Jeeves and the Wedding Bells – Sebastian Faulks

Times have changed, and roles have been reversed. It is Bertie Wooster who is up with the larks and having to arrange tea and such for Lord Etringham. To any fan, do not fear, the whole world of Wodehouse has not been turned upon its head. It is just Bertie getting himself into another pickle and needing Jeeves to ascertain all the right facts and get him out of the situation in only the way that Jeeves can.

There are wonderful passages of conversation between Bertie and Jeeves as we discover that maybe Bertie has finally found the woman who has made his heart flutter more continuously. Whilst dreaming away the days Bertie meets Georgiana in Cannes, she is a woman with spark and vitality and has none of the lesser qualities that have dogged past loves like Madeline Bassett and Honoria Glossop. There is only one small problem her guardian has other ideas on who she should marry based on the fact that his stately home. Can Bertie make the right impression when he is in fact doing an impression of Jeeves? There is plenty of mishaps and misunderstandings along the way in true style and whilst perhaps there is a slight overtone of too contemporary now and again these glimpses are momentarily and you are drawn back into the story.

Sebastian Faulks rightly acknowledges that this book is a tribute to Wodehouse and the wonderful characters of Jeeves and Wooster and I know some myself included were probably sceptical about an author taking up the mantle of another work. I think Faulks has hit the right spot, it reminds me of all the stories I have read in the past and makes me want to pick up these books and read more of them. I hope those who discover this book without reading any Wodehouse also discover his back catalogue and know that there is much joy and humour held within the pages whether it be a short story or a novel.

Sebastian Faulks is an author I have read before, the wonderful and moving Birdsong as well as Charlotte Gray and then his reworking of another famous author Ian Fleming and his most famous hero; James Bond. I was surprised that he wanted to pick up that mantle again with Wodehouse. But it turns out he is a fan and has read the stories as a boy, as I did as a young girl. I was keen to read the book and I was even prepared to pay for a hardback copy! It only took a couple of days to devour. 

I recommend reading this book and I am going to endeavour to go back and reread some more Jeeves and Wooster in particular. I can reread these books with no apparent boredom. Even watching the tv series starring Fry and Laurie countless times has not dented the enjoyment. This book will stay on my shelf and it will be worthy of a reread for that I am sure. 

What has sparked an interest is the fact that I have not read anymore Bond novels by other authors such as William Boyd and Jeffrey Deaver when I enjoyed the reworking of Faulks version. And with Sophie Hannah writing a novel in the style of Christie and the eponymous Belgian detective Poirot it seems there is a taste for such things. Or if I have my cynical hat on is it these authors estates needing money? Well if it is and the output is as good then so what.