Saturday, January 9, 2010
The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse is another hilarious romp involving Bertie Wooster and his faithful valet, Jeeves. Bertie has been instructed by his dear Aunt Dahlia to go to an antique store and make a negative remark about a silver cow creamer that her husband, Tom, is extremely interested in procuring for his silver collection. Aunt Dahlia believes that Bertie's negative comment will induce the proprietor of the antique store to lower the price of the cow creamer, thereby ensuring a deal for Tom. However, at the shop, Bertie has a rather unpleasant encounter with Sir Watkin and Spode - they accuse of him attempting to pinch the cow creamer and remind him that he has a history of thievery and cite the example of the time when Bertie got busted for stealing a cop's helmet. As a result of this encounter Bertie finds out that Sir Watkin is also interested in the silver cow creamer. He eventually finds out from his Aunt Dahlia that Sir Watkin has tricked Tom out of purchasing the cow creamer and has taken it with him to his home, Totleigh Towers - the exact location that Bertie is headed towards with Jeeves. His friend Gussie is engaged to Sir Watkin's daughter, Madeleine Bassett; and they are having problems and Bertie is on his way to offer his help. Aware of his plans to spend some time at Totleigh Towers, Aunt Dahlia has instructed Bertie to steal the cow creamer for his Uncle Tom. Once at Totleigh Towers, Bertie finds the cow creamer being guarded by Spode (Sir Watkin's right hand man) and the local police. He also finds himself involved with helping his friends, Stiffy (Sir Watkin's niece) and her love, the local curate (Stinker Pinker - an old school friend of Bertie's) become engaged with Sir Watkin's blessings. Life gets complicated even more when a little leather bound notebook belonging to Gussie gets lost - the notebook contains every awful thought and feeling that Gussie has had towards his future father-in-law, Sir Watkin, and Spode. He has used this notebook as a way of allowing himself to rouse his confidence. Bertie's jobs now include: securing the marriage of two couples, procuring the silver cow creamer for his Uncle Tom and finding Gussie's notebook before Sir Watkin does. All in all, a very adventurous few days are had at Totleigh Towers. With the help of his faithful gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves, Bertie is able to complete all of his tasks successfully. And as a result of his success he agrees to go on the round the world cruise that Jeeves has been itching to go on. Talk about fun! What a treat to begin this new year with such a great read. Wodehouse has written a clever, funny and engaging story about two beloved characters, Bertie and Jeeves. There is mayhem and comedy galore. Witty dialogue that makes you laugh out loud and colorful characters that are so unbelievable you can't help but relish the fact that Jeeves (the only sane one) is there to bring about a bit of level-headedness to all of their madness. And we learn that the real code of the Woosters is, "Never let a pal down". All in all, another fun book by Wodehouse. And now I am off to read Stephen King's book, Under the Dome. Happy Reading!