Jason Koivu's Reviews > The Code of the Woosters

The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
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Mar 28, 13

bookshelves: comedy, favorites, wodehouses, humor
Read in January, 2009

Classic Wodehouse. It doesn't get any better than this...actually it doesn't get much different than this either.

Perhaps that's not entirely fair. For me at least, The Code of the Woosters contains some of my favorite scenes and some of Wodehouse's most memorable characters. Herein his hero Bertie Wooster is at his daffiest, unable to accomplish the simplest of tasks, berating a cow creamer, without getting himself in thick soup. Soon after he's got a Bassett and that malodorous Spode badgering him to no end, and this is hot off the heels of a binge to-do in honor of his fish-faced friend Gussie Fink-Nottle, the newt fancier. Everything seems to converge upon poor Bertie in a most pitiless way, providing the reader with hoots galore and good old fashioned British hijinks.

To go back to my original statement...The Code of the Woosters, while a good 'un, is not a vast departure from the normal. Book after book Wodehouse churned out pretty much the same story. But it matters not a lick! The sense of humor might put the starch up some people's collars, but it fits me like a worn-in pair of loafers. Not every book's a school prize winner, but I've seldom been disappointed. If you want to give Wodehouse a go, The Code of the Woosters is the stuff to give the troops!
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Comments (showing 1-18)




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message 18: by B0nnie (new) - added it

B0nnie lol


message 17: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl My favorite kind of review - concise, helpful, with a bonus of (not unkind or profane) wit.


Jason Koivu Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "My favorite kind of review - concise, helpful, with a bonus of (not unkind or profane) wit."

I'm glad you liked it and I'm glad it's apparent that I wasn't trying to be overly mean, just a touch critical. I doubt even Wodehouse would disagree fully that his work had a tendency to follow a similar line at times. It's another reason the review is so short, I just flat out can't differentiate one from another having read them years before doing the reviews.


message 15: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl :)


message 14: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Schwent This is my favorite Wodehouse quote:
“A certain critic -- for such men, I regret to say, do exist -- made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.' He has probably by now been eaten by bears, like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha: but if he still survives he will not be able to make a similar charge against Summer Lightning. With my superior intelligence, I have out-generalled the man this time by putting in all the old Wodehouse characters under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy.”


Jason Koivu Dan wrote: "This is my favorite Wodehouse quote:
“A certain critic -- for such men, I regret to say, do exist -- made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse characters un..."


I like that Wodehouse was under no illusions about what he was writing.


message 12: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike Jason wrote: "Dan wrote: "This is my favorite Wodehouse quote:
“A certain critic -- for such men, I regret to say, do exist -- made the nasty remark about my last novel that it contained 'all the old Wodehouse c..."


Nor do his readers. Liking the madcap antics of Bertie is akin to enjoying the music of "The Ramones". If the basic material is good enough then things like "growth" and "change" become unnecessary. It's only in the hands of lesser masters that readers require characters to change as they pass from one volume into the next.

If you "get it", then you are satisfied to enter the "Bertie Zone" no matter how similar the tales are. Wodehouse does "evolve" certain characters or Bertie's relationships, but he does this only enough to whet our interest in the crisis to come.


message 11: by Forrest (new)

Forrest There's a certain comfort in Wodehouse's reliability. I don't mind that many of the stories use many of the same elements. Wodehouse's turns of phrase, combined with Bertie's stupidity, make the consistency enjoyable.


Jason Koivu I love the kooky characters, humor and just general wackiness of it all, but it really is Wodehouse's use of language that does it for me. I really don't care if he recycles the same basic plot over and over. It's the ease of his wordcraft that I come back for. This became apparent to me when I watched the Hugh Laurie/Stephen Fry tv version of the stories. I love those two guys, but the show lacked Wodehouse's way with narrative, which is the heart of the whole thing.


message 9: by Jim (last edited Jan 16, 2013 11:50AM) (new)

Jim the Hugh Laurie/Stephen Fry TV version of the stories lacked Wodehouse's way with narrative

I watched the first episode of a DVD set for this series. Laurie ("House" to most of us Yankees) had no dialog for the first ten minutes - he was merely drunk - very funny.

I lent (gave, really) this set to friend. I should "borrow" it back.

The small bit of Wodehouse I've read was recommended by an old British gent of my acquaintance - Good Stuff! - as our compatriots across-the-pond might say


message 8: by Jim (new)

Jim Project Gutenberg is pretty freakin' amazing.

PGW died in 1975 - and 42 volumes are available in mulitple formats:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/autho...

Jason, can you name some highpoints from this list??


A Damsel in Distress
A Man of Means
A Prefect's Uncle
A Wodehouse Miscellany: Articles & Stories
Alias Windham, Basil
Death at the Excelsior, and Other Stories
Indiscretions of Archie
Jill the Reckless
Love Among the Chickens
Love Among the Chickens
Not George Washington — an Autobiographical Novel
Piccadilly Jim
Psmith in the City
Psmith, Journalist
Right Ho, Jeeves
Something New
Tales of St. Austin's
The Adventures of Sally
The Clicking of Cuthbert
The Gem Collector
The Girl on the Boat
The Gold Bat
The Head of Kay's
The Intrusion of Jimmy
The Little Nugget
The Little Warrior
The Man Upstairs and Other Stories
The Man with Two Left Feet, and Other Stories
The Politeness of Princes, and Other School Stories
The Pothunters
The Prince and Betty
The Swoop! or, How Clarence Saved England: A Tale of the Great Invasion
The White Feather
Three Men and a Maid
Uneasy Money
William Tell Told Again


message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Schwent Not George Washington is the only Wodehouse I've read so far that I don't recommend. A Damsel In Distress, the two Psmith books, and Right Ho Jeeves would be the ones I'd read first on this list. Clicking of Cuthbert is good as well, especially since it made me care about golf while I was reading it.


Jason Koivu I haven't read most of those yet Jim, but of the ones I have, I'd go along with Dan's suggestions, and add an extra vote for Right Ho, Jeeves.


message 5: by Forrest (new)

Forrest The Cat Nappers, which I don't see on the list, is also excellent.


Jason Koivu Forrest wrote: "The Cat Nappers, which I don't see on the list, is also excellent."

I think the list only includes Wodehouse's non-copyrighted material, which is available for free through the Project Gutenberg website.


message 3: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Jason wrote: "Forrest wrote: "The Cat Nappers, which I don't see on the list, is also excellent."

I think the list only includes Wodehouse's non-copyrighted material, which is available for free through the Pro..."


Ah, that makes much more sense! The Cat Nappers is worth the spend. :)


message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Great review but though i have tried, as I have said to Dan , I must be a button or two short of a smoking jacket. He just doesn't grab me. Wodehouse i mean, not Dan.


Jason Koivu Mark wrote: "Great review but though i have tried, as I have said to Dan , I must be a button or two short of a smoking jacket. He just doesn't grab me. Wodehouse i mean, not Dan."

I was gonna say...Dan grabs everybody, so why would he suddenly become particular when it came to Mark Skeltons, or at least this brand of said Skelton?


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