P. G. Wodehouse

Mike

A boy’s adventures in public school are filled with cricket, colorful characters, and a great deal of fun at the expense of authoritarian school masters.

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Description

Mike Jackson is the youngest son of a family of excellent cricket players and the most promising batsman of them all. At Wrykyn, the public school his elder brothers once attended, his desire to prove himself as a cricketer is challenged by his apathy for studying and his penchant for mischief. In the second half of the novel, his poor academics result in his being sent to Sedleigh, where he immediately befriends Psmith, an eccentric monocle-wearing student in a similar situation. Together they navigate the social waters of a school that neither one of them wants to attend.

Mike was one of P. G. Wodehouse’s earlier novels, and one of his personal favorites. In a preface to a later edition, he stated that the school setting allowed Psmith’s “bland clashings with Authority” to truly shine. The cricket scenes are memorable and exciting, but the meat of the story is in Mike and Psmith’s school escapades.

Mike was originally published in The Captain magazine in two parts, Jackson Junior (published in 1953 as Mike at Wrykyn), and The Lost Lambs (also published later as Enter Psmith in 1935 and Mike and Psmith in 1953).