Review : Very Good, Jeeves

by Nikhil Kautilya on November 27, 2012

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Author: P G Wodehouse
Publisher: Arrow Books
Year: 2008
ISBN: 9780099513728
Rating: ★★★★☆
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He wrote for more years than what we live. And, all he did during those years was to write recipes that would twist your intestines more, induce pain in your jaws and would grant you at least a year more to live. And hence, die in a more convenient age! Take a bow, Sir Pelham ‘rummy’ Grenville ‘extremely funny’ Wodehouse.

Before I begin, pardon me for I never realized when I decided to take Mr. Wodehouse’s writing head on that I would have to review his work one day. After a heavenly climax, let this be the inevitable, ugly emanation.

Well, the work of his under spot light here is called Very Good, Jeeves. Putting very simply, it is a cozy collection of huge humour. Eleven short stories where a wealthy, intelligent Bertram Wooster descends into discomfort each time and then allows his intelligent butler, Jeeves to satisfy him with his bit of wisdom. Yes, the former is intelligent as well, but the truth of it is still under exploration.

Jeeves is humble, belonging to Yes, sir-species of butlers but the poor lad is gifted with an additional burden of a huge reservoir of troubleshooting tricks. Burden because when you have the solutions then you must have the problems beforehand. And the problems in the world of Jeeves come via Mr. Wooster, in the form of the barrage of his aunts, uncles, cousins and friends and are then passed on to Jeeves, usually over the breakfast table. Write down this in your mind somewhere before I lose my tongue- your aunts are way better than Mr. Wooster’s and are less in number, for sure.

Both, the writing and the situations, are potent enough to bear several smiles. You might not laugh, as in the garish ha-ha all the time, but you might find one of the two cheeks that you posses being troubled by the fleshy lips. All the time. Sometimes, Wodehouse, to save his ink, would write eggs as e. or bacon as b. or opportunity as opp., but worry not- flash your eyes above and below and you will have the elusive wisdom. Also, you might hear someone someday say- oh, it is a little predictable– banish that sassy, elegant relative of yours and his ignorance then and there, and dive back into the classical, jolly good, almost perfect writing of Wodehouse. He is shrewd- putting perfect word each time.

His actors would make some daring comments on human nature, and your stern mind will feel the booze because of their sincerity or imperiousness. Their innocent and innovative problems will inebriate your heart further. And the rest of your sporadically fitted parts shall be taken care by the master’s talent. And then you will realize the joy of reading. By then, you will be flying high, up in Wodehouse’s world. Where problems are cuter than their solutions.

Written by Nikhil Kautilya

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shruti August 4, 2013 at 11:58 AM

One of the few reviews that did crisp justice to Wodehouse 🙂

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Nikhil Kautilya November 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Thank you so much. 🙂 So, so much. 🙂

-Nikhil Kautilya

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