My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The one word review of this book is “Hilarious”. It’s my third or fourth time I’ve read it and it pleases
It is the classic Jeeves and Wooster story. Bertie has to steal a sliver cow creamer from Pop Basset without getting his spine pulled out by Roderick Spode – all the while trying to patch up the tiff between Madeline Basset and Gussie Finknottle. If the Finknottle/Basset marriage is off then Bertie will have to marry Madeline – because that is what a gentleman does. “…after being blackmailed by an aunt at breakfast, I was now being blackmailed by a female crony before dinner. Pretty good going, even for this lax post-war world.” [p 86]
Thank goodness for Jeeves.
But, it’s not really about the plot – hilarious as it is – the plot is only there to set up the dialogue between Bertie and the rest of the cast. Here Bertie is describing Gussie trying to get away from Spode who wants to beat Gussie into a jelly. “… confronted with Spode in the flesh, he now retreated to the wall and seemed, as far as I could gather, to be trying to get through it. Foiled in this endeavour, he stood looking as if he had been stuffed by some good taxidermist.” [p 123]
And when Bertie helps Gussie escape out a second floor window through the use of a sheet: “I don’t think I have ever assisted at a ceremony which gave such universal pleasure to all concerned. The sheet didn’t split, which pleased Gussie. Nobody came to interrupt us, which pleased me. And when I dropped the suitcase, it hit Gussie on the head, which delighted Aunt Dahlia. As for Jeeves, one could see that the faithful fellow was tickled pink at having been able to cluster round and save the young master in his hour of peril. His motto is ‘Service'”.[p 217] But of course there are plenty of pages left and the hour of Bertie’s peril has only just started.
This book is full of my favorite sayings of Bertie’s
– I don’t mind people talking rot in my presences, but it must no be utter rot.
– He was more to be pitied than censured. [p 185]
– I would have preferred to get oustide a curried egg or two. [p 186] [What a great way to say you want to eat something!]
– …like a Scottish elder rebuking sin from the pulpit [p 139]
and of course my favorite of all time
– What I want from you is less of the ‘Well, really sir’ and more of the buckling-to spirit. Think feudally Jeeves.
I can’t think of a better summer read. We still have a week or two of summer left – pick it up and have a laugh.