Read The Heart of a Goof by P.G. Wodehouse Online


A collection of humorous golfing stories narrated by The Oldest Member from his favourite chair on the terrace above the ninth hole....

Title : The Heart of a Goof
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780099818502
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Heart of a Goof Reviews

  • Richard Derus
    2019-04-16 15:01

    Rating: 4* of fiveThe Publisher Says: "Golf is the Great Mystery. Like some capricious goddess, it bestows favors with what would appear an almost fat-headed lack of method and discrimination." These words, uttered by "The Oldest Member," set the stage for a romp around the greens only Wodehouse could have conjured up. In nine stories Wodehouse describes not only the fates of the goofs who have allowed golf "to eat into their souls like some malignant growth" but also the impact of the so-called game on courtship, friendship, and business relationships.This volume includes "The Heart of a Goof," "High Stakes," "Keeping in with Vosper," "Chester Forgets Himself," "The Magic Plus Fours," "The Awakening of Rollo Podmarsh," "Rodney Fails to Qualify," "Jane Gets off the Fairway," and "The Purfication of Rodney Spelvin."My Review: I bow to no man in my appreciation of Wodehouse, even when the subject of his talent is the shudder-and-narcolepsy inducing topic of golf. (Seriously, have you ever watched golf? It is unspeakably dull...almost as boring as cricket, which is the emperor of all screamingly tedious pastimes. Both feature commentators explaining the goings-on in such hushed, reverential tones that they rival nature documentary narrators for comatosity. The mind boggles and the spirit quails before the notion of viewing the “action” live in either case. Has the World Court heard about this? Seems they need to pep up their torture prosecutors, haven't heard of a single case against golfers or cricketeers.)Where was I? Oh, Wodehouse and his brilliance. The stories in this collection are uniformly amusing, with moments of laugh-out-loud funny. I chose this moment from “Chester Forgets Himself,” a tale of a young man of fine sensibilities and a distinct inability to let loose his baser instincts in cursing the duffers who infest golfing:...there was something particularly irritating about the methods of the Wrecking Crew {four bad late-life converts to golfing}. They tried so hard that it seemed almost inconceivable that they should be so slow.“They are all respectable men,” {the Oldest Member} said, “and were, I believe, highly thought of in their respective businesses. But on the links I admit they are a trial.”“They are the direct lineal descendants of the Gadarene swine,” said Chester firmly. “Every time they come out I expect to see them rush down the hill from the first tee and hurl themselves into the lake at the second.” (p75, 1956 Herbert Jenkins Autograph edition)If that doesn't raise a smile, or as in my case cause a laugh, avoid the book, and indeed possibly Wodehouse. He's like this a lot. The Oldest Member, a stock character of great and enduring popularity...the tedious old buttonholer in a prominently placed chair who will talk your ear off about nothing so marvelously played for laughs that he's a National Treasure. The Oldest Member always has a story to match your circumstances, explain your problem, soothe your temper. That is, if one isn't whipped into frothing frenzied hatred by the old boy, as quite a lot of 21st-century people are.But if one can slow down a bit, forget Adam Sandler's insulting humor or Jim Carrey's manic muggings for a moment, there's a humor in here that might just wind a tendril of affection around one's heart. It's a humor of silly and sly and slow genesis, from subjects of daily familiarity. Not the butlers and not the expensive golf clubs, no, those are the set decorations. Wodehouse's humor is about what kind of people there are in our lives. Old people who want to tell you things to help you, but go on and on. Young people in love with each other and not knowing how to say so to each other. Harried strivers working the angles and never quite seeing the forest for all those pesky trees.Wodehouse knew them, smiled at them, made them into figures of fun, and never once insulted them. I love that, I treasure that, I batten on it. Given the right mind-set, maybe you can too. What have you got to lose? A half-hour reading a story? Try “The Heart of a Goof,” first of this collection, and if there are no smiles, no chortles, no guffaws, return the book to the library and pass on to your next read. You won't be harmed, and you might be enchanted.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Addy
    2019-04-25 14:54

