Sunday, 24 February 2013

Thank You, Jeeves (Jeeves #5)

Hardcover, 263 pages
Published September 15th 2003 by Overlook Hardcover (first published 1934)

1585674346 (ISBN13: 9781585674343)
edition language
original title
Thank You, Jeeves

When Bertie insists upon playing the banjolele, to the distress of his neighbors and his impeccable valet Jeeves, Jeeves is forced to take drastic action. He leaves B.'s service. But Bertie is entirely dedicated to his art, and decides to rent one of his friend Lord Chuffnell's cottages so as to pursue his banjolele studies away from the madding (and maddened) crowd... only to learn that Jeeves has taken employment as Chuffy's valet at Chuffnell Hall. Right-ho, then.

There is the usual romantic imbroglio; a former fiancée of Bertie's, Pauline Stoker, enters the picture as Chuffy's guest while her father, the American millionaire J. Washburn Stoker, considers the purchase of Chuffnell Hall. Of course Pauline and Chuffy proceed to fall madly in love, and when they fall out, it's up to Bertie to set things to rights again. Only, without Jeeves, it's a deuced awkward business, wot?

This is Wodehouse's first full length novel about Wooster and Jeeves

My Review-

After all the Bertie and Jeeves reading that I’ve done, I’d realised that they are inseparable. So when I read of Bertie choosing over his stupid banjolele over his trusted Yes-sir butler, I was taken aback. In this book, there are again so many things happening for the first time. Jeeves becomes a valet to his ex-master’s school chap Chuffy. There is a romantic angle to the story with too many couples. Then there is racism and a lot of humor. They form beautiful layers on the story.

"I hadn't heard the door open, but the man was on the spot once more. My private belief, as I think I have mentioned before, is that Jeeves doesn't have to open doors. He's like one of those birds in India who bung their astral bodies about--the chaps, I mean, who having gone into thin air in Bombay, reassemble the parts and appear two minutes later in Calcutta. Only some such theory will account for the fact that he's not there one moment and is there the next. He just seems to float from Spot A to Spot B like some form of gas.”

The concept very well intrigued me but the book didn’t really live up to my expectations. I was expecting a lot more. I think the problem lies with the balance. In a very good B&J book there has to be a perfect balance of Wooster’s stupidity and Jeeves’s intelligence to make it sound genuine and interest you. That fine balance is somehow missing and it spoils the broth for me. It’s good but does not do justice to what P.G. Wodehouse is supposed to do with humor. What this book does is just make it all look a little too exaggerated and a little too hyped to a person who hasn’t read too much of him.


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