This is the second Jeeves and Wooster book I’ve read this year and I have to say my taste for Wodehouse has not diminished. Not one bit.
Sometimes, with the world the way it is, one needs to escape and enter a world which is very different to one’s own. For some that’s slushy romance, for others the world of vampires and assorted monsters. For me, nothing is better than the comical world of that ‘Downton Abbey’ style of life. No one does it better than Wodehouse.
The plot is hardly worth mentioning, not because it isn’t interesting or well-constructed – it is – but because you never need to choose a Jeeves and Wooster book on the basis of the storyline. Just pick one up you’ve not read before and get reading. If you like one, you’ll like another. That said, this plot follows the familiar basic premise that Wooster thinks he can solve the problems of others (love matches in this case) and valiantly tries to but only succeeds in making things much worse – including for himself. It takes the every-ready Jeeves to put it all right.
I read this book with my two teenage children who are also fans of these two wonderful characters and there is something special when you form new bonds with one another when we all exclaim together as one “Oh my goodness I can see what’s coming!” with eyes wide with shock, horror and absolutely delight. Wodehouse may not have you laughing so much that your belly aches – the humour is of a gentler era – but it is something very special to read a book where your eyes are twinkling with every paragraph.
And so my love affair with this bygone world continues and is likely to all the more to escape the traumas and all-too-serious moments of the real world. If anything my worry is one day running out of Jeeves and Wooster stories and that’s just too bleak a situation to imagine right now. So, like a fine wine or a gourmet delicacy, I’d better enjoy the series very slowly, picking the books out one by one for those special occasions when the only disasters you want to read about are the ones Wooster has brought upon himself. If only we had a Jeeves in the real world to sort out our own.