How Right You Are, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse when he was about 23 years old. Image PD.

Wodehouse, P. G. How Right You Are, Jeeves. New York: Harper & Row, 1960. Print.

Genre: humor

Summary: Rich boy Bertie Wooster goes on a weekend holiday at the same time his butler, Jeeves, is called away to judge a beauty pageant. In just a few short hours, Bertie manages to wreck his best friend’s wedding engagement, ruin his uncle’s lucrative business prospects, all while convincing a gossiping American author that he’s completely insane. Only one person can clean this mess–but can Bertie find Jeeves in time?

Critique: In a book where every chapter is a romp, I’m not sure most readers can keep from getting bucked off Wodehouse’s saddle. Especially not when they’re clutching the laugh-stitches stabbing their sides. Best of all: Bertie’s ultra glamorous slang. His life is so full of drama that he must always abbreviate. For instance, he must call Lady Wickham and get the sit. (situation). His past is a painful subj. Ultimately feels rather contemporary and not that different from txtspk. Additional humor derives from Bertie’s careless splicing of French and Latin alongside his patchy memory for practical words: “I’m what they call an a-something of novels. Aficionado, would that be it?” Everywhere else, the dialogue clips along as the mixups stack faster than bills in a millionaire’s wallet. In short, reading Wodehouse is a lot like watching one of Preston Sturges’s movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age! OMG. ROFLMAO!

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