Monday, February 17, 2014

Deja Vu All Over Again

My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1)My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've read this all before! I know I sometimes complain that once you've read one Wodehouse story you've read them all, but no, I mean I literally have read all these stories already. Ah well, I've also seen every episode of shows like All In The Family or Are You Being Served? about half a dozen times, so why not give these wonderful words a rerun read through?

Well the answer would be because this is not Wodehouse's best effort at joining up words in a pleasing manner. He's had better goes at it with say The Code of the Woosters, The Mating Season or Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves.

And then there's the issue of all these Jeeves & Wooster stories being set in New York. I've never been a fan of the stories set in America and I finally put my finger upon the why. Wodehouse's American characters living in America are dull. They lack the daffy spark of his English ones or even his Americans visiting the UK. What is it about England that makes them all go hilariously looney? Must be something in the gin water.

AND THEN there's the issue of the title. When a book's titled My Man Jeeves it'd better be carpetted wall-to-wall with Jeeves. This is not. Only about half of the stories are about the Jeeves and Wooster dynamic duo. The rest are about Reggie Peppers, who is a Bertie Wooster-lite.

If I was to bottomline all this, I'd say My Man Jeeves is not a rotten potato from the first Bush administration that you've finally unearthed from behind the fridge. No, it's a decent enough book and a good one to start off your Wodehouse reading career. However, there's better hilarity to be found amongst the author's canon.

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