Archive for the ‘Humorous’ Category

Review of Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

dear_committee_members_largeDear Committee Members

by Julie Schumacher

Doubleday, New York, 180 pages.
Starred Review

Dear Committee Members is a novel told entirely in the form of Letters of Recommendation written by Jason Fitger, an English professor at a small liberal arts college. That may not sound like a way to write a hilarious novel, but trust me, it is.

When my hold on this book came in, I dipped into it – and then had to put it on the top of my to-be-read pile. I finished it the next day, reading it while waiting at a doctor’s office, trying to restrain my laughter.

I don’t think I can describe all the delights and sophisticated humor of this book. I will settle for copying out a few example letters.

Here’s one addressed to the manager of Wexler Foods:

Dear Ms. Ingersol,

This letter is intended to bolster the application to Wexler Foods of my former student John Leszczynski, who completed the Junior/Senior Creative Writing Workshop three months ago. Mr. Leszczynski received a final grade of B, primarily on the basis of an eleven-page short story about an inebriated man who tumbles into a cave and surfaces from an alcoholic stupor to find that a tentacled monster – a sort of fanged and copiously salivating octopus, if memory serves – is gnawing through the flesh of his lower legs, the monster’s spittle burbling ever closer to the victim’s groin. Though chaotic and improbable even within the fantasy/horror genre, the story was solidly constructed: dialogue consisted primarily of agonized groans and screaming; the chronology was relentlessly clear.

Mr. Leszczynski attended class faithfully, arriving on time, and rarely succumbed to the undergraduate impulse to check his cell phone for messages or relentlessly zip and unzip his backpack in the final minutes of class.

Whether punctuality and enthusiasm for flesh-eating cephalopods are the main attributes of the ideal Wexler employee I have no idea, but Mr. Leszczynski is an affable young man, reliable in his habits, and reasonably bright.

His letter to the new Chair of the Department of English introduces some themes that continue throughout the book:

Dear Ted,

Your memo of August 30 requests that we on the English faculty recommend some luckless colleague for the position of director of graduate studies. (You may have been surprised to find this position vacant upon your assumption of the chairship last month – if so, trust me, you will encounter many such surprises here.)

A quick aside, Ted: god knows what enticements were employed during the heat of summer to persuade you – a sociologist! – to accept the position of chair in a department not your own, an academic unit whose reputation for eccentricity and discord has inspired the upper echelon to punish us by withholding favors as if from a six-year-old at a birthday party: No raises or research funds for you, you ungovernable rascals! And no fudge before dinner! Perhaps, as the subject of a sociological study, you will find the problem of our dwindling status intriguing.

To the matter at hand: though English has traditionally been a largish department, you will find there are very few viable candidates capable of assuming the mantle of DGS. In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that only 10 percent of the English instruction list will answer your call for nominations. Why? First, because more than a third of our faculty now consists of temporary (adjunct) instructors who creep into the building under cover of darkness to teach their graveyard shifts of freshman comp; they are not eligible to vote or to serve. Second, because the remaining two-thirds of the faculty, bearing the scars of disenfranchisement and long-term abuse, are busy tending to personal grudges like scraps of carrion on which they gnaw in the gloom of their offices. Long story short: your options aren’t pretty….

Ted, in your memo you referred briefly, also, to the need for faculty forbearance during what we were initially told would be the “remodeling” of the second floor for the benefit of our colleagues in the Economics Department.* I’m not sure that you noticed, but the Econ faculty were, in early August, evacuated from the building – as if they’d been notified, sotto voce, of an oncoming plague. Not so the faculty in English. With the exception of a few individuals both fleet of foot and quick-witted enough to claim status as asthmatics, we have been Left Behind, almost biblically, expected to begin our classes and meet with students while bulldozers snarl at the door. Yesterday afternoon during my Multicultural American Literature class, I watched a wrecking ball swinging like a hypnotist’s watch just past the window. While I am relieved to know that the economists – delicate creatures! – have been safely installed in a wing of the new geology building where their physical comfort and aesthetic needs can be addressed, those of us who remain as castaways here in Willard Hall risk not only deafness but mutation: as of next week we have been instructed to keep our windows tightly closed due to “particulate matter” – but my office window (here’s the amusing part, Ted) no longer shuts. One theory here: the deanery is annoyed with our requests for parity and, weary of waiting for us to retire, has decided to kill us. Let the academic year begin!

