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For all you ardent Wodehouse fans, I have fine news.
Much Obliged, Jeeves is one of the funniest Wodehouse books I have read.
The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Much Obliged, Jeeves”
Why is Much Obliged, Jeeves so hilarious? I put it down to a consistency and richness of comic language from start to finish. In between laughing out loud and wiping the tears from my eyes, I noted so many fine lines that I had to cut the total down radically for this blog.
Here is my selection of quotations from Much Obliged, Jeeves:
- I am always glad… to renew my acquaintance with the unbeatable eatables dished up by her superb French chef Anatole, God’s gift to the gastric juices. I have often regretted that I have but one stomach to put at his disposal.
- [Of Aunt Dahlia’s stentorious voice] ‘I wonder whether she ever sang lullabies to me in my cradle. If so, it must have scared me cross-eyed, giving me the illusion that the boiler had exploded.’
- ‘My fiancée wanted me to,’ he said, and as his lips framed the word ‘fiancée’ his voice took on a sort of tremolo like that of a male turtle dove cooing to a female turtle dove. (more…)
What better book to read at Christmas than Right Ho, Jeeves – a festive winter wonderland of Wodehouse, a rich Christmas pudding of Plum?
Right Ho, Jeeves opens with Bertie once more estranged from the genius of Jeeves. This time, the offending sartorial item to which Jeeves objects is a white mess jacket with brass buttons:
He rose, holding a white object. And at the sight of it, I realised that another of our domestic crises had arrived, another of those unfortunate clashes of will between two strong men, and that Bertram, unless he remembered his fighting ancestors, and stood up for his rights, was about to be put upon.
The cover of my Folio Society edition of Right Ho, Jeeves
When Bertie Wooster arrives to Brinkley Court without Jeeves to help him, he is beset not by one, two or three problems but by an unprecedented five, at my count. Most atypically, Bertie causes the resignation of Aunt Dahlia’s fabulous French chef Anatole, who makes a rare appearance:
This wizard of the cooking stove is a tubby little man with a moustache of the outsize or soup-strainer type, and you can generally take a line through it as to the state of his emotions. When all is well, it turns up at the end like a sergeant-major’s. When the soul is bruised, it droops. It was drooping now, striking a sinister note. (more…)
The latter drew, with humility appropriate to a neophyte, on the expertise of Wodehouse specialist Plumtopia – recommended for all things Jeeves and Wooster and beyond.
Sadly, I have been devoting an unreasonable proportion of recent months to a well-known trilogy (note to self: insert link later) which, while fascinating, was not quick, easy or pleasurable to read. Review to follow.
So it was with immense pleasure that I returned last week to Wodehouse, with “Jeeves in the Offing”.
The front and back cover of my Folio Society edition of “Jeeves in the Offing”: Jeeves waits, reading Spinoza, outside the Fox & Goose, while Bertie, within, meets Bobbie Wickham
I have written several times in these chronicles of my slow-burn devotion to the works of P G Wodehouse, including my induction (How to read P G Wodehouse: a practical guide), drawing on the excellent advice of fellow WordPress blogger and Wodehouse specialist Plumtopia – strongly recommended for all things Jeeves and Wooster and beyond.
Hence my concern, bordering on panic, at my initial perception that “Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit” was not quite such a pearl of the Wodehouse canon as, say, the wondrous Thank you, Jeeves. Bertie Wooster’s early decision to grow a moustache, to the disapproval of Jeeves, felt a little familiar as a plot device. The plot of the first half of the book meandered – well, I am reminded of Bertie’s description of Daphne Dolores Morehead on her first appearance in the novel as having “a figure as full of curves as a scenic railway”.
The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit”
That very reference to Ms Morehead, however, signals my sense of relief that I can in fact recommend “Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit”, the seventh P G Wodehouse novel to feature Jeeves and Wooster and his sixtieth book overall, wholeheartedly. From about the half-way point, the story spreads its wings. The subsequent flight is sublime. The scene following the unexpected arrival of the aforementioned Daphne at Brinkley Court is amongst the funniest (more…)
Attentive readers will know that, Wodehouse-wise, I am a slow-burn fanatic (bold italic links are to other posts on this site).
Since 2017 I have been relishing a mouth-watering shelf-full of Wodehouse in a hand-tooled Folio Society edition, pausing occasionally to jot down a quote or two.
The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen”
Recent pleasures have included Thank You, Jeeves (click link for five wondrous quotations) Right Ho, Jeeves (click for 14 fruity quotes) and Ring for Jeeves, which also teemed with quotables. Indeed, my researches on P G Wodehouse have revealed a distressing paucity of quality Wodehouse quotes on the Internet which I am doing my best to remedy.
So for all you Wodehouse aficionados out there, here is a selection of quotations from Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen:
- ‘Nice girl,’ I said, for there is never any harm in giving the old salve. ‘And, of course, radiant-beauty-wise in the top ten.’ [Orlo’s] eyes bulged, at the same time flashing, as if he were on the verge of making a fiery far-to-the-left speech. ‘You know her?’ he said, and his voice was low and guttural, like that of a bulldog which has attempted to swallow a chump chop and only got it down halfway. (more…)
More recently, in my blog How to read P G Wodehouse: a new prescription, I savoured the fruits of recent roaming of the Plum pastures; and cited juicy quotations from the outstanding Ring for Jeeves.
Indeed, I have been struck by the poverty of many self-styled treasuries of quotations when it comes to Plum’s oeuvre.
So here, without further ado, are a few additional succulent fruit, assembled by me with pleasure from Thank You, Jeeves.
The cover of the Folio edition of ‘Thank You, Jeeves’
Thank You, Jeeves strikes me as one of the funniest of the Jeeves tales (quite an accolade – Ed). Jeeves himself has oiled off elsewhere for much of the action, but in his absence, Bertie Wooster’s ability to get into scrapes is exploited to outstanding effect. Such scenes as a night in which Bertie repeatedly fails to find a place to rest his head are (more…)
In fact I have just oiled over for a further immersion in Plumtopia, notably this informative piece about P G Wodehouse societies including The P G Wodehouse Society UK.
I can verify that the site is a veritable motherlode of P G Wodehouse-related info. Recommended.
Meanwhile I have been continuing my own exploration of the oeuvre of the author known as “Plum” (short for “Pelham”, his first name). I have so far completed my perusal of Carry on Jeeves, Very Good Jeeves, The Inimitable Jeeves, The Code of the Woosters, Joy in the Morning and Ring for Jeeves. The standard is consistent, although I have taken medical advice not to binge on more than three consecutive P G Wodehouse novels, as intensive research shows this may reduce their impact.
The cover of my Folio Society edition of “Ring for Jeeves”
The efficacy of this new reading prescription has been proven by a Wodehouse abstinence (more…)