Title: Thank You, Jeeves
Author: P. G. Wodehouse
Page Count/Review Word Count: 286
I was expecting so much more from this book. After all, this is the first book in Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster series, and it’s this series that established his reputation as something of a comic genius. The problem is that his humour isn’t particularly funny, and in this book it’s effectively downright racist. Much of the comedy surrounds what happens when the characters decide to “black up” to disguise themselves as “nigger minstrels” and are unable to find the butter they need to remove it.
So as you can imagine, the book hasn’t aged particularly well, and quite a lot of the situations that the characters find themselves in are no longer relevant to our lives today. Still, that’s to be expected to a certain extent with any classic, and you can’t really fault Wodehouse for it. That doesn’t make it any easier to swallow it when you’re not enjoying it, though.
It’s a shame, really, because I liked the way that Wodehouse strings sentences together. I just didn’t find the subject matter to be particularly interesting, and it also wasn’t that amusing. It reminded me of one of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, except if you cut out the dramatic confrontation with the arch-nemesis and instead extend a card game or a round of golf to 200 pages. Like a rubbish sandwich, it was 80% filler with very little substance.
Go ahead and try the Jeeves and Wooster books if you’d like, but I wasn’t impressed. The good news is that Wodehouse wrote dozens of books with different characters. That doesn’t help much here, though.