Cordially and with a hearty welcome to the madhouse,

Jay

*Under whose aegis was it decided that Economics and English should share a building? Were criteria other than the alphabet considered?

I have to also include this one:

Dear Admissions Committee Members – and Janet:

This letter recommends Melanie deRueda for admission to the law school on the well-heeled side of this campus. I’ve known Ms. deRueda for eleven minutes, ten of which were spent in a fruitless attempt to explain to her that I write letters of recommendation only for students who have signed up for and completed one of my classes. This young woman is certainly tenacious, if that’s what you’re looking for. A transfer student, she appears to be suffering under the delusion that a recommendation from any random faculty member within our august institution will be the key to her application’s success.

Janet: I know your committees aren’t reading these blasted LORs – under the influence of our final martini in August you told me as much. (I wish I had an ex-wife like you in every department; over in the Fellowship Office, the formerly benevolent Carole continues to maintain an icy distance. I should think her decision to quit our relationship would have filled her with a cheerful burst of self-esteem, but she apparently views the end of our three years together in a different light.)

Ms. deRueda claims to be sending her transcripts and LSAT scores at the end of the week. God help you – this is your shot across the bow – should you admit her.

Still affectionately your one-time husband,

Jay

P.S.: I’ve heard a rumor that Eleanor – yes, that Eleanor, from the Seminar – is a finalist for the directorship at Bentham. You got back in touch with her despite her denouncements of me; do you have any intel?

P.P.S.: A correction: you got back in touch with Eleanor because she denounced me. I remember you quoting what she said when I published Transfer of Affection: that I was an egotist prone to repeating his most fatal mistakes. I’ll admit to the egotism – which is undeniable – but I’d like to think that, after fourteen years of marriage, you knew me better than Eleanor did. We were happy for some of those fourteen years, especially before Transfer; why shouldn’t I believe that you were right about me, too?

The themes brought up in these letters toward the beginning of the book continue. Yes, we find out more about Janet, Eleanor, and Carole. We hear more about the fiasco of the building remodeling and inequities of funding between departments. We learn about Jay’s history in “the Seminar,” his publishing history, and his attempts to further the fortunes of some particular students.

Mostly, this is an inside look at academia, and the result is surprisingly funny and enjoyable. Oh, and it’s also fun that the person writing the letters is articulate and insightful. An example of a highly intelligent person who sees the foibles around him and can poke fun with razor-sharp precision.

julieschumacher.com
doubleday.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of As You Wish, by Cary Elwes

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

as_you_wish_largeAs You Wish

Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

by Cary Elwes
with Joe Layden
foreword by Rob Reiner

A Touchstone Book, Simon & Schuster, 2014. 259 pages.
Starred Review

Reading this book was wonderful! Fans of The Princess Bride will love it! And if you’re not a fan of The Princess Bride? How on earth are you not? That very idea is inconceivable to me – and I know what the word means.

What’s in the book? Cary Elwes, who, of course, starred as Westley in the movie, tells stories about making the movie. The book is also peppered with reminiscences by the other actors and actresses. They do all work together to convince the reader that making that movie was almost as extraordinary an experience as the final film turned out to be extraordinary.

I loved it that Cary Elwes had read and loved William Goldman’s book The Princess Bride when he was thirteen years old. What are the chances?

A huge part of making The Princess Bride was the actors learning to swordfight. I have a completely new appreciation for the Greatest Swordfight in Modern Times.

”Don’t worry,” Rob insisted. “You’ll be training with the best. It’ll be fun!”

Training, with the best!

It always sounds fun in conversation. But the practical reality is something quite different. More like, “Don’t worry, you’ll be training with the best Sherpa to help you climb Everest!” or “Don’t worry, you’ll be training with the greatest human cannonball before we fire you out of the cannon.” I’d long admired serious athletes, and I always try to treat a challenge as an opportunity. And then I began to think, Wait a minute! How hard could it really be? I’d seen plenty of Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks movies. My developing, inane theory was that if they could do it, so could I. It didn’t seem all that difficult. A few quick thrusts, some fancy footwork. More like dancing than combat.

I could handle it, I thought. No problem.

I was, of course, somewhat deluded….

And then we went to work. The first day was devoted to the most basic body mechanics, starting with the proper stance. Mastery wasn’t really the goal – there wasn’t enough time for that. Rather, it would have to be the illusion of mastery, and that could only be achieved by adhering to the fundamentals of fencing: how to stand, where to place your arms and feet. How to hold your free hand, not clenched but relaxed (something I had a hard time perfecting). A professional fencer, they explained, could watch a sword-fighting sequence on film and tell immediately if the actors involved were complete amateurs. The easiest to spot were when the actors or stuntmen could be seen just hitting the swords back and forth, over and over in the same manner, the way kids do with sticks.

