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Review: Carry On, Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse

This collection of short stories introduces Bertie Wooster, a young somewhat foolish gentleman dependant on his aunt for money, and his gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves.  Jeeves is incredibly clever and throughout these stories manages to solve every predicament that Bertie finds himself in, often with some benefit to himself.  These stories range from how Jeeves was hired by Bertie to a story written in Jeeves’s own voice.

I have often heard the name P.G. Wodehouse come up in terms of comic writing.  Jeeves and Wooster are a comfort read for many.  These stories are indeed light and funny.  There is a lot of British slang, but it’s nothing that makes the story hard to understand if you’re familiar with British culture in what seems to be the early 20th century.

The stories get predictable after a while.  One of Bertie’s friends, or Bertie himself, gets into trouble, and Jeeves is called upon to work his magic and save the day.  Often Bertie is defying Jeeves in some way, by growing a moustache or wearing a strange tie or ordering shirts Jeeves doesn’t think are appropriate.  In the end, Jeeves always gets his way, and often extra money, too, adding to the comic value.  Their predictability doesn’t lessen them, but it certainly makes me realize why these are comfort reads.  They’re funny, but there is no suspense or real surprise involved.

I’d be remiss in this review if I didn’t mention the TV show Jeeves and Wooster.  Having now read this little book, and eager to read more, I made an effort to also watch the show.  If you’re familiar with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, Wooster and Jeeves respectably, it’s amazing how well they fit the characters.  When I started reading this book, I’d never actually seen the show, but I could still envision each of them in their respective role in the book.  When I watched the show I realized I had been picturing them in the precise way that they played the parts.  The stories are still recognizable on screen, if often combined to make an hour-long episode

I can recommend both this book, Carry on, Jeeves, (as well as the other books) and the TV show if you like light, slightly over-the-top British humor.  I definitely enjoyed them both.

I am an Amazon Associate. I borrowed this book from my local library.

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