Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wodehouse delights once again in another excellent book about English gentleman Bertrand Wooster and his gentleman’s gentlemen, Jeeves. This is the fourth Jeeves & Wooster book I’ve finished, but the first full length novel as the other three were collections of short stories. I had wondered if Wodehouse would be able to carry off a novel length tale, but my concerns were unfounded. Not only does it fulfill in the way the short stories do, but it flows quite nicely. Once again, the reader is provided with amusing situations, quirky but endearing characters, and charming yet witty dialogue.
The superb vocal delivery by J. Cecil must be acknowledged and praised. One could say, “J. Cecil, you stand alone.”
(minor spoiler alert)
A modern reader, though likely to enjoy this work, probably won’t be able to be unsurprised when part of the story involved black musicians and some white characters end up in black face. Such a thing generally wouldn’t fly nowadays so it was an educational experience to imaging this being simply amusing and not offensive to previous audiences. I believe these “signs of the times” are very useful to understanding how various societies have changed over time (thankfully often for the better).
Finally, I’ll mention that I happily have Cecil’s accents and Wodehouse’s dialogue pattern rolling around in my head. Carry on!