The book that changed my life

The book that changed my life was The Most of P.G. Wodehouse. It's a collection of some of Wodehouse's best, funniest stories. It includes works from Wodehouse's major canons of short stories: Jeeves and Wooster, tales of the Drones Club, Mr. Mulliner and the golf stories.

It changed my life for a couple of reasons. First, it's a fantastically funny book, with intricate wordplay, high farce and memorable characters. Second, it introduced me to my favorite author and initiated a devoted love for, and appreciation of, Wodehouse's wonderfully sophisticated writing. It takes a level of genius to make a man being chased by a goose one of the funniest scenes in all of written English prose.

Third, and most importantly, I was given this book at the age of 15 by my father, a man to whom, up to that point, I would not have ascribed much of a sense of humor at all nor any particular remorse at the lack of one, let alone thought of him as someone who had hidden away on his bookshelf one of the funniest anthologies in the universe. He saw that I was a troubled young man and he gave me this book. The lesson I learned from this book, both as a book and as a gift, is that the world around me and the people who inhabit it are vastly more complicated than they might first appear.

Everyone is an ocean, with swells and storms and sunshine and vast, hidden depths that hold secrets no one can ever possibly fully know.

===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.
Like it? Tweet it!


  1. It's amazing what a great book can do at the right time! Funny that you should mention Wodehouse now as just this week my husband finished reading something of his and told me I'd enjoy it. I haven't touched it yet, never read Wodehouse, but it's sitting there on the shelf and if something pops up twice in a week I guess I better take heed.

    By the way, a note about humour and funny scenes...since I first saw it on the 6 minute story site awhile back, I've had this odd scene of a man eating pidgeon while smoking a cigarette stuck in my head. It made me laugh.

    Great post!

  2. I can heartily recommend Wodehouse - he's my favorite author.

    And I'm glad "Cherries on my Plate" stuck with you. That was a fun one to write!

  3. One of those writers on my list. I don't know how I graduated college without ever hearing of him, and now I know I need to sit down with some substantial text and study. Especially since Wodehouse was goshdarned humor! Now further cemented by his influence on you.

  4. I love Wodehouse, but if you want to read someone who can take the language and work it like a goldsmith works gold, you need to read S. J. Perelman ... his "Most" is one of the books that changed my life, from a reading/writing standpoint, anyway.

  5. John: Please do! I know you'll enjoy him.

    Janet: I'll have to check Perelman. In preparation for it, I googled him and found this on wikipedia:Perelman's only attempt at a conventional novel (Dawn Ginsbergh's Revenge) was unsuccessful, and throughout his life he was resentful that authors who wrote in the full-length form of novels received more literary respect (and financial success) than short-form authors like himself, although he openly admired his British rival, P.G. Wodehouse. (


Thank you for leaving a comment. The staff at Landless will treat it with the same care that we would bestow on a newly hatched chick. By the way, no pressure or anything, but have you ever considered subscribing to Landless via RSS?