    A collection of 9 short stories, all narrated by the 'Oldest Member' of the golf course, often forcefully, to younger patrons, all obviously related to life on the golf course and life off the golf course affected by events on the golf course. I don't play golf but after reading the hilarious anecdotes, I feel like a lesser mortal for not appreciating this sport 😃. But let me tell you, even if you don't know the ABC of Golf, you'll still laugh your guts out while listening to the 'Oldest Member' tell you tale after tale. My two favourite parts about the book though, had nothing to do with golf (when seen in isolation)- first was the dedication page and the second a book review/description by the Oldest Member which appears as part of a story (pics attached) ; the reason why I believe you don't really need to know what's a handicap or a birdie to enjoy yet another masterpiece by the undisputed King of Comedy. Without doubt, another 5/5.

  • Dwight
    2019-04-15 10:50

    Very funny book. Wodehouse is great with verbiage. Not sure how it would translate to someone that did not enjoy or understand golf. I think that it would be best read (or listened to) in parts. There are several stories that I think would be best enjoyed one at a time when you are in a light mode. You need to pay attention to get the most enjoyment of the Wodehouse wit.

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-04-09 13:38

    The true testament to a writer's skill is the ability to make something inherently boring interesting to read about. Wodehouse not only makes golf interesting to read about in this volume, he also makes it hilarious! This is the book that rocketed Wodehouse to the top of my favorite writer's list. Highly recommended.

  • Sun
    2019-03-25 10:34

    A book that purports to be about golf but instead is a collection of short, humorous tales about the odd ways in which the human species behaves. The stories are told by the golf club's Oldest Member to anyone willing, or reluctant, to listen. There's Wallace Chesney and his confidence boosting plus-fours, the high stakes rivalry between Bradbury Fisher and Gladstone Bott, and half a dozen romances gone askew. All are linked by the love of the sport of golf. Pure joy to read, even for those such as myself who can't tell a mashie from a niblick.

  • Jesus Dorado Blanco
    2019-04-10 11:57

    Esta deliciosa colección de relatos sobre golf hace las deliciosas de cualquier aficionado al buen humor. Seguramente los buenos conocedores del noble deporte disfrutarán de estas historias en todos sus matices, sin embargo, Wodehouse también es capaz de arrancar sonrisas y carcajadas a los profanos golfísticos, puesto que los retratos psicológicos y las situaciones que crea son tan divertidos como semejantes a la vida misma.

  • Saranga
    2019-04-09 11:48

    I don't know a thing about Golf except that the person with lowest score wins. But that did not stop me from enjoying the nine golf-loving short stories. Wodehouse brings so much levity to a serious subject. I'm almost tempted to try golf myself. :)

  • Jessica
    2019-03-25 14:55

    A little light humorous reading. Short stories about hopeless golfers, romance, life and so many great quotes sprinkled throughout.

  • Valerie
    2019-04-03 10:42

    A 'goof' is defined in this book as distinct from a 'duffer'. A duffer can be quite outstandingly bad at golf: but it doesn't ruin the rest of life. A 'goof' is bad at golf, and can't live with the fact.As is usual with collections, this is not elaborated in most reviews. So, since stories tend to be in several collections, I will include a table of contents as I go:(1) The Heart of A Goof: The title story, which deals with how a particular goof is remedied, at least long enough to propose to his girlfriend.(2) High Stakes: If you decide to cheat at golf, make sure you can trust your caddy.(3) Keeping in With Vosper: Vosper acts as a sort of deus ex machina, though he's rarely seen onstage.(4) Chester Forgets Himself: Chester tries to give up swearing in order to court a woman who would frankly rather he'd be direct. It's often a spur to more creative wording to be forbidden to reproduce swearing exactly, but not in this case, I fear. Even the usual typographic substitutes are not used in this story (you know, the old "%$#&@(" sort of thing). The result is not even a gap: It's a pointless space-filler.(5) The Magic Plus-Fours: Magic is a perilous thing. In this case, the 'self-hypnotism' makes the wearer more successful at golf, but also sours his placid temperament.(6) The Awakening of Rollo Podmarsh: Rollo is a mother's boy, and very timid. Golf enables him to take chances.(7) Rodney Fails to Qualify: This is the first of a trilogy of short stories. The phlegmatic William Bates wins the heart of his presumptive fiancee by being a good caddy for her.(8) Jane Gets Off The Fairway: The fiancee from the previous story, now a wife, tries to become a salon organizer: but finds that her son's golf education is neglected, and repents.(9) The Purification of Rodney Spelvin: Rodney Spelvin realizes the error of his (non-golfing) ways, and tries to qualify as a golfer.This is the official end of the book. The rest are ads and fragments for other Wodehouse books. I find this sort of thing something of a cheat. If I could acquire the listed books, I'd read them in their own right. But to supply teasers and not satisfy the appetites aroused is not cricket.