They explained that they had requested that the fighting sequences be filmed late in the production, allowing us a few weeks of intense daily training in prep, followed by a few months of training while on location. Bob then pointed out that although it wasn’t possible for either of us to become an Olympic-caliber fencer in that amount of time, maybe with the help and guidance of both himself and Peter, we might just be capable of fooling all but the most discerning of viewers. Their reputations were at stake as well, after all, he pointed out.

Cary had nothing but praise for Robin Wright as Buttercup. He pointed out something I hadn’t noticed:

Buttercup falls in love, loses her love, gets kidnapped, is forced into an arranged marriage, reconnects with her one true love, and then lets him go in order to save his life. It really requires a great deal of emotional range. What it doesn’t require – or at least doesn’t display – is the comedic talent for which The Princess Bride is so well known. Goldman wrote a screenplay that we now know is filled with great, classic funny lines. Unfortunately, few, if any, of those lines are given to Buttercup. Robin is not merely the victim in the film; she is also the straight man (or, in this case, the straight woman). And even though Westley is not exactly a comedian, he does have some funny lines, and is involved in some rather broad physical comedy. Robin’s character is permitted no such relief. From start to finish, she had to play it straight, exactly as the role demanded.

Of course, I had to watch The Princess Bride again (for the I-have-no-idea-how-many-th time) after reading this book. I watched for evidence of Cary Elwes’ broken toe, and totally saw it. But mostly, the book just gave me added appreciation for a film I already love with all my heart.

This book celebrates a film that was done right, from start to finish.

AsYouWishBook.com
SimonandSchuster.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Library Mascot Cage Match, by Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

library_mascot_cage_match_largeLibrary Mascot Cage Match

An Unshelved Collection

by Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum

Overdue Media, Seattle, 2005. 120 pages.
Starred Review

We recently had a Library Staff Day, and Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum spoke, and we each received a copy of one of their books. I have seen Unshelved online, but I had forgotten just how funny their cartoons are.

Unshelved is set in Mallville Public Library. The comic is written so that even non-librarians will find it funny. However, we librarians? We think it’s hilarious. At last the world is having some of their misperceptions about libraries cleared up!

My favorite strip from this book is one they highlighted in their session. You see people running around the library, and a customer saying “I thought libraries were supposed to be quiet!” Dewey (the teen librarian) says, “You have what we call ‘The Misperception.’”

Another good series is where a customer is advocating for a vote to close the library to “save” taxpayer money. The librarians help him prepare his case and his materials. At the end, he asks, “What is this, the Twilight Zone???” Dewey says, “No, a library. We don’t have to like you to help you.”

This book also includes, in the center, a full-color graphic novelette, “Empire County Strikes Back,” when a high-tech bookmobile from a neighboring county tries to take over their customers and close their library. There’s a lovely scene at the end where Dewey explains all that librarians do for their community, which technology can never replace.

It’s time to take sides. Are you going to be seduced by the lure of high technology or are you going to support your local public library the way we support you?

I need to take another look at this webcomic. Time to sign up for those daily emails – and order more of the books.

unshelved.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of Ring for Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse

Monday, January 26th, 2015

ring_for_jeeves_largeRing for Jeeves

by P. G. Wodehouse
narrated by Nigel Lambert

AudioGO, 2011. First published in the United Kingdom in 1953. 6 hours, 50 minutes on 6 compact discs.

A Jeeves book without Wooster! I have stooped to checking out any P. G. Wodehouse book our library has in audio form, without trying to read them in order. This one was written in the 1950s when the British aristocracy was in trouble. Sir Rochester, Rory, works at “Harridge’s” to make ends meet, and Bill, the ninth Earl of Rowcester (pronounced “Roaster”) has been working as a bookie, with Jeeves as his clerk.

Jeeves? Why is Jeeves there without Bertie Wooster? Well, Bertie is going to a school where he’s learning to get along without servants, doing things like darning his own socks. And gentlemen’s personal gentlemen are not allowed.

Meanwhile, Bill’s bookmaking activities get him into a grand mesh of trouble after an unlikely bet pays off – or should pay off. He was operating his business in disguise and trying to keep it secret from his fiancée, Jill Wyvern, a veterinarian.

