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The Man with Two Left Feet, and Other Stories (Jeeves 0.5)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  2,247 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
This collection of short stories is a good example of early Wodehouse. It is here that Jeeves makes his first appearance with these unremarkable words: "Mrs. Gregson to see you, sir." Years later, when Jeeves became a household name, Wodehouse said he blushed to think of the off-hand way he had treated the man at their first encounter...In the story "Extricating Young Guss ...more
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Public Domain Books (first published 1917)
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Evgeny
Mar 02, 2017 Evgeny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
This is a collection of 12 short stories from one of the grand-master humorist. The blurb says, "a good example of early Wodehouse". If this is a good example I really do not want to see a bad example as I was left very much underwhelmed. The vast majority of the stories (around 8 of them) can be called cute, but nothing to write home about. These reminded me of O. Henry: some of his tales can be called the same. A couple of the stories from this book left me completely cold - the cute ones I ju ...more
Jason Koivu
I'm on jury duty. A particularly nasty case. I needed something light, humorous and non-taxing to take my mind off of it this weekend. Enter P.G. Wodehouse!

Wodehouse is my old fallback when I need a pick-me-up. His comical characters, daffy slapstick and witty turns of phrase threaten to induce knee slaps and a general feeling of being tickled in the best possible way.

The Man With Two Left Feet and Other Stories is a very precise title. There's the titular (tee-hee..."tit") short story, which wr
...more
F.R.
May 14, 2015 F.R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really early Wodehouse here, this collection might even count as juvenilia. No Wodehouse is pointless to read, but here we’re looking at the development of The Master - the faltering, sometimes strange steps of The Master - rather than The Master himself. As usual I’ve reviewed each tale as I've come to it:

Bill the Bloodhound
The lead character’s name is actually Henry, but I remember from Robert McCrum’s Wodehouse biography that Bill was the name of Wodehouse’s best friend and his go to when be
...more
Helle
Apr 26, 2015 Helle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, english
I’m sorry to say that this collection of short stories was a bit of a disappointment after my enthusiastic encounter with the Jeeves & Wooster stories. These stories were extremely varied; some of them were fun and entertaining, but some were a bit bland and left little impression on me. They were well written but seemed like tentative attempts on Wodehouse’s part to find out in which direction he was going to take his writing. The collection is described as the first in which we meet Bertie ...more
Dan Schwent
The stories ranged from mediocre to good. My favorite was probably The Mixer, which was about a dog, told from the dog's point of view.
Robert
Aug 19, 2009 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some authors are wonderfully reliable. You can turn to Jane Austen for genteel romance. You can trust Edgar Allen Poe to say something macabre. Roald Dahl's stories for grownups will have a twist in them.

I turn to P.G. Wodehouse for humor, clever language, and the knowledge that everything will turn out well in the end, even if I don't know how he'll get there.

The Man With Two Left Feet and Other Stories did not disappoint in this regard. Clever, clever language (the man could put together a sen
...more
Rebecca
Wodehouse is endlessly charming in this collection of short stories. The breezy tone coupled with now-historical details makes humor writing seem somehow edifying. Look, you're being cultured!

There do seem to be a few repetitive themes here. I'm not sure if it's an indication of Wodehouse's fixations or that the editor deliberately grouped the stories together. We repeatedly examine the attraction of life onstage and the exhaustion of women whose job it is to dance with men in dance halls. One s
...more
Libbeth
Oct 21, 2008 Libbeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1982-to-1989, 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
...more
Nancy Oakes
Nov 10, 2016 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-fiction
I bought this book because it's got the first mention of Jeeves and Wooster in it -- short story called "Extricating Young Gussie." It's typical Bertie gets screwed over while on a mission for Aunt Agatha, and it's entertaining for sure. However, the other stories are also quite good, my favorite being "One Touch of Nature," where a huge fan of baseball goes to some interesting lengths to protect the ultimate baseball fan. Another one that's excellent is "At Geisenheimer's," which brought out th ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ

This is a wonderful collection of thirteen stories. Some are silly, some are bitter-sweet, but all have a good ending. Anyone in need of a light book, this could be it. Even when they start as sad stories, each ends with a wonderful note. A hopeful note.

Some stories I really liked and some I loved.

BILL THE BLOODHOUND - a funny story about a detective (sort of) finding his true calling.

"There might be detectives whose work was above this reproach, but he was a confirmed creeper, and he knew it.