  • Katherine
    2019-04-18 14:42

    “He waggled as Hamlet might have waggled, moodily, irresolutely” (13).“It is not easy to hiss a sentence without a single ‘s’ in it, and the fact that he succeeded in doing so shows to what pitch of emotion the man had been goaded by Ferdinand’s maddening air of superiority” (22),“To Ferdinand’s fevered eye he looked like a Greek god, and his inferiority complex began to exhibit symptoms of elephantiasis” (27).“The lunches of fifty-seven years had caused his chest to slip down into the mezzanine floor…” (96).“...but Chester, glowing with the yeasty intoxication of love, laughed lightly” (100).“All Nature was one vast substantial smile” (137)“The secretary rose with a whirr like a rocketing pheasant” (139).“...there were three things in the world that he held in the smallest esteem--slugs, poets, and caddies with hiccups” (146-147).“‘I think I will go and see Jane and make tactful inquiries’” (149).“Her fiance’s name having slid into the conversation again, she seemed inclined to become eloquent about him. I left her, however, before she could begin. To one so strongly pro-William as myself, eulogistic prattle about Rodney Spelvin was repugnant” (151).“...she writhed on the horns of a dilemma” (194).“It seemed to her one of those nests in which, as the subtitle of Tried in the Furnace had said, only eggs of evil are hatched” (198).“‘Woman, said William, ‘where is your paramour?’” (198).“‘Your partner in sin, where is he? I am going to take him and tear him into little bits and stuff him down his throat and make him swallow himself’” (198).

  • Ian Wood
    2019-04-17 14:43

    ‘The Heart of a Goof’ is a second volume of stories related by the Oldest Member of love and Golf, the first volume being ‘The Clicking of Cuthbert’. The title story is that of Ferdinand Dibble who, the Oldest Member tells us, is a Goof. A Goof is a Golfer whom is so tied up with his success or otherwise on the links is tied up with his confidence with all other aspects of his life. Ferdinand is in love with Barbara Medway; who in turn is in love with Ferdinand. Unfortunately Ferdinand cannot possibly propose to Barbara as his handicap is just that. Barbara is keen that Ferdinand’s confidence is boosted and so she sends him to Marvis Bay where the links are populated by a membership of such a lack of talent that Ferdinand cannot but help become the local champion. As Ferdinand’s success increases so does his swagger and before Barbara can arrive to capitalise on Ferdinand’s new found confidence the locals have arranged a match between Ferdinand and George Parsloe whom famously once went round in less than ninety four. Can Barbara receive a proposal before George crushes Ferdinand underfoot? Only Wodehouse can bring in a score card below par.The other eight stories in this collection hole out in pretty much this fashion. Wodehouse’s golf themed stories do perhaps lack the universal appeal of stories relating to his hapless golfers but they are still fantastic vinaigrettes. Fore!

