Wednesday, June 17, 2009

P.G. Wodehouse: Very Good, Jeeves

Mr Bani mumbled something about wanting to read Wodehouse, so when I was in the library I picked up a book that seemed to be an early one albeit not the first, reasoning that surely one wants to start as close to the beginning as possible. Turned out that Mr Bani really wanted to start at the very very beginning (but he might have changed his mind now), so I read it instead. I've never read any Wodehouses, only watched a few episodes of the series with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. I do know that there are people who praise Wodehouse as among the finest of comedy, on a superior level altogether. I dunno myself - sure it's funny, but is it the best ever? I didn't laugh out loud - oh tell a lie, I did, once. I was wryly smiling a lot though.

Being fond of detective fiction from this era it's hard for me not to like this sort of stuff though. There's country house parties, dressing for dinner… familiar terrain all. It's all fresher than you'd think too. My favourite really is Bertie Wooster's inane slang. Such as being server breakfast by Jeeves, and "tucking into the eggs and b.", only to two sentences later be helping himself to "another portion of e. and bacon". That's really very funny.

This is the one with the story of when his friend is in love with a dog-crazy girl and joins in a violent football game to try to win her. (Obviously that's just one story of several, but should be enough for me to recall the book…)


... said...

I find Wodehouse highly amusing!

His writing did get even better as his career progressed. Try some of his later ones and you may like them even better!

bani said...

Thanks for the tip! I'm absolutely going to return to Wodehouse some time or other - will probably take your advice then and go for a later instalment in the series. :D