What I learned from reading Wodehouse

I’ve read several (well, that might be a bit of a stretch, I’m now on my fourth) books by PG Wodehouse in the past year, and I’ve quite enjoyed them all.

As much as I knew I wanted to read Wodehouse — particularly Jeeves and Wooster, but you start where you can sometimes — I was much more interested in his novels than the short stories. Because I’ve disliked pretty much every encounter I’ve had with a short story in the past decade plus. I was reading greats: Flannery O’Conner and Tobias Wolff, to name two, but I didn’t like ’em. So I thought I had developed a dislike for the short story form itself.

I’d liked O. Henry in high school, but when I revisited his work more recently, I found it trite, and the form too short for the stories therein.

I’d liked James Joyce’s Dubliners in college, but maybe it was the classroom setting and excellent professor?

But Wodehouse’s stories (I’ve read The Man Upstairs and A Few Quick Ones and I’m now reading Plum Pie) have universally thrilled. They don’t all have me laughing out loud, but a fair number do. I love the writing and language, the reappearing characters and stages, and I like the stories.

The one novel I’ve read so far is Frozen Assets, and I loved it, too.

Side note: I’ve fallen in love with The Overlook Press’s Collector’s Wodehouse editions of these books. I love the diminutive hardcover formats, the striped endpapers, the style and colorings of the covers, everything. Thankfully(?) there are many more for me to read!

Wodehouse wrote more than ninety books, so I’ve got plenty of titles from within his repertoire to keep me busy for a while (yay!), but what other short stories / writers do you think I’d enjoy?

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5 responses to “What I learned from reading Wodehouse

  1. I’ve learned that if you’re reading Wodehouse so am I.

  2. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Aw, I’ve never read Wodehouse, but I’m glad to hear that you like his stuff and that he saved the short story for you!

  3. Try any of the early Jeeves novels- they’re hilarious!

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