  • Rashmi
    2019-04-21 17:50

    I have to admit that I need a dose of P.G.Wodehouse, every few months. So, when life turns dull and I start seeing a tinge of grey everywhere, I reach out for my dosage of some Wodehousian humour; the reason I borrowed 'The Heart of a Goof' from the liby. As expected it was good- life's lessons doled out around golf. The other book on golf stories I've read was 'The Clicking of Cuthbert'. Now, I'm not sure if it is the mood, or it is just me, but I remember I enjoyed the Clicking of Cuthbert more than 'The Heart of a Goof'. After about 6-7 stories, I started feeling that the setting was just too idyllic, a very 'perfect life'! Maybe I'm looking for some action, this being summer time!! So, I actually ... 'gasp', umm...left it half way...'bawl'...'sob'...! It does not happen to be often, but I just couldn't go back to it. Then I reasoned that it's going to be with the liby, so I can borrow it again when I feel like it. Sigh!

  • Malquiviades
    2019-03-25 17:48

    After many years, I come again to Wodehouse.Humour is very hard to write and to achieve. There are many authors that try it and fail in more or less degree. Few, very few succeed. From them all, Wodehouse is the great master-writer, second to none, that the rest can only dream to match. Without success.These nine stories around golf are simply delightful, full of brilliant moments, witty comments and those special nuggets so specific from Wodehouse. The background revolves around golf, obviously, and even if you are not a player yourself or even like it at all, you might want to jump off your seat to the nearest golf course and put your hands on a mashie. And around golf comes a full set of typical Wodehouse characters.And there is no need to say anything else.This is Wodehouse at its best. As always. I think it is time to get my hands again on "Joy in the morning" again...

  • Andy Gibb
    2019-04-22 15:01

    Nine stories – mainly romantic little ditties – against a backdrop of golf in standard P.G.-style, i.e. beautifully written and full of nuggets. It does help to have the slightest smattering of golf terms, especially the old names for clubs, but it’s not essential.I can hardly do better than quote three of my favourite nuggets:“That is the worst of a free country - liberty so often degenerates into licence.”“His was the peace of the man who has reached the age when he is no longer expected to dance.”“…he wished that Providence had never endowed women with this sixth sense. A woman with merely five took quite enough handling.”Oh, and the dedication: “To my daughter Leonora without whose never-failing sympathy and encouragement this book would have been finished in half the time.”Big thumbs up.

  • Karky
    2019-04-09 13:43

    What could possibly have induced me to pick up a book about golfing? One word: Wodehouse. The friend who had accompanied me in the used bookshop had been skeptical upon my discovery, but I knew the gem I was holding for what it was. Oh Plum! You're always such a delight. Whenever I'm down, I need only to pick up any one of your books for a brighter view.Fortunately for me, you need hardly any familiarity with golf at all to follow these short stories. The game is more of a backdrop to nine tales of quirky romances (of sorts). My favorite had to have been High Stakes, the one where the millionaire lost his wife's butler. I was honestly shaking with suppressed laughter by the end of that one.

  • Lyman Phillips
    2019-04-04 15:51

    This is another of P. G. Wodehouse's delightful Golf Books. This foray into the world of P.G. Wodehouse takes us to the local lovely golf links on Long Island, where the Oldest Member regales every passerby (whether they want to hear them or not) with a tale of how golf has saved or torn asunder young lovers, or taught valuable life lessons.Each of these tales is delivered in Wodehouse's inimitable light hearted way. Even the villains are not really bad, they just have not experienced the wonderful game and are to be excused for their moral lapses.So take a stroll through Wodehouse's fairways and country club cottages for some light, cheerful and very humorous tales.Don't forget to wear your plus-fours, and bring a full bag of mashies, wedges and niblicks!

  • Elisha Condie
    2019-04-16 16:36

    Being a Wodehouse fan is like being a Sinatra fan - you're never done. Theres just so much material out there! But that's the beauty of it. You sometimes find a Sinatra recording you've never heard and with Wodehouse's 90+ books it's always easy to find a fresh one.This one is a collection of short stories that I picked up only because I liked the title. The stories are all golf-centered, where the characters are golfers or know golfers or love golfers or whatever. Wodehouse was a big golfer. I am not. I didn't get several of the golf terms (...what's a mashie?) but the stories were still fun to read. Not the best, but fun.

