After many years of reading Wodehouse books in a scatter-shot fashion, I picked a 1917 collection of his short stories titled The Man with Two Left Feet. I chose this one particularly because I learnt that it features the first appearance of the inimitable Wooster and Jeeves. The 13 stories in this book are mostly lighthearted, a few are sad and cover a spectrum of people and situations, set either in London or New York. But all of them have the Wodehouse stamp: a quirky hand-of-fate event at the end that sets everything right.
I found a few of the stories worth a note. Extricating Young Gussie has the famous Gussie and Aunt Agatha, in addition to introducing Wooster and Jeeves. There are two stories of life amidst humans from the point-of-view of a puppy titled The Mixer. The first one, where the innocent puppy discovers life with his new master is particularly charming, probably my pick of this book. Almost half the stories deal with love and most of those have that O’Henry feel and twist.
Not having read any short stories of Wodehouse, I must say I was pleasantly surprised to see his range outside of Jeeves. Even in these early works, one can see the appearance of his trademark wit and charm. The collection is suitable for easy noon reading and sure to make you snicker along with the pages.