Jeeves and Wooster

“Aunt Dahlia’s face grew darker. Hunting, if indulged in regularly over a period of years, is a pastime that seldom fails to lend a fairly deepish tinge to the patient’s complexion, and her best friends could not have denied that even at normal times the relative’s map tended a little towards the crushed strawberry. But never had I seen it take on so pronounced a richness as now. She looked like a tomato struggling for self-expression.” (Right Ho, Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse)

Calvin and Hobbes… … and now Jeeves and Wooster… maybe A Confederacy of Dunces… and a bunch of blank space is all my mind can come up with while trying to think of the truly funny books I’ve read in my life. Many novels have had some laughable parts, or smile-worthy scenes, but a whole book of pure humor and light-heartedness? That is rare indeed.

Although many are ready to admit that Wodehouse is extremely funny, some imply that this is not enough, that somehow writing a quality, cheerful story is something to look down upon. It seems to me, though, that simple pleasures are extremely under-rated. After spending four years reading the classics and analyzing every word, I can attest that all of that over-thinking tends to lead to more confusion, and only rarely does it raise one’s spirits. I can guarantee, however, that an afternoon spent with Jeeves and Wooster will leave you feeling better than you had before – the humor doesn’t rely on putting people down or cheep slap-stick thrills – and, in a much better mood, you will be able to go about your day in a more productive, kinder manner.

Beverage: “I turned on the pillow with a little moan, and at this juncture Jeeves entered with the vital oolong… I took another oz. of the life-saving and inclined my head.” Bertie Wooster is slightly too quirky an Englishman to drink English Breakfast upon waking, and you, too, upon imbibing some of his character, will start to favor the slightly more off-beat beverage.

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