It has been few years since I discovered and started enjoying the writings of P. G. Wodehouse and ever since they have never failed to amaze me in their simplicity of story and wonderful English writing. There have been long stretches of times when I have read Wodehouse books before falling asleep and the stories have always helped me to go to sleep.
You might think that these books must be really boring that I go to sleep reading them but that is not the case. These stories relax your mind completely. These are the stories where there are no bad people. The biggest problems in life are related to style of clothing one needs to wear to dinner or in some cases a lover’s tiff. There are times when a pet pig does not eat enough or there is an unwanted guest in the house. These are the simple problems in the world of Woosters and Jeeves or Blandings Castle.
It is such a difference reading Wodehouse books as compared to other stories that consist of thrillers, mysteries, suspense, murders that it hits you in the face. Even if the book is not about secret spy missions or investigation, authors tend to create a mystery around their characters. Of course you enjoy reading these stories but the story keep you on the edge of the seat and are really not great reading if you are trying to go to sleep peacefully.
On the other hand, reading about Wooster fussing over his dress or Earl fussing over his pig Empress brings such a peaceful state in your mind that your eyes start drooping just like Wooster or Earl after a great lunch and enjoying the sun on a hammock. I wonder if there are other such great writers who can claim to bring sleep to you but are not boring or complicated.
Only one thing you need to be cautious about while reading Wodehouse in night is that you may end up laughing out loud suddenly and that can be a problem if your partner or spouse is sleeping next to you. Otherwise you will mostly end up sleeping with a soft and goofy smile on your face.
I recently came across that somebody has tried to recreate the Jeeves and Wooster magic again and a new book has come out. Not sure if somebody can recreate it but it will be interesting to read it.
My love affair with P. G. Wodehouse and his characters Jeeves and Wooster continues and become stronger by the day. “Joy in the morning” is a real gem even from Wodehouse standards. It is the best in comfort reading and humor at the same time. There were times when I just burst out laughing while reading this book. The humor is in the situation, characters and most of all in the language that author writes.
The story is as simple as the life of Wooster. He goes on to stay in rural Steeple Bumpleigh to help husband of his Aunt Agatha and ends up in comedy of events. He is trying to help his Uncle in business, trying to help his friend in getting married, trying to avoid getting engaged to his ex-girlfriend, trying to avoid violence from ex girlfriend’s new fiancée who is now a policeman and trying to avoid getting in path of Edwin the boy scout who is on a mission to do kind acts. Of course, there is a lot of goofing around till Jeeves is able to sort it out for everybody involved.
I really wonder how Wodehouse manages to use English language so beautifully. He can write about a simplest situation and describe it in such an involved way that it comes alive in front of your eyes. Actually, it is much more than that. Who can think of describing his friend as “Boko’s a frightfully good egg”? Another one of the great sentence “I paused for a moment to listen to the tootling birds. Then I raised the map, and allowed the beaming sun to play on it”. In another place, Wooster is telling Jeeves to go and have fish so that ideas can be generated to save him.
I can keep on turning pages of this book and find such masterpieces on each and every page. I do not know if there is any other author who could write in a similar way as Wodehouse.
Filed under Fiction, Humor
I am coming back to write about P. G. Wodehouse after a long time even though I have read many of his books in past few months. Most of the books that I read were short stories and to write a post about short story is rather difficult, though in case of Wodehouse, each one of them is a masterpiece on its own. This time I found “Right Ho, Jeeves” that is a full length novel and an amazing one. It is very hilarious and very comforting to read anything from Wodehouse. While reading this book, I ended up laughing all the way.
The plot of the story has all the usual twists and turns. Bertie is trying to help his Aunt, her daughter and his friends at the same time and he wants to do it without taking help from Jeeves. He actually comes up with nice ideas but somehow ends up in worse situation every time. In the end when everything is going wrong, he turns to Jeeves for help who once again manages to bring the situation back to normal but extracts his price by managing to burn Bertie’s jacket that he had not liked.
The whole idea of Wodehouse stories is not the complexity of the plot but the language and characterization. I almost felt as though I was reading poetry or a work of art rather than just a story. The scene of Fink-Nottle giving speech in a school was one of the best comic scenes and so was the part involving Anatole, the great chef at Aunt Dahlia’s house. Some places where Bertie is trying to put down Jeeves in the matter of telling him “Yes Sir” or “Sir” in response to Bertie’s ideas is amazingly done. If that scene were to be done on Video, it would have been easy but to capture the nuance of speech in written word in not so easy. In another place, Bertie and Jeeves communicate just by raising their eyebrows or repeat what each other is saying. I can actually go on and on describing all the scenes in the book.
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Filed under Fiction, Humor