this book and wanting to see if the wedding between the couples actually went ahead and if Sigsby Waddington got his necklace and his money back. The side characters made me laugh (especially the pomposity of Mrs Waddington), and didn’t seem to be quite so idiotic as ones in other novels. I think I may have stereotyped the accents in my head a little but there is not muc ...more
Eme A
Una comedia coral de enredo con sátira social al más puro estilo Wodehouse. Mola
Ram Kaushik
Aug 22, 2014 Ram Kaushik rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Classic Wodehouse full of delicious word-plays and a hilarious plot.
Mar 06, 2015 Roshni rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy-and-humor
An enjoyable read full of Wodehouse's typical word plays
Jan 29, 2016 Gg rated it really liked it
Fantastic book. Highly readable
Barun Patra
Not his best work....
Nov 20, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it
And why not?
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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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“Marriage is not a process for prolonging the life of love, sir. It merely mummifies its corpse.” 167 likes
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