For my birthday back in December, my family got me the DVDs for the Jeeves and Wooster Television series.
I had seen a few of them before and knew I had received a treat. The soundtrack is smooth and jazzy–a perfect compliment to the witty dialogue. Hugh Laurie also plays the piano on occassion, which I haven’t seen in the short stories, but its a great addition to the TV show.
Watching the shows, I became curious about the short stories and novels written by P.G. Wodehouse. I haven’t read the novels yet, but the TV show seems to be pulled directly from the short stories. I’ve read Extricating Young Gussie,
Leave it to Jeeves, Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest, Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg, The Aunt and the Sluggard and Jeeves Takes Charge.
The linguistics, dialogue and word choices make the short stories a must read. The characters, Jeeves and Wooster never change. Jeeves is the butler and Wooster is a post WWI slacker. The stories always hinge around Wooster’s friends and how Jeeves’ plan gets the friends out of whatever trouble they are in. With today’s preference towards characters with life changing problems and high stakes, these stories are pretty fluffy by comparison. But I think they’re a great read.
If you’re looking for books with charming language and a glimpse into the aristocracy of England after WWI, these are definitely worth a read.