Customer Reviews for

The Code of the Woosters

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Hilarious Adventure of Buffoons

    Bertie Wooster has had more than his share of trouble from well-meaning and ill-meaning aunts over the years, and while that sort of trouble disturbs him somewhat in this novel, he must deal more with the sort of trouble that comes from beautiful young women wanting to marry his friends.

    For example, Madeline Bassett, who is "undeniably of attractive exterior-slim, svelte, if that's the word, and bountifully equipped with golden hair and all the fixings." This beautiful thing plans to marry Bertie's friend, Augustus Fink-Nottle or Gussie, which is not a settled matter owing to her father's disapproval of him. If she cannot marry Gussie, however, she is resigned to marrying Bertie. Not that he wants to marry her, but somehow Madeline's got it locked between the ears that Bertie wants to marry her and is only deferring to Gussie, who got to her first. If there's one thing at which Bertie is extremely bad, it is convincing women he does not want to marry them once they've decided he does.

    And then there's Stiffy, or Stephanie Byng, who wants to marry Bertie's old college buddy, Harold "Old Stinker" Pinker. That arrangement isn't looking good either, because her uncle, Madeline's father, isn't going to allow to two undesirable men to marry the girls of his charge in one weekend, if ever. So Stiffy asks Bertie to stage a situation for Harold to impress himself on her uncle, and those types of things never work out as planned. This one actually calls for blood, so Bertie isn't eager to give it his all.

    But he could give them all up and leave the country or at least Totleigh Towers, if only his favorite aunt hadn't forced him into a difficult task. He must pinch a silver cow creamer. If he fails to abscond with the ghastly antique, his aunt will bar him from her house and her famous chef's delicious meals; but if he does steal the cow-shaped server, no lack of evidence to the deed will prevent him from being pounded by Roderick Spode, a close friend to the owner of the desired silver creamer.

    "Don't you ever read the papers?" Gussie asks. "Roderick Spode is the founder and head of the Saviours of Britain, a Fascist organization better known as the Black Shorts. His general idea, if her doesn't get knocked on the head with a bottle in one of the frequent brawls in which he and his followers indulge, is to make himself a Dictator. . . . He and his adherents wear black shorts."

    "Footer bags, you mean?"

    "Yes."

    "How perfectly foul." Of course, such a man is more than able to deliver a good pounding to creamer stealers.

    Through it all, Bertram Wooster lives up to his family code to never leave a friend in the lurch, even at personal cost. As with almost everything I've read by Wodehouse, this book doesn't not take all the predictable turns, and even when you know what's going to happen, it's hilarious to follow it through

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    A fun read.

    This was my first reading of Wodehouse and I can promise you it won't be my last. There were numerous times I had to put the book down because I was literally laughing out loud. It was such a joy reading this book. I'm giddy with the knowledge there are so many more of his stories for me to enjoy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2003

    Absolutely wonderful

    I have listened to this tape many times over and every time laugh out loud. The plot is completely ridiculous: everyone chasing after a silver cow creamer and Spode's plan to become a dictator and leading a group called the 'Black Shorts' because all the Shirts were taken. Jonathan Cecil does an excellent job narrating. I highly recommend this book especially on long car rides.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2014

    So funny!!!

    Especially Bertie's description of Jeeves entering and exiting the room

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Funny!!! Great read!!!

    What a delight! Highly recommended. Another great serious novel is "The Partisan" by a new author - William Jarvis. Both deserve A+++++

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2006

    Peak Wodehouse

    This is the culmination of P. G. Wodehouse's comic art. It is one of his Jeeves novels, which, of course, feature Bertie Wooster, an impossibly upper-class slacker, and his butler, Jeeves, who has almost godlike powers of diplomacy, which he uses to rescue Bertie from dreadful situations. Wodehouse was about sixty when he wrote this, and he had about forty novels already under his belt. Altogether he wrote about ninety, living, as he did, until the age of ninety-three. Mystery writers and science fiction authors can churn books out rapidly, but that Wodehouse wrote comedic novels at such a rate makes him unique. That about twenty of his novels are laugh-out loud funny is extraordinary. I can't really describe how light and airy and fairly wicked this book is. I can only recommend it to anybody who loves the old screwball comedies. You'll be knocked out.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    'Never Let a Pal Down'

