Title: Right Ho, Jeeves [Note: this link points to a different edition than I read]
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Publisher: Penguin Books
|The edition I read. Old; no ISBN number|
|The version available on Amazon|
This marks my 8th book of the year! I’ve reached my annual goal. I gotta say that this winter after I finished the fabulous “Freedom From Fear“, I didn’t think I’d make it. I struggled through “Rebirth of a Nation and couldn’t get in a groove. I hadn’t read in weeks and couldn’t find something I could really get my teeth into. But then things kind of clicked and I started enjoying reading again.
While on vacation at Andrew and Henriët’s I finished “1959: The Year Everything Changed” and thought I was due for something a bit lighter. So, I opened up the next in the Jeeves and Wooster series: Right Ho, Jeeves and settled in on the kids’ couch and had myself some fun.
As you may recall, one of my reading sub-goals is to read the entire Jeeves and Wooster catalog in chronological order. Getting through the first sets of short stories was not all I had hoped it would be. Short stories just don’t give Wodehouse the range he needs to complicate matters and let loose with dialog and what-not. Here, with his 2nd J&W novel, Wodehouse is at his best. Two couples are having problems with their relationships at a country house. Aunt Dahlia asks Bertie down for help – meaning of course she needs Jeeves. Bertie is cross with Jeeves over some item of Bertie’s wardrobe and things he can solve the problems better than Jeeves. Of course, it isn’t so. The more Bertie tries to fix things up; toward the end he winds up engaged to Madeline Basset (temporarily), Anatole, Dahlia’s fantastic cook, has quit (again thanks to Bertie) and….
Jeeves fixes everything at the end very simply.
Of course the reason for reading Wodehouse isn’t the plot, it’s the writing. If you’ve never read any Wodehouse let me share just a bit that shows the man’s talents. Here is Bertie’s Aunt Dahlia after her superb cook Anatolé has quit for the second time, thanks to Bertie. She is resigned to fateand is talking to Bertie.
“‘Attila,’ she said at length. ‘That’s the name. Attila the Hun’.
‘I was trying to think who you reminded me of. Somebody who went about strewing ruin and desolation and breaking up homes which, until he came along, had been happy and peaceful. Attila is the man. It’s amazing’she said, drinking me in once more. ‘To look at you, one would think you were just an ordinary sort of amiable idiot – certifiable, perhaps, but quite harmless. Yet, in reality, you are a worse scourge than the Black Death. I tell you, Bertie, when I contemplate you I seem to come up against all the underlying sorrow and horror of life with such a thud that I feel as if I had walked into a lamp post”
[p 205, Chapter 20]
This is a perfect summer read; easily read over a lazy weekend on the back deck.
I can’t say this forcefully enough. If you’ve never read and of these Jeeves and Wooster books, pick one up and read it. For starters, I recommend this one, or the next in line “The Code of the Woosters”.