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A Man of Means: Revised Edition of Original Version (Classics To Go)

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“A Man of Means” is a collection of short stories written in collaboration by P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)


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“A Man of Means” is a collection of short stories written in collaboration by P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill. (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

30 review for A Man of Means: Revised Edition of Original Version (Classics To Go)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Asha Seth

    A Man of Means is a collection of six short stories written in collaboration by P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill. The stories all star Roland Bleke, a nondescript young man to whom financial success comes through a series of “lucky” chances, the first from a win in a sweepstake he had forgotten entering. Roland, like many a timid young man seeks love and marriage. In this pursuit his wealth is regularly a mixed blessing. The plot of each story follows its predecessor, sometimes directly, and occ A Man of Means is a collection of six short stories written in collaboration by P. G. Wodehouse and C. H. Bovill. The stories all star Roland Bleke, a nondescript young man to whom financial success comes through a series of “lucky” chances, the first from a win in a sweepstake he had forgotten entering. Roland, like many a timid young man seeks love and marriage. In this pursuit his wealth is regularly a mixed blessing. The plot of each story follows its predecessor, sometimes directly, and occasionally refer back to past events in Bleke’s meteoric career. The writing style is crisp and droll, and shows much of the skill and polish of the later Wodehouse. The disasters that befall the hapless Bleke are entertainingly recounted and his unforeseen rescues surprise and delight. In the character of the butler, Mr Teal, we meet an early draft of the ingenious Jeeves.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jane Lecter

    This is the first audiobook I have ever got through. I say "got through" because I don't like being read to. However, this was quite funny, the chapters were only about 15-25 minutes long and it wasn't a hugely complicated plot so I was able to listen to a chapter to and from my walk to work and enjoy it. This is the first audiobook I have ever got through. I say "got through" because I don't like being read to. However, this was quite funny, the chapters were only about 15-25 minutes long and it wasn't a hugely complicated plot so I was able to listen to a chapter to and from my walk to work and enjoy it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    3.5* These 6 short stories are all about Ronald Bleke who starts off as an unassuming clerk and ends up as a "man of means" through no fault of his own. Fun stories though not quite as good as Wodehouse's best. 3.5* These 6 short stories are all about Ronald Bleke who starts off as an unassuming clerk and ends up as a "man of means" through no fault of his own. Fun stories though not quite as good as Wodehouse's best.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leonardo Etcheto

    Interesting form of a series of stories following the bumbling brilliance of a lottery winner. All he wants is peace and quiet but he keeps getting imbroiled in chaos by his chivalrous treatment of women. I liked that it feels like the stories are going to be about how he gets taken for a ride, but they end up being about how it all works out at the end. Except when he tangles with the servants, they do take him for a ride.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    An early Wodehouse about a poor, helpless soul that the world insists on treating gently-- in fact, getting him out of any scrape he gets into and handing him oodles of money to boot. It's charming, if it doesn't quite survive in our darker age. Nowadays the young feller would have his head handed to him on the proverbial platter of life, right? Or perhaps I'm too cynical for this friendly tale that maintains its belief in good luck and success despite one's best efforts to fail. An early Wodehouse about a poor, helpless soul that the world insists on treating gently-- in fact, getting him out of any scrape he gets into and handing him oodles of money to boot. It's charming, if it doesn't quite survive in our darker age. Nowadays the young feller would have his head handed to him on the proverbial platter of life, right? Or perhaps I'm too cynical for this friendly tale that maintains its belief in good luck and success despite one's best efforts to fail.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Fun and enjoyable - author’s usual. Well narrated (LibriVox). Recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phrodrick

