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Not George Washington

P. G. Wodehouse

Book Overview: 

It has been said that behind every successful man is a good woman. This is certainly true in the case of James Orlebar Cloyster. However, some funny things happened on his road to success. His story is humorously told from the point of view of several parties involved.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .n connection with one's tutor seemed outside the question. Only a chance episode had shown me that my tutor was a mortal with a mortal's limitations. We were bicycling together one day along the Trumpington Road, when a form appeared, coming to meet us. My tutor's speech grew more and more halting as the form came nearer. At last he stopped talking altogether, and wobbled in his saddle. The man bowed to him, and, as if he had won through some fiery ordeal, he shot ahead like a gay professional rider. When I drew level with him, he said, "That, Mr. Cloyster, is my tailor."

Mr. Macrae was typical of the University don who is Scotch. He had married the senior historian of Newnham. He lived (and still lives) by proxy. His publishers order his existence. His honeymoon had been placed at the disposal of these gentlemen, and they had allotted to that period an edition of Aristotle's Ethics. Aristotle, accordingly, received the most scholarly attention from the recently un. . . Read More

Community Reviews

James Orlebar Cloyster goes to London to make his fortune so he can marry his lady, Margaret Goodwin. Unfortunately, success eludes him until he stumbles upon a scheme...

Not George Washington isn't like most Wodehouse stories. It's much more serious. Cloyster is no likeable Bertie Wooster, that's fo

A semi-autobiographical satire about a young writer trying to make it in London – and, once his scribblings are a success, trying to hide that success to avoid the matrimonial ball and chain – Not George Washington doesn’t always hit the mark. It feels like what it is: an early work by a comedic wri

Not classic Wodehouse but I love the underlying concept of imposing a moderately ridiculous comedic drama onto a loose outline of the author's very early literary career. The book itself is published pretty early in said career and the authorial voice of a young but potentially promising writer is p

Well, it finally happened — a P. G. Wodehouse book that I did not actually enjoy.

The title refers to the innate dishonesty of virtually every character in the book. The narrative is split into different first person points of view, including what is, to my knowledge, the only time Wodehouse ever ass

Not George Washington is an odd work. It features four different narrators to tell a passably interesting plot that gets hammered to death through repetition of the same points. Only the first narrator, a young lady, is sympathetic. Virtually all the other characters bring a wish for a bolt from hea

Dry satire meets romantic comedy on Grub Street.

I was looking to read a biography about George Washington when I came across this little distraction. Reading the synopsis, I decided a little detour might not be so bad. I didn't love it all the way through. In fact, there were times I considered putting it to rest without finishing. I'm glad I stu

Not the great man's greatest work. I was well over halfway through before I got into it. I had to talk myself out of giving it up many times. But in the end, it was worth it. The plot was reminiscent of W.W. Jacobs. It is supposed to be semiautobiographical. I hope not too autobiographical because t

The first few chapters were charming. Once the narrator changes, the charm is gone along with most of my interest. The remainder of the book reads more like a group of short stories sharing the same characters who I ended up liking less and less as the book went on.

One of Wodehouse' s earlier works, this is, apparently, a blend of fiction and autobiography. The result is an uneven, sporadically funny but ultimately unsatisfying book that is not up to Plum' s usual high standards. Whether this is because it is a co-written effort or because of the mix of fact a

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