May 7, 2007 | by  |
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Jeeves and the Impending Doom

More of the adorable Pocket Penguins this week, as we hop the iceberg-laden treacherous cesspool that is the Atlantic Ocean and land somewhere a little classier. We bounce from the USA to the UK.

First up we have my P.G. Wodehouse with two short stories, both starring the famous Jeeves the butler and the infamous Bertie Wooster. I have a soft spot for Wodehouse because we share a birthday, but personal prejudices aside, if you have not read his books and you like to laugh then you have been missing out.

Poor you. You now have a chance to remedy this by visiting Vic Books and purchasing Jeeves and the Impending Doom, Pocket Penguin number 63, for the mere sum of $5.00 (Vic Books should really be paying me to say these things).

If you’re an ol’ fashioned kinda gal (or guy) and you like pocket watches, butlers, lawn tennis, cocktails and people with names like Gussie and Corkie, then you need to read Wodehouse. As mentioned, the recently read short stories involve Bertie Wooster and his man Jeeves, as well as Bertie’s Aunts Agatha (awful) and Dahlia (dashing) and a host of supporting characters.

The plots of stories always involve Wooster’s friends falling in love with each other, or alternatively falling in love with Wooster (a determined bachelor).

Mayhem ensues, with mistaken identities, stolen objects d’art, concerts for the uneducated masses and all sorts. However, just when things look damn dire, Jeeves saves the day with his marvellous brain, a rapidly mixed ‘special’ or a perfectly adjusted necktie.

I truly believe that if Jeeves was alive today he would bring the cure for the world’s troubles in on the silver breakfast tray.

For established Wodehouse fans, these little stories don’t really satiate the appetite. There’s just not enough time to build up the ridiculous story lines that make the farce complete. Having said that, if you don’t have much time to read anything long then they’re great. I think that Wodehouse’s books are the only ones I’ve ever literally laughed out loud while reading. I don’t advise reading them on public transport unless you want strange looks. Wooster, Jeeves et. al are the most delicious combination of an Oscar Wilde social comedy and an Agatha Christie murder mystery (albeit without the blood) that I have yet come across.

P.G. WODEHOUSE

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