Meanwhile, Bill’s sister, Rory’s wife, has met a rich American widow who would love to buy Rowcester Abbey, especially if she can find evidence of any ghosts. But her friend happens to be the man who won the bet that Bill didn’t pay. Can Bill keep his secret? Can he sell the old house? And can Rory keep from telling the American everything that’s wrong with it?

This book is the usual good fun of a P. G. Wodehouse tale. I didn’t enjoy this narrator as much as the ones I’ve heard narrating the other books. Although he has a lovely English accent, his voice of Rory – or anyone getting very excited – was quite annoying to listen to. But that was minor enough to not diminish my overall enjoyment of the yarn. I always say there’s nothing like a good laugh on my way to work.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of Jeeves: Joy in the Morning, by P. G. Wodehouse

Monday, January 26th, 2015

jeeves_joy_in_the_morning_largeJeeves: Joy in the Morning

by P. G. Wodehouse

starring Michael Hordern and Richard Briers

A BBC Radio Full Cast Production, 3 hours on 3 compact discs.

I’m trying to listen to all the P. G. Wodehouse audiobooks the library owns, since they are simply so much fun. There’s nothing quite like laughing while you drive.

This one is a full cast radio production, with Bertie embroiled in more romantic entanglements and trying to straighten out friends’ romantic entanglements, while all the while trying to stay on the good side of the husband of his fearful Aunt Agatha, while visiting her home in Steeple Bumpleigh.

Unfortunately, I was a bit spoiled by the BBC video production of Jeeves and Wooster, and I prefer the voices of the actors they used for that production, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, over the voices of the actors in this one. However, it’s still Jeeves and Wooster and still British accents and still tremendous fun. This one, besides fearsome engagements, includes a meddlesome boy scout, whose attempts to do people a good turn every day never fail to go disastrously wrong.

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Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Fiction/jeeves_joy_in_the_morning.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of The Code of the Woosters, by P. G. Wodehouse

Monday, January 26th, 2015

code_of_the_woosters_largeThe Code of the Woosters

by P. G. Wodehouse
performed by Alexander Spencer

Recorded Books, 1989. First published in 1938. 8 hours on 7 compact discs.
Starred Review

I’m trying to listen to all the P. G. Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster books, since there is nothing better for putting me in a good mood while riding in the car.

The Code of the Woosters is one that was used for the marvelous BBC series Jeeves and Wooster, starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, so I was very familiar with the plot – but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment in the slightest. It perhaps helped me follow the convoluted plot all the better. It did have a slightly different resolution than is dramatized in the series, but mostly the series follows the book closely.

If you’ve seen the series, all I have to say is that this is the one with the imbroglio involving the Cow Creamer.

The book itself uses the word “imbroglio” to describe the situation we find here, and the description is apt. You couldn’t hope to come up with a more convoluted set of people hoping to marry other people and threatening to marry others and needing approval and blackmailing innocents into nefarious deeds and being in danger of disaster of all different kinds. And it’s all done with a proper British accent and Bertie’s jovial way of talking.

Entirely too much fun.

recordedbooks.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of Ukridge, by P. G. Wodehouse

Monday, January 26th, 2015

ukridge_largeUkridge

by P. G. Wodehouse
read by Jonathan Cecil

BBC Audiobooks America, 2006. 6 CDs, 7 hours, 29 minutes. Originally written in 1960.

I’m running out of Jeeves and Wooster CDs to listen to, so I’ve turned to some of P. G. Wodehouse’s other characters, and I’m not sorry.

Ukridge is a series of short stories narrated by a writer, Reggie Corcoran, about his old friend Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge.

Jonathan Cecil, as usual, does a magnificent job of reading the books, though the character of Ukridge is one I start to get tired of. When I found myself almost calling someone “Old Horse,” I thought I should give these CDs a rest for a bit!

But I’ve always said that laughing while driving is one of the very best ways to stay awake, so P. G. Wodehouse CDs are some of the best possible listening material. Ukridge is the sort of person who never pays for anything and always has a scheme going to make his fortune for all time. Something invariably goes wrong – and hilarity ensues.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of Love Among the Chickens, by P. G. Wodehouse

Monday, January 26th, 2015

love_among_the_chickens_largeLove Among the Chickens

by P. G. Wodehouse
read by Jonathan Cecil

BBC Audiobooks, Limited, 2005.
Starred Review

Listening to Jonathan Cecil read P. G. Wodehouse is getting to be my standard entertainment when driving. I will be devastated when I run out of library audiobooks. As it is, this was my first book, not about Jeeves and Wooster, but about Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge and his friend, the narrator, Jeremy Garnet.

