Jeeves is a character who I suppose needs no introduction. One of the most well-known creations of Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, he defines himself as the “Gentleman’s personal gentleman”. A valet of supreme intelligence (rumoured to eat only fish-hence his brainpower), tact and ability to handle all situations, Jeeves is the person to go to if you have a problem, a fact Bertram Wooster would gladly testify to. Nothing fazes this supreme human being, a charging bull and a raging aunt are handled with the same cool composure that renders them purring at his feet.
This volume of the omnibus has two novels and a collection of short stories involving Jeeves. The first of these is called The Mating Season and is a laugh riot involving a medley of adorable lovers, the bumbling Bertie, horrible aunts and of course Jeeves who stands tall amid the chaos. PG Wodehouse does not write suspense so I would not be spoiling anything if I say that in the end, Jeeves brings order to a chaos ridden world of multiple lovers confused about who they love and Bertie trying to escape from the attentions of the extremely irritating Madeline Bassett.
The second novel is called Ring for Jeeves and according to Wiki is the only Jeeves novel in which Bertie does not play a role. Socialism happens to England and all the nobles are learning to do their own jobs instead of depending on their entourage of servants to do everything. This has also resulted in many of the peerage losing their livelihood and this book dwells on one such earl who wants to sell his dilapidated manor. The story begins with the entry of a rich beautiful American widow, a big game hunter madly in love with her, and all hell breaks loose. And the stage is set for Jeeves to solve everything. A mad car-chase, theft of valuable pendant and a gamble at the biggest horse-race of the year are all beautiful parts of this beautiful novel.
The last part is a collection of short stories each with Bertie in a bigger soup than before and he is saved from each mess by the quick thinking and enterprise of Jeeves who rises to each challenge.
A thoroughly enjoyable book which had me in splits most of the time. My room-mates were quite sure I had gone mad as I was almost crying with laughter many times in the day. A must-have and a must-read for everyone who enjoys pure humour. PG Wodehouse is a master at this and reading each and every single book that he has written is one of my ambitions.
Stephen Fry who plays Jeeves in the series about the duo said the following about Wodehouse,
You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour. Like Jeeves, Wodehouse stands alone, and analysis is useless.
Judging by my Google as well as my Twitter status updates, the more perceptive of my followers would have probably guessed that I am on a reading spree now. It is something which strikes me every now and then when I go through an inordinate number of books at a rather quick pace. In the last 10 days I have read 5 books, not bad eh? Arrogant !@#!@ you might be thinking, but what the hell :)!
I was going through a rather lean spell in the reading department when I decided to buy two books at once. They were Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carre. I was actually going to buy only the former paying heed to the dire warnings by ICICI about the state of my funds but when I saw that Flipkart had increased the minimum amount for free delivery, I thought what the hell and ordered the other too. And that opened the proverbial flood-gates. A lunch at a nice hotel opposite our house finally led me to step into the hallowed premises of JustBooks clc. I had been giving the place a wide berth relating to the aforementioned depletion of funds but once I went inside, there was no escape.
For the uninformed, JustBooks clc is a lending library with a host of plans for different types of readers. It has a very large collection of books and all the books are beautifully maintained. They also have a very modern system with RFID cards for the members and similar tags on the book jackets. After going in, I couldn’t wait to go back as the Jeeves omnibus Vol 3 and Silmarillion were too hot to handle in my hand. I took the plan for 200 Rs, by which I could borrow two books at a time. There was a joining fee and a refundable fee. The best 1.5 k that I might have spent in recent memory, I might add.
I will try to give a short review of the books that I have read in the span of the past few days, hopefully a post a book and hopefully something that might lead you to one of these books all of which I quite enjoyed.
And I am back. Just like Sherlock Holmes was presumed to perish at Reichenbach Falls but was brought back after relentless pressure by his devotees, my blog almost dead after Dudhsagar Falls is back in the blogosphere after constant pressure from my followers (Read: my alter-ego Readerman, he is really devoted). This self-enforced exile was not anything related to anything. It was just a patent lack of ideas or inspiration to write anything, what people better than me have called Writer’s Block.
Life has been relatively smooth in the interlude, and the occasional speed bumps rendered no more damage than a night in a Kerala SRTC sooper fast bus on the Bangalore-Kozhikode route. The job chugs along about fine, learning new stuff and having a lot of fun and arguments with my colleagues as well.
I will be back with a proper block, sorry blogpost now that I have rid myself of my block. Or so I think. Let us wait and see, though Readerman, my only subscriber better be ready for a deluge of mails regarding new posts in the coming few days.