For a tired mind, these are books that can make a vacation out of a plane ride and a hotel room. In the world of Wodehouse, no one has real problems, Jeeves knows all, and every story is told with charming, self-deprecating cool. Wooster and Jeeves go like this so far:
Very Good, Jeeves 3*
A collection of the short stories that started the series. It’s fun, but the novels work better.
Right Ho, Jeeves 5*
Gussie Fink-Nottle aspires to win Madeleine Bassett’s hand but babbles about newts every time he talks to her. Bertie speaks on Gussie’s behalf, but the drippy Bassett misconstrues — the spectre of this excruciating marriage will haunt several subsequent books. Read for free here.
The Code of the Woosters 5*
Bertie makes his first trip to the Bassett bastion of Totleigh Towers. He’s on a dual mission to pinch the infamous cow creamer and recover a red-hot, engagement-destroying notebook. We meet Roderick Spode of the Black Shorts (“You mean the Black Shirts?” “No, shorts. They were out of shirts.”).
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves 4*
Urgent telegrams call Bertie back to Totleigh Towers to patch up Gussie and Madeleine’s engagement. Also, a hideous black amber statuette will be pinched and re-pinched.
Jeeves and the Tie that Binds 5*
Bertie, Spode, and the Bassett converge at Aunt Dahlia’s estate to help Ginger win the local MP seat. The Junior Ganymede club book, with Jeeves’s eighteen-page account of Bertie’s doings, is dangerously in circulation.
Jeeves in the Morning 5*
This episode involves the little cottage of Wee Nooke and a wee arsonist. Florence Craye’s little brother, Edwin the boy scout from hell, really is the piece de resistance in the ghastly Uncle Percy-Aunt Agatha blended family.
The Return of Jeeves 3*
This is Jeeves without Wooster. Funny? Yes. But still…where’s Bertie? The Earl of Towcester (pronounced “Toaster”) gets into amusing scrapes, but what is the point of having only half the duo?