The Most of P.G. Wodehouse

I've piled up some books to review. Let's dive in shall we?

Today's book is The Most of P.G. Wodehouse by well, P.G. Wodehouse (duh!). Some of you may not recognize the name but will know him as the author of the Jeeves and Wooster stories. I picked this up last summer after my quasi-regular Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy binges. (A series that JP should totally read some day!) Often when I do these I only read the first four books, and then add on the pair of Dirk Gently books depending on mood. But this last time I read Mostly Harmless and The Salmon of Doubt. Douglas Adams called Wodehouse one of the greatest writers in the English language, that's good enough for me to check him out. This was not the first time I had considered reading Wodehouse, but this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Having made the decision to read such a prolific author the next choice is where to begin? This book was positioned as a "best of" sort of title in the Amazon reviews, so it seemed a good place to start. To be honest, I'm not sure it's the best introduction to his work. It contains selections from several of his "themes" - stories from the Drones Club setting, ones about Golf and so forth. Jeeves is the last section of the book and after a few short stories the book contains the complete text of the novel Quick Service

I enjoyed this book overall, but I don't think it really is a "best of". Jeeves is by far the best material and it doesn't start until page 459. Even there, I think the characters get more room to act in the novel, so the best part is saved for last. The Drones Club section that opens the book was decent, but it was my second least favorite section (Golf being the worst). It's a good survey of the breadth of Wodehouse, but that means you're sampling from a variety of plates. I think on balance I would have rather focused on Blandings or Jeeves and skipped some of the other settings.

I'll read some more Wodehouse in the future. I didn't really get the "best wordsmith of the English language" vibe from most of this, but I did quite like several bits.