    A Don Quixote like wandering innocent in the world of the moneyed, Bottom Line First: Six short comic misadventures forming a light read. A Man of Means is humorous rather than raucous. For a Wodehouse fan such as myself this is a collection completer of material often hard to find in paper copy. Mine is a Kindle copy. This may make for good bed time stories for the almost to early Harry Potter aged child. As an adult reader I enjoyed these stories but I know PG can do better. Wodehouse's six short A Don Quixote like wandering innocent in the world of the moneyed, Bottom Line First: Six short comic misadventures forming a light read. A Man of Means is humorous rather than raucous. For a Wodehouse fan such as myself this is a collection completer of material often hard to find in paper copy. Mine is a Kindle copy. This may make for good bed time stories for the almost to early Harry Potter aged child. As an adult reader I enjoyed these stories but I know PG can do better. Wodehouse's six short tales of a traveling Innocent, Roland Bleke is our Man of Means. Having been co-written with C. H. Bovill and first published as a magazine serial 1914 they are from after the period Wodehouse would call his apprentice years. So neither exactly early Wodehouse, but neither is it from his prime. There are several aspects that make these connected stories unusual. Unlike many of his earlier books the main character is a young man, not a school boy. There is nothing about boxing or cricket. Unlike many of his more famous stories Roland begins as a working man of few means and no connections. He will come into money and find that this is a mixed blessing. Across six brief stories, barely totaling 90 pages his money will get him into troubles including those he comes through while being oblivious. His several near ruinations often has efforts to skin him doubled back on the would be con artists. He will meet a butler who will resemble Jeeves but with less loyalty towards his employers and social `betters' - having all of the smarts of Jeeves, much of the same cunning, but less interest in the well-being of his young man. There is, as is usual with Wodehouse little in the way of social commentary and no danger of there being any larger morals or didactic efforts. A Man of Means is all comedy and all inconsequential. Just as PG Wodehouse should be

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    Loved the ironic narration style, but every story follows the same story line. Felt sory for the way too naive Mr. Bleke who seems incapable of love and who would lead a happier life as a poor man than as a millionaire.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vijay

    The wodehouse magic is emerging, but one can see why these are the early shorts. Overall, a fun, light read :) The end was excellent!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This was a fun and short collection of stories revolving around Roland Bleke- a man of little intelligence and no backbone, who is terrified of marriage but proposes relatively frequently, and who is constantly getting into scrapes and somehow, by pure luck, generally coming out the better for them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Illiterate

    Early coauthored shorts. Luck favors fools.

  12. 5 out of 5

    LadyS

    This is a book of short stories that features a man named Roland Bleke. Roland seems to find himself in disastrous scrapes especially since becoming wealthy. However, with some ingenuity and a stroke of chance, he escapes unsuitable alliances and investments. The language was witty and lively and my first introduction to the author. T’was too short. I wanted more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joe Stevens

    A Man of Means is a series of six interconnected short stories written in collaboration with Charles H. Bovill. The two men shared Bovill's flat while they along with several other gentlemen were endeavoring to write a musical comedy complete with lyrics. While I don't know the specifics of the collaboration, it seems like CH had probably faded by the last story as it reads a bit like a Wooster goes to Blandings where he meets a butler who takes an interest in his affairs. This butler is far fro A Man of Means is a series of six interconnected short stories written in collaboration with Charles H. Bovill. The two men shared Bovill's flat while they along with several other gentlemen were endeavoring to write a musical comedy complete with lyrics. While I don't know the specifics of the collaboration, it seems like CH had probably faded by the last story as it reads a bit like a Wooster goes to Blandings where he meets a butler who takes an interest in his affairs. This butler is far from the Jeeves model. The earlier stories are moderately entertaining but far from the 'hey look I recognize that as Wodehouse writing' of the final tale. So I suspect that old CH wasn't quite up to the standards of PG who thankfully seemed to have discovered that he worked better as a solo act. While a nice collection these stories can't compete with the Jeeves & Wooster short stories. Since I'm going through the works of PG Wodehouse in order, the most exciting thing for me about this collection was the final period as the next work up is the first Blandings novel.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shyamal

    Entertaining Throughout Can be read in a single sitting. Whole book is divided into 6 short stories and although the stories can be read separately but it's better to go in order starting from 1 to 6 as there are a few references to characters from previous chapters. I read this book after completing a very large uninteresting book and wanted to read something light. This book was just what I needed. Entertaining Throughout Can be read in a single sitting. Whole book is divided into 6 short stories and although the stories can be read separately but it's better to go in order starting from 1 to 6 as there are a few references to characters from previous chapters. I read this book after completing a very large uninteresting book and wanted to read something light. This book was just what I needed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Samia