The book starts when newly married Ukridge talks Jeremy, a novelist, into joining him in the countryside as he starts a chicken farm. Ukridge is sure chicken farming is the road to riches, so he feels free to buy all their supplies on credit. As Jeremy travels to the farm, he sees a young lady on the train whom he will never forget.

Well, the road to true love does not run smoothly. The young lady, Phyllis, and her father do end up being neighbors, but when they come to dinner at the farm, Ukridge manages to alienate the father, which he holds against Garnet as well. When Garnet hatches a plan to restore himself to good favor, it works for awhile, all the more disastrously to fail in the end.

And meanwhile, Ukridge’s adventures in chicken farming are nothing if not entertaining. Even without Jeeves and Wooster, this is a typical Wodehousian farce, with larger-than-life characters and tangled schemes, which generally work out in precisely the worst way, but also the funniest way.

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Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Fiction/love_among_the_chickens.html

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of A Damsel in Distress, by P. G. Wodehouse

Monday, January 26th, 2015

damsel_in_distress_largeA Damsel in Distress

by P. G. Wodehouse
read by Jonathan Cecil

AudioGO, 2013. Originally published in 1919.
Starred Review

I love listening to P. G. Wodehouse books. There’s no better way to stay awake while driving than to laugh, and his books guarantee a laugh every time. Normally, I listen to his Jeeves and Wooster books, but A Damsel in Distress is standalone about an American composer for musical theater, George Bevan.

George is feeling bored with his successful life, when a beautiful woman dashes into his cab in the middle of Piccadilly in London and asks him to hide her. He does, despite a fat gentleman coming after her. It turns out that the young lady is the daughter of Lord Marshmorton and lives in a castle in the country. Her family is trying to keep her at home because she has fallen in love with an unsuitable man.

Well, George finds out who she is and where she lives and rents a cottage near the castle, hoping he can be of service to her. What follows is a grand mess of plotting and mistaken identities and cross-purposes, described with P. G. Wodehouse’s quirky and apt similes and distinctive characters.

Jonathan Cecil, as always, does a wonderful job giving all the characters distinctive voices and even manages a decent American accent for George Bevan. There are numerous marriages and minimal broken hearts, and the whole thing is tremendously fun.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of My Man Jeeves, by P. G. Wodehouse

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

my_man_jeeves_largeMy Man Jeeves

by P. G. Wodehouse

The Overlook Press, Woodstock & New York, 2006. First published in 1919. 185 pages.

According to Novelist, My Man Jeeves is one of the first books P. G. Wodehouse wrote that includes Jeeves and Wooster. The library doesn’t have it in audio form, so I settled in to reading one story per day – a lovely way to add a smile to my days.

This is a collection of short stories, not all of them about Jeeves, and the author hadn’t gotten quite as fully into the form yet. I love his book-length stories, because in those he can develop an incredibly tangled imbroglio for Jeeves to solve.

However, these were delightfully fun, and were sure to add a smile to my day every time I fit one in. Some of my favorites were actually the ones not about Jeeves, since although similar, they were a little more unexpected. In “Absent Treatment,” Reggie Pepper has to figure out how to save the marriage of a frightfully forgetful friend. (He can’t remember the date of his wife’s birthday.) And in “Helping Freddie” he helps a friend get back with the girl he was engaged to by means of a scheme that goes hilariously wrong. And there’s a similar theme in “Rallying Around Old George,” though a very different scheme that goes wrong.

P. G. Wodehouse is in top form, as always, with regard to expressions and turns of phrase that evoke a feckless young man of the twenties. Here’s Bertie when he has to spend a night in a hotel because a friend’s aunt thinks Bertie’s home belongs to the friend:

As I stood in my lonely bedroom at the hotel, trying to tie my white tie myself, it struck me for the first time that there must be whole squads of chappies in the world who had to get along without a man to look after them. I’d always thought of Jeeves as a kind of natural phenomenon; but by Jove! of course, when you come to think of it, there must be quite a lot of fellows who have to press their own clothes themselves, and haven’t got anybody to bring them tea in the morning, and so on. It was rather a solemn thought, don’t you know. I mean to say, ever since then I’ve been able to appreciate the frightful privations the poor have to stick.

overlookpress.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!