What a surprise treat Right Ho, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse has been. Delicious. Light. Fun to share. Thanks for reading along! Always more fun to share a laugh, than to laugh alone.
Phyllis mentioned how her family enjoys watching the episode of Jeeves and Wooster together. They are on youtube and I found this one from Season 1 that is straight out of Right Ho, Jeeves. For those of you who have watched the TV show House, Dr. House is Bertie! Hugh Laurie is one versatile actor. Thanks Phyllis!
And for those of you who haven’t had a chance to read through last week’s discussion, Spring shared that “Ask Jeeves” is from the PD Wodehouse series we are reading now. Many of us didn’t know that and feel slightly smarter now. Thank you, Spring!
From our friend Wikipedia: Stephen Fry, in an article titled “What ho! My hero, PG Wodehouse,” remarks on the popularity of the work, especially the prize-giving episode:
“The masterly episode where Gussie Fink-Nottle presents the prizes at Market Snodsbury grammar school is frequently included in collections of great comic literature and has often been described as the single funniest piece of sustained writing in the language. I would urge you, however, to head straight for a library or bookshop and get hold of the complete novel Right Ho, Jeeves, where you will encounter it fully in context and find that it leaps even more magnificently to life.”
In our previous book, Around the World in 80 Days, we discussed who the Christ figure was. Today I would also like to talk about another aspect of good stories: the external and internal journey the “hero”/main character goes on. Because the Jeeves and Wooster books are a series, the internal journey will not be as great as say for Walter Mitty (movie) or Kit in The Witch of Blackbird Pond (our February book).
Still, I think we can see both the Christ figure and the external/internal journey in this book. Jeeves seems to be in the undisputed Christ figure as everyone seeks out his wisdom, knows he can solve their problems, and is a servant! (Some might even argue a “suffering servant” working for Bertie.) Obviously the external journey of the story involved Bertie “helping” the three couples:
- Gussie and Madeline Bassett
- Angela and Tuppy
- Aunt Dahlia and the money she needs from Uncle Tom
And the internal journey involved Bertie changing and growing. Because this is a serialized comedy, we won’t see the kind of growth as we would in a more contained story. That being said, what growth do you think Bertie experienced?
Wodehouse sure can turn a phrase.
1. “Turned you down?”
“Like a bedspread in this very garden.”
Oh to be so witty in person!
2. “I heard a story the other day. I can’t quite remember it, but it was about a chap who snored and disturbed the neighbors, and it ended, ‘It was his adenoids that adenoid them.'”
I don’t know why I laugh so much at this and don’t groan . . . but it gets me each time I read it.
3. “Are you a pessimist, Bertie?”
“I could have told her that what was occurring in this house was rapidly making me one, but I said, no, I wasn’t.”
Oh my word. This about sums up occasions I’ve had on team, in meetings, or in a “culture vortex.” Anyone else?!
4. “I say that my place was by her side, but it was not so dashed easy to get there, for she was setting a cracking pace.”
5. “It isn’t often that Aunt Dahlia, normally as genial a bird as ever, encouraged a gaggle of hounds to get their noses down to it, lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.”
This slayed me.
This was a fun summer read and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and what you enjoyed. Thanks Kay for the suggestion, I’m still laughing.
P.S. Next week we’ll start A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter by
July 5: Forward – Chapter 5
July 12: Chapters 6- 10
July 19: Sabbath (reading a larger section)
July 26: Chapters 11-21
August 2: 22-26 (the end)
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