Monday, October 8, 2012

Jeeves to the Rescue by P.G. Wodehouse

Novels by P.G. Wodehouse fill several shelves in the library where I work. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to try one, but I am very glad that I finally did! I listened to Jonathan Cecil perform Code of the Woosters: Jeeves to the Rescue [BBC Audiobooks America; 7 hours] and it was hilarious.

In the opening pages, Bertie has a hangover and asks his manservant, Jeeves, if he might provide his usual remedy:

"He shimmered out, and I sat up in bed with that rather unpleasant feeling you get sometimes that you're going to die in about five minutes. On the previous night, I had given a little dinner at the Drones to Gussie Fink-Nottle as a friendly send-off before his approaching nuptials with Madeline, only daughter of Sir Watkyn Bassett, CBE, and these things take their toll. Indeed, just before Jeeves came in, I had been dreaming that some bounder was driving spikes through my head -- not just ordinary spikes, as used by Jael the wife of Heber, but red-hot ones."

Later that morning, Bertie goes to see his aunt Dahlia, who "laughed a bit louder than I would have wished in my frail state of health, but then she is always a woman who tends to bring plaster falling from the ceiling when amused."

Bertie Wooster gets out of one wacky predicament after another with the help of Jeeves. The farce is sustained because Bertie is oblivious to his own ineptitude. Bertie's way of expressing himself is also quite inventive, so I didn't grow tired of the schtick. I wouldn't want a steady diet of Wodehouse, but I'll certainly pick up another one sometime.

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