Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Code of the Woosters

Who would think that a silver creamer shaped like a cow could possibly cause so much trouble? Not Bertie Wooster, that's for sure. When his Aunt Dahlia stops by early one morning (unfortunately, Bertie's not feeling too well, due to the effects of Gussie Fink-Nottle's bachelor party the evening before) and asks Bertie to stop by an antique shop an sneer at a cow creamer, Bertie is quite happy to comply. Apparently his uncle, who collects such items, is interested in purchasing it, and she hopes that if Bertie acts unimpressed by it, his uncle will get a better price.

Alas, the uncle is outwitted by his cow-creamer-collecting nemesis, Sir Watkyn, and the creamer is spirited off to Sir Watkyn's estate, Totleigh Towers. When Bertie receives a telegram from Gussie (the newt-loving character previously introduced in Right-Ho, Jeeves) saying that his engagement to Madeline Basset (Sir Watkyn's daughter) is off, and begging Bertie (and Jeeves, of course) to come to Totleigh Towers immediately to help sort things out, Bertie agrees. His plans are complicated, however, when Aunt Dahlia shows up, demanding that Bertie steal the cow creamer. When Bertie refuses, Aunt Dahlia pulls the ultimate ace from her sleeve: if Bertie does not return from Totleigh Towers with that cow creamer, he will never, ever again be invited to dine on the delectable cuisine of her sublime chef, Anatole. A fate, as far as Bertie's concerned, worse than death. For without Anatole's amazing culinary creations, life is simply not worth living.

All sorts of wonderful complications ensue, resulting in a another twisting, turning, laugh-out-loud story in the Jeeves and Wooster series. I enjoyed revisiting characters from earlier books, particularly Gussie and Madeline, who always make me smile, and I loved meeting Stephanie "Stiffy" Bing and her ferocious, policeman-pursuing Scottie dog. Wodehouse is in complete control from beginning to end, and I am always happy to sit back and enjoy the ride. I am thoroughly enjoying my beginning-to-end audio journey through the Jeeves and Wooster series.

Books in the Jeeves and Wooster series:
3. The Code of the Woosters
4. Jeeves in the Morning
5. Mating Season
6. Return of Jeeves
7. Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit
8. How Right You Are, Jeeves
9. Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves
10. Jeeves and the Tie That Binds
11. Cat-Nappers

The Code of the Woosters (#3 in the Jeeves and Wooster series) by P.G. Wodehouse; narrated by Alexander Spencer (Recorded Books, 1989; originally published in 1938)

Also reviewed at:
The Bookshelf Reviews: "Wodehouse's ways of intertwining mystery, suspense and adventure with light, chuckle-inducing hilarity perfect this novel, getting Bertie into so much trouble, it seems he can't get in any deeper...until he does."

6 comments:

  1. Oh, God, it's been ages since I read any Jeeves & Wooster. My uncle gave me Right-Ho Jeeves when I was sixteen, and it was so much more brilliant than even he made it sound. P.G. Wodehouse. Mercy.

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  2. Jenny - Sounds like you have an awesome uncle! I love how timelessly hilarious these books are. Glad you enjoy them, too. :-)

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  3. These are wonderful aren't they, but it's years since I read them. I can also recommend the Jeeves and Wooster TV series (on dvd) starring Hugh Laurie as Bertie and Stephen Fry as Jeeves. Both of them were born to play their roles.

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  4. Cath - I do need to watch the series. It's in my Netflix queue, but I've been trying to read through them first. I'm getting a bit impatient, though, and curious to see them. Do they follow the books closely, do you suppose?

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  5. Yes, imo anyway, the TV series followed the books very closely. But the real joy for me was Fry and Laurie's performances, Darla. Fry is perfect as Jeeves and as to Hugh Laurie, well you wouldn't think it was the same actor that stars in House. His Bertie is a complete twit. Wonderful.

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  6. Cath - sounds like I'll have to bump it up on my queue. I love those characters! It will be fun to see them on the screen. Thanks! :-)

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