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Leave it to Psmith

Leave it to Psmith

by P. G. Wodehouse, Wilfrid Sheed (Introduction)
Trade Paperback, 328 pages
Current Retail Price: $13.95

One of the most perennially popular of all the Wodehouse titles, Leave it to Psmith, according to Wilfrid Sheed, "helps to usher in the Wodehouse golden age"—the age of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, Blandings Castle and all the rest, among whom the ingenious Psmith ("The p is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan") is entirely worthy to be counted. A debonair young Englishman who has quit the fish business, "even though there is money in fish," and decided to support himself by doing anything that he is hired to do by anyone, Psmith, wandering in and out of romantic, suspenseful and invariably hilarious situations, it is in the great Wodehouse tradition.

We thought Wodehouse would be fun to read, but he well-exceeds our expectations. This is the first full book our family has read, and we now believe reading him is even better than the Jeeves & Wooster television shows, fun as they are. Wodehouse has a great knack for describing an event without using words you would expect him to. For example, when the "Efficient Baxter" falls down the stairs:

...With stealthy steps he crept to the head of the stairs and descended.

One uses the verb "descend" advisedly, for, what is required is some word suggesting instantaneous activity. About Baxter's progress from the second floor to the first there was nothing halting or hesitating. He, so to speak, did it now. Planting his foot firmly on a golf-ball which the Hon. Freddie Threepwood, who had been practicing putting in the corridor before retiring to bed, had left in his casual fashion just where the steps began, he took the entire staircase in one majestic, volplaning sweep. There were eleven stairs in all separating his landing from the landing below, and the only ones he hit were the third and the tenth. He came to rest with a squattering thud on the lower landing, and for a moment or two the fever of the chase left him...

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Summary: The indomitable Psmith (the p is silent) goes to Blanding Castle.

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