There comes a time where only Jeeves and Wooster will do. You need to know very little about these two apart from Bertie Wooster’s schemes will fail and it is Jeeves who will silently pick up the pieces and put everything back together in the correct way.
In this book which contains 11 short stories which are linked by the fact they refer back to previous events, but they contain enough background to be able to understand the current story. They are a great introduction to Jeeves and Wooster and Wodehouse writing as well as the characters of Bingo Little, Tuppy Glossop, Bobby Wickham and the various aunts who are the scourge of a family according to Bertie.
There is some wonderful observations dispensed by Bertie at the pen of Wodehouse which I think is what makes these books so enjoyable, light and humourous;
on describing Tuppy’s new love…..”be an upstanding light-heavy-weight of some thirty summers, with a commanding eye and a square chin…I don’t know why it is , but women who have anything to do with Opera, even if they’re only studying for it, always appear to run to surplus poundage.”
on encountering a policeman….”when a sudden bright light shone upon me from below and a voice spoke. “Ho!” it said. It was a policeman. Apart from the fact of his having a lantern, I knew it was a policeman because he had said ‘Ho!’….evidently policeman are taught this as part of their training. And after all, it’s not a bad way of opening conversation in the sort of circs in which they generally have to chat with people.”
There are lots of little snippets like these two throughout the book and they form part of the stories as the book bounces lightly on in the adventures of Wooster and the Very Good, Jeeves.
A one for Jeeves and Wooster fans, and for those who want to put their toe into the Wodehouse water and see whether it is for them.
I so wish I had not got rid of all my copies of Jeeves and Wooster novels (yes I really did!) as they are just a joy to read. I have only kept to Jeeves and Wooster mainly because of the excellent programme with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie which led me to the books when I was in my late teens, early twenties. I need to branch out a bit more and did so last year with a Psmith novel which crossed over with Blandings, so it is back to Blandings I must go.