Right Ho Jeeves
There are a great many recordings of P. G. Wodehouse novels available, and include those done by such luminaries as Jonathan Cecil, Richard Briers, Jonathan Keeble and of course Gielgud and Hordern and Fry & Laurie and various others. The actual recordings on some of these are starting to sound a little tired and maybe there’s an opportunity for a complete re-release of the whole Wodehouse canon.
Anyway, it was fun to take on such as project, which I did with some trepidation, but it was suggested to me by Steven Jay Cohen at Listen2ABook, and I recorded it in fairly short order at the start of this year.
I don’t think there are a great many more Jeeves and Wooster books that have fallen into the public domain. This one was published as late as 1933 but there must have been an oversight in terms of copyright renewal and it has been a public domain gem for some time. Hence the number of people who have recorded it.
The book itself is wonderfully structured and has little or no slack within, seeming to drive itself from one disaster to the next like a well oiled machine. The characters are beautifully drawn and appear in their own finely crafted vignettes which are exquisite standalone comedy sketches.
Gussie’s Speech Day prize giver’s performance is a peach and a classic of comedy literature!
The text of the Audiofile review is as follows:
Narrator Greg Wagland delightfully brings the classic duo of Bertie Wooster and his wise butler, Jeeves, to life in this Wodehouse classic. His excellent comic timing makes the most of every one of Bertie’s disastrous plans and not so bons mots. And his depiction of Jeeves has the listener keenly awaiting the brilliant man servant’s every word. Bertie has decided he can solve the romantic problems of his chums Gussie and Tuppy much better than Jeeves can. He puts alcohol in the orange juice of soft-spoken Gussie and provokes a bit of jealousy in Tuppy–with very unintended consequences that are hilarious. Wagland brings out every laugh when besotted and newly verbose Gussie hands out prizes at a boys’ school, giving one of the craziest speeches in comic literature. S.G.B. ©
So maybe I should dig out some more…