Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another deeelightful romp in the Wodehouse world! Romp-tiddly-romp, I say, what?! What, what?!
Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, aka What Ho, Jeeves, is a bit different from others in the Wooster/Jeeves line in that it reads like a play. In my case, it listens like a play, because I ingested this audiobook-style. So, in place of Wodehouse's wonderful narration via Bertie's inner monologue, we get awkward exposition and strange soliloquy. Instead of a witty description of Jeeves' discontent over Bertie's ghastly upper-lip appendage, we hear the actor groaning and moaning in a most peevish manner, in a word: whinging.
All the above sounds odd and irritating, and would be off-putting enough to make most listeners give it up. I'm not most readers when it comes to a Wooster and Jeeves novel, so I stuck it out, and boy am I glad I did! Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit turned out to be a cracking good read!
It's no different than any of the other 101 books (or however many there are) on the dynamic duo in this series. Bertie's having a typically rough morning after a raucous night out when hell breaks out and rings his doorbell. One of his torturous aunts is in need, a former fiancee may or may not wish to marry him again, the significant other of this former fiancee wishes to wring Bertie's neck (or in this case, break his spine in upwards of a half dozen different locations), a minor heist is required of Bertie by his aunt, and Jeeves will save the day 9 times out of 10.
It's a tried and true formula from which Wodehouse seldom varies. So why bother to keep coming back? One likes the well-known rerun and is grateful for the old trusty laugh when so needed. I often pick up a Wodehouse when I'm down or blue or in some other variation on the state of sadness. A dose from a reliable rib-tickler can get one out of a funk as well as an aspirin relieves a headache, and this book is an even more potent remedy for what ails you.
NOTE: I'd like to make a further note, a sidebar if you will, regarding the audiobook. The performances were mostly top-notch. I attribute this to the use of about three actors who've voiced the Bertie character in other Wodehouse books. One played the main role, while the others supported. Fantastic casting!
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