    This is one of the books from the initial period of Wodehouse’s career, so it is understandably less refined than some of his later works. The subtle tongue-in-cheek humor is present and doesn’t fail to make you smile. The protagonist, the meek and mild Roland, is likeable and hateful at the same time. One cannot help but be astounded by his stupidity and at the same time feel quite sympathetic towards him. An unusual character, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading him.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I listened to this book of short stories while running. They were a perfect, light distraction and the narrator was top notch. As always with Wodehouse, there was comic misunderstandings, wry understatement, and gentle poking at British society. The stories all feature Roland Bleke, who continually lucks into fortune and favor through incompetence or sheer blundering. The tales do follow a bit of a predictable pattern, but are still very amusing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Roland is just an unassuming, easy going guy, who starts running into lucky breaks at gaining money, which he really doesn’t get too awful excited about. The ways he gains his money, tries to spend and invest it, how other less scrupulous characters try to weasel it away from him, and how he falls in love and gets tricked into engagements to women he quickly discovers are totally not his type, all make for great comedy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    khalidah

    Humour At Its Best There is no doubt at all, that of all the humorist in literature, there is no one who has such a marvelous turn of phrase and sense of the ridiculous as P.G. Winehouse.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Short

    This is a collection of short stories featuring Roland Bleke. Roland is not armed with high intelligence or great wit, but he does have some luck. He repeatedly gets entangled in difficult situations, but manages to get out of them by sheer luck. A good read but not the best of Wodehouse.

  20. 5 out of 5

    sankara iyer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The original wodehouse signature is vivid throughout the six stories.Evidently this book is one of his earliest compositions as Jeeves has not taken his birth yet.Very hilarious!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Seth Nelson

    Oh so very funny, but not the best Wodehouse.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    A short and sweet little book that I enjoyed. A couple of the stories were quite humorous, needless to say, it's earned a permanent little home on one of my bookshelves. A short and sweet little book that I enjoyed. A couple of the stories were quite humorous, needless to say, it's earned a permanent little home on one of my bookshelves.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Austenfan

    If you listen to this on LibriVox I highly recommend the warm and amused voice of Tim Bulkeley. Each chapter follows young Roland Bleke’s ups and downs in business and in love.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Prashanth Baskaran

    Wodehouse is Wodehouse, no matter the second collaborator. Just enjoyed the book's warm humour. Wodehouse is Wodehouse, no matter the second collaborator. Just enjoyed the book's warm humour.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Boweavil

    A charming rare early Wodehouse collaboration. Wonderful surprise.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Phil Syphe

    These six connected short stories proved to be an entertaining read. I like how the main character starts out by not wanting much money so as to avoid getting married, only for him to unintentionally keep gaining money and potential brides with the passing of each story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristyn

    I enjoyed the serial nature of the stories.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shikha

