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Project Gutenberg And Its Joys: 'Right Ho, Jeeves!' Wodehouse Free Audio Book:

Updated on October 3, 2014

Do you love audio books? I know that I do. Sometimes when I’m struggling with insomnia, the soothing tones of a trained actor reading one of my favourite books, is the only thing that’s guaranteed to send me straight off to the land of nod. It’s just the most restful thing in the world!

Audio versions of your favourite novels and non-fiction books don’t always come cheap, however. For out of copyright works, sometimes it depends on where you look how much you pay. Sometimes they’re pricier than buying a regular paperback or even hardback! Can you justify it on your budget, especially if you already have a hard copy of the book?

For older classics and out of print books, though, there may be an alternative. And it’s an alternative you should check out before buying, say, a Dickens or Jane Austen classic on audio disks or as an mp3 download! Why? Because it’s free! (And still more so if it's a regular book you're after: the selection of text files of great out of print classic books available on Gutenberg is much, much wider than that of the audio books.)

Buy Jeeves and Wooster Books On Amazon

Bertie Wooster, Jeeves and P.G. Wodehouse on Project Gutenberg - Free!

Gutenberg is a fantastic project, funded by donations and manned by volunteers. All files on the site are in the public domain and free of copyright concerns (although as copyright law varies from country to country, you may want to check the small print on that.) If you check out all the amazing authors and areas of knowledge covered, e.g. Austen, Dickens, Tolstoy, philosophy, politics, religion etc., you will see that you can get yourself a liberal arts education via Project Gutenberg – with no college tuition fees to pay!

P.G. Wodehouse is one of my favourite writers, so I was thrilled on scanning through the list of Gutenberg audio books to see his name, with three books (Love Among the Chickens, Psmith in the City and Right Ho, Jeeves) available. (These are on the list of human-read audio files. There is also a list of machine-read audio books on Gutenberg, which I will be sampling and reviewing in the fullness of time!) I am a little sad that only three Wodehouse titles are available, but glad and grateful for them nevertheless. Perhaps the copyright terms for them are different to his other works. Anyway it's great if these are what you need to complete your audiobook Wodehouse collection!

So what is the free Gutenberg Project audio book of 'Right Ho, Jeeves!' like? The first thing that you might want to note is that the narrator is American. “Oh no!” I hear all true Wodehouse aficionados cry! “How can Bertie Wooster, rendered in an American accent, stay true to the original spirit of the Wodehouse experience?” You may have a point: this issue did cause the book to jar with me just a little initially on a first listening. However the actor's voice is very smooth and 'trained' in quality, and as a result any 'jarring' is soon got over and does not detract (for me) from the pleasurable experience of listening to the antics of Bertie and Jeeves.

It might fairly be said that the quality of the recordings is not quite of a professional or commercial level. There are hesitations and mispronunciations – a very few, not many – that would have led to re-recording in a commercial product. But, considering the price you are paying for these audiobooks – I.e. nothing, nada and zip – the quality is really pretty amazing for a basic no-frills product! Just think about what you would have paid on Amazon or elsewhere for the equivalent commercial product, and as a deal it just seems better and better.

While I'm on the subject of the cost of Project Gutenberg audiobooks, don't forget that even volunteer organisations need funds – and those of us who benefit from them are the most likely to provide those funds. It's easy to donate via PayPal on the Project Gutenberg website, or alternatively you can send a check or money order. Help to keep a fantastic project going! Volunteers for text and audio services are also always welcome!


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    • carolapple profile image

      carolapple 6 years ago from Suffolk Virginia

      I've used Project Gutenberg to download a few print books but didn't realize they had some audio books too. I will check that out. I've loved audio books for years –I used to get them on tape and then CD from the library and now download them to my iPod, usually from, which is somewhat expensive. Thanks for an informative hub; I voted you up!