P.G. Wodehouse’s most well-known works feature the adventures of gentleman of leisure, Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves whose primary duties are not only to save Wooster from his often injudicious taste in clothes but to get him out of the many problematic situations he finds himself in.

However, Wodehouse was a prolific author who created many other characters, some of whom were only cast in stand-alone books and some who managed to star in their own set of books. What remains common amongst all his books though, is his unbelievable sense of humour. You will find yourself laughing out loud more often than not.

So, go ahead, explore the writings of P.G. Wodehouse through his lesser-known but equally brilliant books. Here’s a list to get you started.

01

Pearls, Girls And Monty Bodkin

The last in a trilogy featuring the dandy Montague “Monty” Bodkin, this book chronicles the protagonist’s return to London to claim his lover’s hand in marriage after having spent a year in Hollywood as per the pact with her father. The first two books in this trilogy are Heavy Weather and The Luck of the Bodkins.

Buy it here.

02

Piccadilly Jim

Featuring the obnoxiously spoilt Ogden Ford, and his gold-digging mother Nesta, this book is a hilarious story of a fake kidnapping gone wrong. Replete with classic Wodehouse one-liners like “He wore the unmistakable look of a man about to be present at a row between women, and only a wet cat in a strange backyard bears itself with less jauntiness than a man faced by such a prospect”, this book has been made into a movie three times over, with Julian Fellowes adapting the screenplay for 2004 version.

Buy it here.

03

Sam the Sudden

Initially released as a serial in the Saturday Evening Post, it is in this novel that we first meet Soapy Molloy, Chimp Twist, and Dolly the Dip, recurring criminals in the Wodehouse universe. This book is not only a romantic comedy but also a comedy of errors; it follows our hero Sam Shotter through his quest to woo his lady love, Kay. Two parallel love stories, three crooked villains, and two million dollars ensures that hilarity ensues.

Buy it here.

04

The Small Bachelor

Set in New York, during the height of Prohibition, this book follows the untalented artist George Finch on his quest to end his bachelorhood. After having found his lady love, he has to somehow convince his formidable mother-in-law-to-be, who would rather her daughter marry an English lord than an out-of-work painter.

Find out more here.

05

Bill the Conqueror

This book tells the tale of Bill West who heads to London with the brother of the girl he loves. Through a series of comical mishaps, he ends up discovering he actually loves another, and with the help the help of some well-intentioned friends, the books ends with a happy marriage. An added benefit of reading this book? You’ll meet Wodehouse favourites Lord Tilbury and Percy Pilbeam.

Buy it here.

06

A Damsel in Distress

Like many of Wodehouse’s books, this too deals with romance and marriage and was also first published in a serialised format in the Saturday Evening Post. The ‘damsel in distress’, Maud Marsh ends up taking a taxi ride in George Bevan’s taxi, who in typical Wodehousian fashion, ends up falling in love with her. What ensues is a side-splittingly funny comedy due to some severely mistaken identities. P.G. Wodehouse himself adapted this into first a play, and then a musical film starring Fred Astaire and Joan Fontaine.

Buy it here.

07

Jill The Reckless

As the title suggests, this book is about Jill Mariner, and it is a pleasure to read a strong female character. Despite Jill going through many a personal and professional crisis throughout, the story retains Wodehouse’s trademark humour. No book of his can be complete without a romance, and despite her seeming ill-fate, Jill does end up finding true love.

Buy it here.

08

Laughing Gas

Although set during the Depression, this book will make you laugh so much, you will be left gasping for breath. Stepping away from his usual subject, the British aristocracy, P.G. Wodehouse takes on Hollywood. Introducing a spiritual element, a 12-year-old movie star and a hapless Earl end up switching souls and suffering terrible ordeals while in each other’s bodies. Strict prune-only diets, bullying star kids, ladies being pushed into swimming pools, rushed engagements and teeth being auctioned off are only some of the hilarious situations you will come across in this book.

Buy it here.

09

The Adventures of Sally

Featuring a young and independent lady, Sally Nicholas, this book follows her journey from being a taxi driver to living the good life after inheriting a grand old sum of $25,000. Travels to France, encounters with dog trainers and businessmen alike, entering the theatre business, romance and heartbreak are a few of the experiences Sally goes through as she matures. Wodehouse proves once again that he can get into the mind of both women and men with equal panache.

Buy it here.

Have you read any other hidden gems from P.G. Wodehouse? Which of his books is your favourite? Share with us in the comments below.

Nirbhay Kanoria

Nirbhay Kanoria

As a young boy, Nirbhay had the annoying habit of waking up at 5 a.m. Since television was a big no-no, he had no choice but to read to entertain himself and that is how his love affair with books began. A true-blue Piscean, books paved the path to his fantasy worlds- worlds he'd often rather stay in.

Nirbhay is the publisher and founding editor of The Curious Reader.