Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Man With Two Left Feet (1917)

The Man With Two Left Feet. P.G. Wodehouse. 1917. 200 pages.

I loved this collection of P.G. Wodehouse short stories. These thirteen short stories had originally appeared in various magazines in both the UK and US before being published in book form in 1917. The stories: "Bill The Bloodhound," "Extricating Young Gussie," Wilton's Holiday," "The Mixer: He Meets a Shy Gentleman," "The Mixer: He Moves In Society," "Crowned Heads," "At Geisenheimer's," "The Making of Mac's," "One Touch of Nature," "Black for Luck," "The Romance of an Ugly Policeman," "A Sea of Troubles," and "The Man With Two Left Feet."

Some of the stories are set in America, other stories are set in England. A few of these stories even have animal narrators: that's how diverse these stories are! (The two "Mixer" stories are narrated by a dog.) "Black for Luck" stars a traveling black cat that may or may bring luck with him.

I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Wodehouse's writing style. "Extricating Young Gussie," introduces Bertie and Jeeves. Readers will be treated to plenty of stories starring these two in following books. "Bill the Bloodhound" was an interesting "detective" story of sorts. It starring a detective that isn't clever and brilliant, but just a likable guy who may not be good at his job but is fun to know anyway. "Wilton's Holiday" and "The Man With Two Left Feet" are short stories with a dancing theme. I really, really enjoyed both of those. In "Wilton's Holiday," readers meet a professional dancer who entertains some out of town visitors. The husband has been to New York before and is very proud of himself and confident that he knows everything there is to know. The dancer has pity on his poor wife who is sitting in the background watching her husband behave foolishly. He won't dance with her because she's never been to New York before and couldn't possibly dance well enough to be seen in public. She goes to speak with the wife and convinces her to dance with someone else, to even enter a dance competition....It is a story well worth reading! "The Man With Two Left Feet" is also a story about a newly married couple. The man who cannot dance falls in love with a beautiful woman; after a year of marriage he realizes that his wife may miss not being able to go out and go dancing. He begins to secretly take dance lessons. It does not go well. But he's persistent. The wife meanwhile wonders why her husband is acting so strange and has changed his habits... It's also a fun story, in a way, because the man is reading his way through the encyclopedia.

I enjoyed so many of these stories! I would definitely recommend this one!

Read The Man With Two Left Feet
  • If you love short stories
  • If you hate short stories
  • If you enjoy humorous stories
  • If you enjoy great writing, great storytelling

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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