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Saturday, November 12, 2005

cover of My Man Jeeves

Jeeves and Wooster and P. G. Wodehouse are all familiar names, but before now I've never taken the time to read any of Wodehouse's work, or any of the actual stories about Jeeves. This book is really a collection of short stories, and I was a bit surprised and confused when I discovered, half-way through, that not all of them are about Jeeves. Half of the eight stories in this collection are actually narrated by Reggie Philips-- a rather similar kind of character and narrator to Wooster, a chap who tries to help his friends out of jams, but without the assistance of Jeeves. The stories are all quite entertaining, and the tone is light and fun.

Some of the circumstances in these stories are pretty hilarious-- the kind of things you might expect to encounter in a sitcom today. In one case, Reggie is trying to help a friend who's girl has ended their engagement; he decides it would be a good idea to kidnap a child who he thinks is the girl's nephew so his friend can return the child-- but of course, the child is no relation to her and Reggie is stuck taking care of the kid for a few days. Of course, in all of the stories things usually come out right in the end-- although usually in spite of Reggie's help.

Wooster, Jeeves' employer, is the narrator of the Jeeves' stories, and he is usually as clueless as Reggie-- although generally without the bad ideas of how to help people; he relies on Jeeves for all of his ideas. Wooster usually has no idea how to resolve things, and when things go wrong, he tends to despair; but Jeeves always manages to fix things up (and always without any real help from Wooster).

Entertaining, light reading, and worth your time. I plan to read more Jeeves stories and more P. G. Wodehouse.

Title:My Man Jeeves
Author:P. G. Wodehouse
Date published:1931 (original publication; electronic edition 2005)
Genre:Short Stories
Number of pages:139
Notes:Read electronic edition freely available from Project Gutenberg.


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