Sunday, January 4, 2009

Heavy Weather, by P.G. Wodehouse

Originally I wanted to read all the Jeeves and Wooster books, in order, before moving on to the Blandings Castle books, but last year I read Blandings Castle and I really enjoyed it, so now I feel free to read more.

Galahad is going to publish his memoirs, naming his cohorts in the crazy adventures of his youth. Evidently he was a Drone before there was a Drones Club. The problem is that many of his youthful pals are now peers, and have a great deal to protect. Included in the group that want to snuff out the volume is his sister, who doesn't want to disparage the family. If these detractors can't bribe him into stopping, and they can't bribe the publisher into not printing it (since the publisher stands to make a good deal of money from it), they can steal the manuscript and destroy it.

Galahad's friends and family all end up with various reasons to either see the manuscript destroyed or keep it safe. In typical Wodehouse fashion, plots are hatched and subterfuge undertaken. All comes out right in the end. I find it difficult to write reviews of Wodehouse books and give examples of the best parts, because they are so intricately set up. When I reviewed The Alphabet of Manliness I could throw in the one-liners I liked best, but with a Wodehouse book, the one-liners are meaningless without the five pages before. Rest assured, however, that Wodehouse is wonderful. With just about any other humor novelist I read, I find myself thinking, "I've come up with stuff just as funny before," but with Wodehouse, I regularly marvel at his skill and humor.

Rating: 6 out of 7 giant inflatable monkeys.

1 comment:

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