  • Beth
    2019-03-29 17:47

    All short stories involving golf. Most of the stories are not connects to each other, although there is a series of three with the same characters. The stories are typical Wodehouse romantic comedies in which golf is always a factor. After five or six in a row, they do become a bit repetitive. The mechanic of "the Oldest Member" of the golf club telling each story to some hapless victim is also a little tedious.

  • Sharada
    2019-04-05 16:52

    Wodehouse is one of my favourite authors, someone you just keeping going back to for comfort (the real equivalent of comfort food!) and a few light-hearted moments. All hos books are wonderful, some more than the others, of course, but what strikes one is his total mastery of the English language. He sort of twists and turns the phrase but always falls back on his feet, coming out with some incredible and never-thought-of constructions. What I say here is valid for almost all his books

  • Emily
    2019-04-20 15:37

    The first handful of stories I would only give three stars. I'm certain they are captivating if one plays golf, but, unfortunately, I have yet to appreciate the game as much as my father might want me to. The last three stories I would give five stars. They're vintage Wodehouse and are amazing. Hence, the average.

  • Stephen Dawson
    2019-04-24 09:40

    Entertaining, but not Wodehouse's greatest. The nine stories featuring golfers, told by the Oldest Member, have a certain monotony about them - each OK on its own, but not really enhanced by being together.

  • Don Gorman
    2019-04-15 09:57

    (2 1/2) This is wonderful British humor from a master. Yes,, the short stories are all about golf, or is it all about life. Either way, it is enchanting stuff. Tongue so firmly in cheek that is almost painful at times. Take a seat next to "the oldest member' and enjoy.

  • Arwen56
    2019-04-21 13:46

    Beh, leggere in spagnolo un libro inglese non è che sia stata una brillantissima idea. Ma ero in aeroporto, andavo di fretta ed ho agguantato il primo che mi è capitato sotto. Raccontini leggeri, sullo stile di Jerome K. Jerome. Neanche brutti.

  • Harika
    2019-04-10 16:42

    Old world charm and golf. This book is sweet but doesn't satiate my requirement of reading something stupidly funny which was the intention behind picking this book. So I would rate this book a 3 on 5 only because I wasn't really happy about my pick.

  • Jeff
    2019-03-31 13:57

    You know, I can't just read Bernhard all the time. This was a nice change of pace, it's old, it feels old, but breezy and fun. There aren't many books I read where a chapter ends with "he folded her in his arms, using the interlocking grip."

  • Róisín Halley
    2019-04-10 14:01

    This was handed to me by a friend. I do not know much about golf and so I don't think I got as much out of this as I think I would if I was a big golf fan, but I did still really like it. I found it easy to read and get away from life by reading it. Definitely recommend for anyone into golf

  • Kanaga Anbazhagan
    2019-03-28 12:59

    Wodehouse at his hilarious best. It's a testament to Wodehouse's charm that he can make someone like me, who doesn't know the first thing about golf, enjoy a short story collection revolving around it.

  • Ian
    2019-04-20 11:40

    First class selection of golfing short stories, as told by the "Oldest Member". Many stories feature the poet and novellist Rodney Spelvin, providing the focal point of the friction between the sporting and artistic worlds which are a feature of many of Wodehouse's golfing stories.

  • Lynette
    2019-03-30 11:44

    This title belongs to the category of golf stories. I liked The Clicking of Cuthbert better but Heart has much to recommend it. The trio of stories concerning Jane Packard, William Bates, and Rodney Spelvin is delightful.

  • Phil Syphe
    2019-04-25 12:49

    Think I would’ve enjoyed these short stories more if I understood at least some golfing terms and rules. As it is, I don’t know any!Still, the humour surrounding the golf course makes this a worthwhile read if, like me, you appreciate P. G. Wodehouse’s comic talents.