Sunday, July 13, 2008

Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

2 of 6 for the Classics Challenge
6 of 11 for the Summer Reading Challenge

How could you go wrong with a book that has all these humorous elements?
*scarlet tights (NOT worn by a woman)
*newt-obsessed school chums
*sensitive French chefs
*names like "Gussie Fink-Nottle" and "Tuppy Glossop"
*and, of course, questioningly fashionable white mess jackets

Yes, P.G. Wodehouse has created a gem in Bertram "Bertie" Wooster, our dramatic and blundering narrator. He and his butler Jeeves are the main characters in this comedic masterpiece which centers around Bertram's bungling attempts to mend the love woes of his former schoolmates as well as aid his aunt with a small financial snafu. Bertie's plans tend to backfire in a most explosive and hilarious manner while the steadfast and uncanny Jeeves always seems get a handle on the situation with some good old "psychology."

The plot is not the reason to read this book, although it is also quite humorous. I'd say the plot might actually be characterized as "fluff." Perhaps its' lightness is a mockery of all that was frivolous and petty in British society at the time, I don't know enough to say. But for me, the reason to read this book is Bertie's dialogue, his running commentary on events and his downright farcical sense of Wooster pride. Truly, I had TEARS running down my face whilst trying to read my favorite sections of this book out loud to my sisters. Often, Bertie slips into third person and gives the thing his "deep thoughts." For example:
...when one has taken the trouble to whack out a highly juicy scheme to benefit an in-the-soup friend in his hour of travail, it's pretty foul to find him giving the credit to one's personal attendant, particularly if that personal attendant is a man who goes about the place not packing mess jackets.
Splendid humor, what? If only Bertie Wooster could narrate my life for me, I think I could always jolly well see the bright side of things - as long as I had Jeeves around to sort my troubles out for me when all hope is lost :)

1 comment:

Cami said...

Whoopsydoodle, I commented on Shelfari instead. I am glad you liked it!! I can't wait for Jeeves watching party!

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