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.