...more
Anna
Feb 08, 2010 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wodehouse described his writing as musical theater without the music, and that's what this set of short stories is. It's delightful, delicious, and charming, but also silly, whimsical, and light. But I haven't laughed so much at an adult book in a long time. And what a vocabulary! So fun to see his wizardry with words. It was refreshing to read such clean, profanity/sex/violence free stories. Maybe that's why I like the classics so much. I need to read more by this guy!
Gemma Alexander
Feb 03, 2011 Gemma Alexander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was never satisfied with the definition of irony in my high school literature classes. "The opposite of what you would expect to happen." In the late 20th century, irony IS what you expect. How refreshing then, to read Wodehouse; a very good writer who predates the Irony Age. The end result - well written stories with happy endings. Hallelujah.
Ian Wood
Sep 23, 2007 Ian Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to read Wodehouse finding his feet
Shelves: p-g-wodehouse
The Man with Two Left feet is Wodehouse’s second collection of short stories after graduating from the school stories and carries on in much the same fashion as its predecessor The Man Upstairs. The Quality does again vary from story to story but the good far outweighs the poor and the Wodehouse genius is definitely making its presence felt although still not as pronounced as it would later become.

In the Title story the man with two left feet is concerned that his wife is bored due to his inabil
...more
Jeff Miller
Dec 03, 2010 Jeff Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Available on Project Gutenberg and Librivox

A nice collection of Wodehouse short stories.

Most of the stories follow a common pattern for Wodehouse, 1) boy meets girl 2) Problem keeps them separated 3) Problem resolved in often comedic fashion. Come to think of it this is pretty much the patter for all of his books, though in the case of the Jeeves novels they contain that but also it's antithesis of Bertie running away from a romantic entanglement. Wodehouse as the master can take the simplest st
...more
Jane Hoppe
Apr 20, 2011 Jane Hoppe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Man with Two Left Feet is a delightful collection of 13 short stories by P.G. Wodehouse. Each is clever and witty. Two are written from a dog’s point of view, which I appreciated, since my dog Charlie blogs (http://dogblog1.blogspot.com/). I loved that the dog calls himself a “mixer,” since my dog likes people, too; and it was so funny how the mixer’s sensitivity to the “shyness” of a gentleman carried the story. The little romances were sweet. “At Geisenheimer’s” was my favorite. I was hopi ...more
Bill
I have to say this is a perfect little book. As I wondered what to rate it, I thought, 'well, they're nice stories, they make me feel good, they are perfectly written.....' It has to be 5-stars. I've read a few of Wodehouse's books, particularly enjoy the whimsy of his Jeeves and Wooster stories. This collection contains one story involving Bertie Wooster, in which Bertie is sent to New York to extricate his cousin from an impending marriage with a 'dance-hall' girl. For once Jeeves play almost ...more
Donna
I first heard about P.G. Wodehouse in an interview of Hugh Laurie's in which he claimed that reading Wodehouse novels saved his life. I was intrigued. Who was this Wodehouse, and what about him made his novels special?

My curiosity (and my overwhelming fannish love for Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry) led me to watch all of Jeeves and Wooster, loving every minute of it. I read several Jeeves and Wooster books as well as one or two about Psmith and Blandings Castle. I love that the characters are all
...more
Glen Engel-Cox
Another collection of Wodehouse stories, only one of which ("Extricating Young Gussie") is a Bertie Wooster story. Reading these stories at the same time as a Theodore Sturgeon volume of short stories constantly had me drawing comparisons between the two writers. Wodehouse never wrote fantasy per se (that is, Bertie Wooster never encountered a genie or a god in his garden), but in truth his stories were always fantastical. As commentators have said, the idyllic world of young men in spats and au ...more
Ian
Jul 26, 2013 Ian rated it liked it
Entertaining, from an historical perspective as well as giving us the first glimpse of Bertie Wooster (although with a different name). Wodehouse's skill with plots is evident in many of the stories as well. His writing is quite dated but no less readable for that - it may appear light and disposable but the very delicacy of the prose is its charm. "Extricating Young Gussie" stands out of the collection and Bertie appears to emerge fully formed, it's no surprise he went on to appear so often.

I f
...more
Bookworm1858
Jul 10, 2010 Bookworm1858 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
The Man With Two Left Feet and Other Stories by PG Wodehouse
First Published in 1917
Short Stories; Humor
4/5 stars

Source: Through Daily Lit

Summary: A collection of stories, including the first appearance in print of the characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster.

Thoughts: I decided to give this a read because I've never read any Wodehouse and I wanted to try Daily Lit through my google reader. Unfortunately for me, it is not a method that seems to work well. Some days I wouldn't have time to read it so
...more
Natalia
Jan 15, 2009 Natalia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humor
Shelves: read-by-email, 2009
This was my first introduction to P.G. Wodehouse, and I am kicking myself for not having sought out his books earlier. This collection of short stories is a little uneven when it comes to the quality of each individual story, but I was consistently delighted by the wordplay and turns of phrase throughout the entire collection.

Over and over, Wodehouse is able to sum up something like someone's appearance, dancing ability or state of mind in a single pithy, colorful, and unexpected simile.