    All of the P.G. Wodehouse novels about Bertram ('Bertie') Wooster and his gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves, are funny. Some are reasonably complicated in their plots. But none compare to this classic in the series. From the beginning, Bertie is up against impossible odds. Sent by his Aunt Dahlia to sneer at a Cow Creamer, Bertie dangerously bumps into Sir Watkyn Bassett, the magistrate who once fined him five guineas for copping a policeman's helmet on Boat Race night, and Roderick Spode, Britain's aspiring fascist dictator. The only trouble in this encounter is that Bertie is clutching the Cow Creamer on the sidewalk after having tripped on a cat and falling through the front door, and Sir Watkyn recognizes him as a former criminal. Barely escaping arrest on the spot, Bertie returns home to find that Aunt Dahlia wants him to debark immediately for Totley Towers where Sir Watkyn has just taken the Cow Creamer he has purchased after pulling a ruse on Uncle Tom. When there, Bertie is to steal the Cow Creamer. At the same time, he receives urgent telegrams from his old pal, Gussie Fink-Nottle, to come to Totley Towers to save his engagement to Madeleine Bassett. Bertie feels like he is being sent into the jaws of death. Jeeves immediately fetches up a plot to get Madeleine Bassett, to whom he has been affianced twice, to invite Bertie to her father's home. Upon arriving, Sir Watkyn and Roderick Spode immediately catch him holding the Cow Creamer. Sir Watkyn threatens years in jail, until Madeleine comes in to rescue him. But Sir Watkyn proceeds to assume that everything that goes wrong from then is due to Bertie. For once, Bertie is the innocent party. But he takes the rap anyway, because of the code of the Woosters, never let a pal down. Never has anyone had a goofier set of pals. Gussie Fink-Nottle has developed spiritually so that he has less fear, but his method of achieving this soon puts him in peril. Stephanie 'Stiffy' Byng, Sir Watkyn's niece, has to be the goofiest acquaintance that Bertie has. She is a one-woman wrecking machine for creating havoc. Her fiance, another old pal of Bertie's, 'Stinker' Pinker, the local curate, is only slightly better. Just when you cannot see any way that Bertie can avoid gaol, Jeeves comes up with one brilliant plan after another. It's truly awe-inspiring as well as side-splittingly funny. P.G. Wodehouse remarked that he preferred to write as though the subject were musical comedy, and he has certainly captured that mood here at its vibrant best. You'll be on the edge of your chair and trying to avoid falling on the floor laughing at the same time. After you've followed more twists and turns than existed in the Labyrinth at Crete, consider how far you would go to save a pal . . . or to keep a secret . . . or to protect a loved one. What should the personal code be? Be generous with your friends and to all humankind. Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2000

    Fourth time read in 20 years

    This Overlook Press version is elegant, having a blank light blue cloth cover with tasteful gold lettering of the title and author on the spine only. It's small and light with a nice feel. Leave it setting around, the look and feel invite a Wodehouse uninitiate to pick up and read. That's the way I discovered Wodehouse, one of the pleasant surprises of my life. I like to read 'Right Ho, Jeeves' before 'Code of the Woosters.' It's not as funny but gets you into the Wodehouse rhythm, has classic scenes of its own, and plot and character-wise leads into 'Code.' Overlook Press just published both, the first of a forthcoming set. They are my two favorites, showing me Overlook knows their Wodehouse. In these two there is an effortless quality in the sentences, plot twistings, and humor. The laughter of the reader is genuine, not forced. The 'Englishness' of Bertie and Jeeves is `just right.¿ Even Wodehouse, the master, didn¿t always achieve these. There is one unfortunate, strainingly jocular reference to black people in each book. In 'Code of the Woosters', Bertie describes in his involved, lingering way someone seen in shadows as resembling a negress. In 'Right Ho, Jeeves' there is a disparaging play on the name Uncle Tom, Aunt Dahlia's husband. Colloquialisms, slang, and cool expressions of the day are very dated but surprisingly don't detract much or even remind the reader overly of the age of the writing. In any case, they are numerous, varied and inventive. The 'main course' of Wodehouse, the measured, balanced, leisurely, complicated and amazingly humorous sentences, are here in generous portion. One might be a paragraph or half a page long and seems to reach back in time to include the whole history of the topic until finally coming to the point in, say, the last six or seven words. That point is like a punchline of a joke and you never know what it will be, where Bertie is going with his well-constructed rambling. Jeeves is the great presence in the books, but mostly an unseen presence. His total dialogue is sparse, his appearances few and brief (he's always 'shimmering out' after a few lines), but he exists as powerfully as Bertie, who is always speaking.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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