Saturday, June 9, 2012

"The Code of the Woosters" by P.G. Wodehouse

It's been a stressful spring, to make a serious understatement. My husband and I are moving from the Northeast to the Midwest, and though it's a good change, it's also meant selling our house and finding me a new job. Overall my reading's been down and my mood has been terrible. This past week my life has finally come together--we settled on the sale of our house and I was offered (and accepted!) a teaching job--but I've had a hard time getting out of the anxiety-ridden funk I've grown accustomed to. I knew I needed a book to help transition me into a happier life again. And though The Code of the Woosters is no miracle salve, it was the ideal book for me at this moment.

"Slapstick" comedy isn't something I'm exposed to a lot of these days, perhaps because the sitcoms you're most likely to see it in don't typically appeal to me. So I forget how enjoyable the old-fashioned mishaps, mistakes, and misunderstandings piling upon one another can be. In The Code of the Woosters, Wodehouse is at his best as his protagonist Bertie and the loyal servant Jeeves attempt to rectify a situation involving a cow creamer, a missing notebook, a constable's hat, and broken engagements. The novel includes, among other things, pictures being smashed over heads, people escaping on sheet ladders out of windows, and newts in a bathtub.

Bertie's eternally optimistic narration of events and his own self give constant amusement, as do Aunt Dahlia's criticisms (I believe she insults someone by comparing him to gorgonzola at one point). Though Bertie is rather firm in his disparagement of the ladies, he's also hopelessly willing to help when they're in a pickle.

The Code of the Woosters is my type of summer read: light and fluffy (I finished it in one day) without being stupid or dull.

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