BOOK BIZ — Jeeves and Bertie spring back to life with humor in tact

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Published: January 31,2014

Tags: books, Business, literature, Mississippi

» Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse By Sebastian Faulks Published by St. Martin's Press $25.99 hardback

» Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse
By Sebastian Faulks
Published by St. Martin’s Press
$25.99 hardback

Fans of Wodehouse’s bumbling Bertie Wooster and his unflappable valet Jeeves will relish this homage to the author and these comic English characters. Although Wodehouse died in 1975, Faulks has brought Bertie and Jeeves back to life in a romping good imitation.

Wodehouse purists may grumble and grouse that the new book sullies the memory of this master of comic farce, but Faulks knows he isn’t Wodehouse and doesn’t try to be. As the title suggests, it’s written as an homage to the late great author who during his 93 years wrote many novels. It’s a funny book in the dry wit method of Wodehouse.

For those who enjoy the erudite English humor — or should it be humour? — here’s a fabulous quote from Faulks’ book. “The Red Lion was a four-ale bar with a handful of low-browed sons of toil who looked as though they might be related to one another in ways frowned on by the Old Testament.”

Bertie was describing a village inn in Dorsetshire. I think we get the picture.

Here’s another example: “I sprang from the armchair like a roosting waterfowl at the sound of a shotgun being closed.” That’s Bertie reacting to the entrance into the room of a beautiful young woman.

Of course the usual silly plot is involved and this one revolves around a weekend at a country house (oh how the English love those) where young hearts are trying to come together and something has to be stolen to make that happen. However, the repartee between Bertie and Jeeves is the glue that holds it all together and makes it snap, crackle and pop.

Faulks has a thoroughly English pedigree and several books to his credit. He was critically praised in 2008 for writing a James Bond novel, Devil May Care, as the chosen writer by the Fleming family to continue Sir Ian Fleming’s famous character. Whether or not he will again be so critically lauded remains to be seen. But at the least, he’s brought us another tale of two loveable characters and provided a fun read.

 

— Lynn Lofton, mbj@msbusiness.com

 

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