Saturday, June 9, 2012
"The Code of the Woosters" by P.G. Wodehouse
"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.