Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Right Ho, Jeeves

This is in fact the first P.G. Wodehouse book that I have read and I am pleased at last to be actually making a start in churning through the 90 odd books he wrote during his lifetime.

Right Ho, Jeeves is the sixth book in which Jeeves appear and I do not think I have missed anything by not starting at the beginning. Sometimes seeing a film or television version* of a story first can hinder reading the book and, I must admit I did have Hugh Laurie voice in my head whilst reading, but there are 'pleasant' differences between the two which distance them just far enough apart.

I've been thinking (and typing some false starts) how best to summarise the story whilst giving a spirit of the book and here is my effort.

The bulk of the story takes place at Brinkley Court and involves;
  • A man who is too timid to ask a women to marry him because he has spent to far much time with newts.
  • An urgent telegram: "Lay off the sausages, avoid the ham"
  • An Aunt who has lost the money needed to keep her magazine afloat from spending it all in the casino's in Cannes. 
  • A school prize giving.
  • A couple who are engaged but are not speaking to each other; which is over a double chin and a shark.
Then there is Bertie Woosters attempt to sort all these affair out which results in;
  • No one eating dinner and the french chef becoming suicidal.
  • Too  much gin and whiskey for the Newt man.
  • Engagements being swapped left right and centre.
  • The Aunt calling Bertie Attilla.
  • Chaffing from Bicycles.
Finally ending with Jeeves sorting it all out... Oh and there is a white mess jacket and some scarlet tights which I have missed from the above.

Most of the pleasure from reading the book has come from Bertie, who is the main MC, use of language. One of the things he does quite frequently through the book (I hope the rest of the books too)  is make these "you can have one but not the other" type statements which annoyingly, as is always the case when you are looking, I can not find an example of ( i will make sure I dog ear the page when I come across the next one")  but for your enjoyment; here are some other quotes from the book with Bertie describing some of the other characters:
  • You know how it is with some girls. They seem to take the stuffing right out of you. I mean to say, there is something about their personality that paralyses the vocal cords and reduces the contents of the brain to cauliflower.
  • In build and appearance, Tuppy somewhat resembles a bulldog, and his aspect now was that of one of these fine animals who has just been refused a slice of cake.
  • And as for Gussie Fink-Nottle, many an experienced undertaker would have been deceived by his appearance and started embalming him on sight.
  • It isn't often that Aunt Dahlia, lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.
 source wikiquotes

All in all an enjoyable read and I will be working my way through the rest of Wodehouse at very slow leisurely pace.

*Elements of Right Ho, Jeeves are in the episode "The Hunger Strike"

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