Robert McCrum's book, first of all, is a commissioned biography. It represents the best efforts, and inevitably failings, of such endeavors. McCrum is a literate, thorough researcher, and has produced a respectable volume ready to stand aside the best other Wodehouse biographies. Most importantly, McCrum has intelligently meshed both the retelling of a life and literary analysis, including analysis of many of the Wodehouse books, demonstrating his familiarity with the canon. However, there are significant and unavoidable drawbacks to an effort such as McCrum's, which represents an assignment, rather than the labor of a true Wodehouse scholar. McCrum only stands alongside, not supplanting, the many existing Wodehouse biographies, going all the way back to David Jasen's pioneering first effort. Such specialized books as Lee Davis's Bolton and Wodehouse and Kern, Iain Sprott's Wodehouse at War, Kristin Thompson's analysis of the Bertie Wooster/Jeeves saga (and, humbly, my own forthcoming book on Wodehouse and Hollywood), all remain necessary specialized adjuncts to all the more general biographies. For American readers, McCrum rather overplays the significance of the Berlin broadcasts to Wodehouse's legacy, and only narrowly avoids a tendency to lapse into an Anglocentric perspective in the book that is evident in his promotional interviews. McCrum does make a number of surprising factual errors, surely a result of coming to the subject "cold," rather than as an expert, but more annoying is his determination to interpret levels of meaning into Wodehouse's personal life rather than simply accepting him as the product of a generation who kept private matters private. Nonetheless, despite these shortcomings, the McCrum book is solid, scholarly, and well repays its price and the time necessary to read the 400 + pages, for he does enlighten both the life, and the writing, of P.G. Wodehouse.