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.
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