Many of
...more
Megan
I don't gravitate toward short stories; if I'm going to care about characters, I want to invest my interest in more than just a few thousand words. I did, however, want to read this collection because it contains the first Bertie Wooster story, and if anyone can cut to the quick with characters, it's Wodehouse. There's no wishy-washiness here; call Wodehouse's characters two-dimensional if you want, but he knows how to work and use characters who are crystal clear and crystal sharp. While there ...more
Shitikanth Kashyap
I had picked this book up primarily to read 'Extracting Young Gussie', the story where the beloved Jeeves and Bertie Wooster duo are first introduced. Jeeves, however, isn't quite himself and serving tea is about all the action that he gets in this story. Bertie, who is a Mannering-Phipps and not a Wooster, still refers to Jeeves as "my man", but otherwise there is no sign that Jeeves is going to be something special. (Perhaps Wodehouse was still formulating his idea of a genius valet.)

Anyhow, t
...more
CJ Bowen
Jul 10, 2009 CJ Bowen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful stuff, although not as polished as Wodehouse's later works. Some of the stories are quite unlike the usual Jeeves & Wooster or Blandings stories, so look elsewhere if you want classic P.G.. The final story hit unusually close to home. Although I never met Wodehouse, he somehow peered into my soul like a thankless stableman examining the beak of an equestrian donation. I am the man with two left feet, happily spending my evenings with Med-Mum, or with another Wodehouse.

Re-read Octo
...more
Michael
Feb 15, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What Can I Say? It's Wodehouse

I had never read a Jeeves-less Wodehouse book before, but I will again as soon as I can. All the stories were good reads, and sly morality tales as well. There's something worth learning from each. My personal favorite was the one which looked at the training of a hard-luck puppy from the viewpoint of the puppy. The moral of the story: none of us chooses the circumstances of our birth so none of us has a right to blame the victim of unfortunate circumstances.
Gerald Sinstadt
For a life-long admirer of Wodehouse, it is painful to award only two stars. However, it has to be said that this collection of early short stories falls a long way short of the much-loved major works.

There are barely embellished romances with just the occasional felicitous phrase to hint at the later works, and there is a longish story told in the first person by a dog which is simply unworthy.

Chris
May 03, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
Not Wodehouse's best work. I loved Bertie Wooster's caper in Extricating Young Gussie (the only Jeeves and Wooster story in this collection), and I enjoyed both At Geisenheimer's and The Mixer despite their complete predictability.
The rest of the stories are mostly forgettable, though I appreciate the way Wodehouse is able to characterize very below-average people as likable protagonists.
Topher
The first Jeeves and Wooster story (a short story) appears in this collection. I generally found the stories amusing (and Jeeves & Wooster is definitely the best of them), though some were a bit bittersweet and a few were nearly incomprehensible (he chokes her, they don't speak, then they get married?!?!??!?) Jeeves&Wooster have been on my list to read for quite a while now, and I thought it was time to move forward with something that wasn't urban fantasy
Oluchi
Dec 08, 2015 Oluchi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This contains Bertie's debut story (under the family name of Mannering-Phipps however), as well a medley of other tales. Apart from 'Extricating Young Gussie', I have to say none of them have the same kind of flair as later works by Wodehouse. Still, it makes for an interesting, occasionally funny read. Especially The Mixer, told from...wait for it... a dog's perspective! And the dog does sound a bit like Bertie...
Sarah Asarnow
Jul 20, 2011 Sarah Asarnow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read it for the first Jeeves and Wooster, but thoroughly enjoyed the whole. Isn't it funny how all the stories' protagonists have the same names? I think that, like Bertie, tommorow I may be in need of a Lighting Whizzer. 3.25am

I also like that Wodehouse continuously reuses the same names for his characters, most often Henry and Kate. Economy of name choice adds a certain something to the collection of stories. 7.45 07.24.11
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Goodreads Librari...: edition not included 2 17 Feb 06, 2015 07:11AM  
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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 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
More about P.G. Wodehouse...

Other Books in the Series

Jeeves (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1)
  • The Inimitable Jeeves (Jeeves, #2)
  • Carry on, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3)
  • Very Good, Jeeves! (Jeeves, #4)
  • Thank You, Jeeves (Jeeves, #5)
  • Right Ho, Jeeves (Jeeves, #6)
  • The Code of the Woosters (Jeeves, #7)
  • Joy in the Morning (Jeeves, #8)
  • The Mating Season (Jeeves, #9)
  • Ring for Jeeves (Jeeves, #10)

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“It's a funny thing about looking for things. If you hunt for a needle in a haystack you don't find it. If you don't give a darn whether you ever see the needle or not it runs into you the first time you lean against the stack.” 51 likes
“He was one of those earnest, persevering dancers--the kind that have taken twelve correspondence lessons.” 23 likes
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