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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Right Ho, Jeeves

by PG Wodehouse

This audio book was my first introduction to Wodehouse (and thanks to the introduction I know that is pronounced WOOD-HOUSE, not WOAD-HOUSE as I always thought). Other bloggers have written about him often but he was completely new to me. One blogger in particular - sorry, I can't recall who just now - mentioned that Wodehouse is best appreciated by listening rather than reading his books. Having now listened to my first I must wholeheartedly agree.

*** In Summary ***

This is the most entertaining absurdity I've ever heard!

*** More detail, you say? Right ho! ***

Trying to explain what this book is about is like trying to explain what makes something funny. It's sort of a comedy of errors, a comedy of manners, and a good dash of British humor all shaken and poured for your enjoyment. Those who know Wodehouse will understand what I'm saying; those who don't will have to try him to see it.

I'll do my best to give you an overview. This story - and others in the "Jeeves" series - center around Bertie Wooster, a wealthy young man-about-London, and his butler, Jeeves, a man of few-but-always-appropriate words and perfect manners.

In this episode Bertie and Jeeves visit the home of Bertie's aunt. Several lovers quarrels ensue amongst the guest and Jeeves is sought for advice, as usual. This time however, Bertie insists he can sort things out - against the advice of all parties involved. More drama quickly follows.

That summary really doesn't do justice to this book. You simply MUST give it a try!

Did I mention that the book is filled with old and odd British words? I LOVED that!

*** Reading vs. Listening? ***

I think if I would have read this rather than listened to it, I wouldn't have gotten as much out of it. The narration was excellent - I was laughing out loud several times! Now that I know what the dialogue is supposed to sound like, I think I'd be able to read other Wodehouse books with great pleasure. So my advice to the "uninitiated" is to grab an audio book and plunge in.

Or as Wodehouse might write ...

Bertie: "What say you, Jeeves?"
Jeeves: "Indeed, sir."
Bertie: "Right ho, then!"


Anonymous said...

Great review. Thanks!

Ana S. said...

I've wanted to read Wodehouse for so long! One of the reasons is the fact that I often see Terry Pratchett's humour being compared to his. This sounds absolutely irresistible, and I must make sure I read at least one of the Jeeves stories next year.

Rebecca Reid said...

I read a Jeeves novel a few years ago. I think you're right: I need to listen to it. I'll try again!

Ruth King said...

Wodehouse is one of those authors that I've always wanted to read but never have. Thanks for the review, I'm definitely going to try out a Woadhouse audiobook.

Ti said...

I enjoy British humor so this sounds like something I might like.

raych said...

British = inherently hilarious. Par example: the phrase 'what ho!'

Teresa said...

I can't remember if I've read this one or not, but they're all hilarious. You should check out the BBC series with Hugh Laurie as Bertie and Stephen Fry as Jeeves. That series was my introduction to Wodehouse, and they still make my laugh, laugh, laugh.

Stephanie said...

British humor is fantastic! (I'm slowly making my way through the entirety of Monty Python, and it's lovely. :)

You've been tagged for a fun "Grab the nearest book and flip to page..." thing. If you care to follow along, instructions are at my latest post, right ho! ;)

Ann said...

It's been about 10 years since I read this, and it was also my introduction to Jeeves and Wodehouse. The other Jeeves books are just as fun!

Anonymous said...

I tried reading Wodehouse (I also thought it was WOAD-house until my sister, who knew something about British pronunciation but nothing about Wodehouse, corrected me) a few years ago and it was a no go. I felt like I just didn't get it. A couple of months ago I started watching Fry and Laurie's Jeeves and Wooster, and their was something about making a visual connection to the characters that I could then pick up the stories and read them. I can't explain it but I am glad I tried reading Wodehouse again after watching the shows. I love the books and am reading Wodehouse to the exclusion of other authors. Good thing for me he wrote some 90 plus books. I say get Wodehouse any way you can.

Jill said...

Now I know whose review spurred me on to do a comprehensive reread of Wodehouse! I'd read a novel here and there, and a story here and there, but never from the beginning. I hope to get to the stories, but as the novels are available in audio at my library, I thought I'd try them first. I just finished this, the second one, and it was so, so funny! I loved every minute of it. So thanks! :-)

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