    A Man of Means is a collection of short stories written by P.G. Wodehouse and C.H. Bovill. These stories were first published in 1914 in a monthly magazine in the UK called The Strand – about the time of Wodehouse’s rather nascent work like The Little Nugget (1913) and Psmith, Journalist (1915). Since this book displays a style of humor very well associated with the latter Wodehouse novels but missing in both the Wodehouse novels from the same period, it might be the case that this novel was hea A Man of Means is a collection of short stories written by P.G. Wodehouse and C.H. Bovill. These stories were first published in 1914 in a monthly magazine in the UK called The Strand – about the time of Wodehouse’s rather nascent work like The Little Nugget (1913) and Psmith, Journalist (1915). Since this book displays a style of humor very well associated with the latter Wodehouse novels but missing in both the Wodehouse novels from the same period, it might be the case that this novel was heavily influenced by Bovill (or Wodehouse was a natural at writing short stories!). I could not lay my hands on PG Wodehouse: A life in letters to see if he mentions this. I will have to confirm this later. Taking a cue from this suspicion, I was eager to read more Bovill, but it turns out he is a co-author in only one other book. In a departure from typical Wodehouse plots that are centered on a reality-hyperbole like vying for a cow creamer, the short stories in A Man of Means are reminiscent of the early Wodehousian plots which were inspired from real life – his school days and interest in cricket. By the time of writing this novel, he had begun working on musicals, and like in the time to come (refer: Jill the Reckless), he has a very vibrant story based on the life behind the stage in this collection. The stories share a common thread in that the protagonist, Ronald Bleake, finds himself out of love as soon as he falls into it, and sometimes even managing to propose to a girl without going into the trouble of being actually in love with her. The hilarious situations he manages to put himself in – like landing accidentally by a chopper into the tennis court of a fraud financial tycoon, or being misled to fund a political revolution to restore an oust monarch, or tricked into buying a theatre and putting together a revue for it – provide a very colorful and lively background to the in-love-and-out-of-it theme. Each story is as gripping as the previous one. Though one knows what the outcome of the story would be, one cannot comprehend how the hero would be able to extricate himself out of the tangle; and yet, in a style typical of Wodehouse stories, ingenious turn of circumstances with a twist of grey cells yield a happy ending every time. Or does it not? May be sometimes then. This is a perfect Wodehouse 3-4 hours’ worth of reading – a very short, entertaining book to uplift you out of a languid evening, or a rainy day. The book is available for free as part of the Project Gutenberg. The review is from my blog: https://spilledcolors.wordpress.com/2...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I was very pleased to find this free for my Kindle at Project Gutenberg. It's very early Wodehouse; six short stories that, apparently, appeared in magazine form. I had not realised until I started the second one that they all feature the same man - the rather hapless Roland Bleke, who appears first as a nervous 22-year-old clerk. Bizarrely, we meet Roland when he is asking his boss for a salary decrease... he has apparently promised to marry his girlfriend when his salary reaches a certain leve I was very pleased to find this free for my Kindle at Project Gutenberg. It's very early Wodehouse; six short stories that, apparently, appeared in magazine form. I had not realised until I started the second one that they all feature the same man - the rather hapless Roland Bleke, who appears first as a nervous 22-year-old clerk. Bizarrely, we meet Roland when he is asking his boss for a salary decrease... he has apparently promised to marry his girlfriend when his salary reaches a certain level, so wants to ensure that it does not. Unfortunately for perhaps the only man in England who had no desire to rich, Roland finds himself the unexpected winner of more money than he has ever had before, and thus in the clutches of his greedy potential in-laws... The story ends as he makes his dramatic escape, and the second episode begins when he finds himself in a completely new location, taken in - in both senses - by a speculating and somewhat fraudulent businessman. It's not up to the standard of the wonderful Jeeves, but I can see hints of Bertie Wooster foreshadowed. The plots are cleverly unlikely, the caricatured minor characters excellent, and the overall book very enjoyable. Particularly since it was free.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thom Swennes

    Fortunes often shine on those that least want or deserve it. Roland Bleke was just such a man. Working as a clerk in a retail establishment Roland was quite happy. He was afraid of any possible change in his fortunes or circumstances and in addressing this approached his employer with the unlikely statement, “My paycheck is too much”. This is the beginning of his unfortunate fortunes. A Man of Means is composed of six individual episodes. - The Episode of the Landlady's Daughter / The Landlady's Fortunes often shine on those that least want or deserve it. Roland Bleke was just such a man. Working as a clerk in a retail establishment Roland was quite happy. He was afraid of any possible change in his fortunes or circumstances and in addressing this approached his employer with the unlikely statement, “My paycheck is too much”. This is the beginning of his unfortunate fortunes. A Man of Means is composed of six individual episodes. - The Episode of the Landlady's Daughter / The Landlady's Daughter - The Episode of the Financial Napoleon / The Bolt from the Blue - The Episode of the Theatrical Venture - The Episode of the Live Weekly - The Episode of the Exiled Monarch / The Diverting Episode of the Exiled Monarch - The Episode of the Hired Past" Wodehouse, a highly published author, wrote these episodes in 1916 for a magazine and they were only published in their entirety in 1991. This collection, though relatively short is nevertheless orotund and a perfect example of an artist at their best. The fifth installment, The Episode of the Exiled Monarch / The Diverting Episode of the Exiled Monarch, I found exceptionally amusing and, like the rest of the work as a whole, I feel sure everyone will like and appreciate it.

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