Very Good, Jeeves
© 1930 P.G. Wodehouse
This past Saturday I had a very happy surprise. Taking a break from a day of sacking my closet, wardrobe, and bookcases to donate to charity and get me closer to my simple-living ideal, I grabbed a tale of Wodehouse stories to re-read during lunch. Imagine my delight to realize…this was a collection I’d purchased to read one April, then forgotten that I hadn’t already read it. (I have quite a bit of Wodehouse, and they all blur together in the imagination.)
Now, I’ve reviewed other Wodehouse story collection before, and he like Bernard Cornwell is so consistent that my comments, both descriptive and appraising, would only copy past reviews. With a few adjustments, I could literally paste-in my review for Right Ho Jeeves, as the difference lies in one being a novel and the other (this) a collection of stories. In short, Wodehouse has a brilliant way with the English language, which is never funnier than in his hands, and he tells amusing stories about a society wastrel and his Machiavellian butler, who works endlessly to keep his young master out of trouble, i.e. marriage and useful employment. Jeeves’ solutions also have a way of destroying tacky articles of clothing and art that Bertie insists on dragging home. In a full-length novel there are multiple schemes from different people afoot, sometimes conflicting with one another and sometimes complementing one another. What one values most (language aside) from a Wodehouse novel is how innocent they are, providing mirth and drama without a hint of malice. (A few months ago, an article called “P.G. Wodehouse: Balm for the Modern Soul” made me especially appreciative of this.)
There’s a full run-down of the stories on Wikipedia if you’re curious.