What ho! I say, the Brown Baggers had a dashed jolly time discussing Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse. Summer discussions often call for a different sort of book altogether, as light yet satisfying as an Eton mess — and okay, the clumsy attempts at Wodehousian language stop here. Even so, this book proved a delight for most group members.
Only a small minority of readers had read any Wodehouse before, but most all the Brown Baggers enjoyed the book thoroughly. Many enjoyed sharing which plot points or quick turns of phrase they found especially amusing. While the plot points could be considered objectively absurd, the quick, witty language made the prose flow smoothly, from farce to farce. In Wodehouse’s capable hands, the reader just goes along for the ride.
Despite the general enjoyment, there were a few points of contention.The lone detractors of the book as a whole felt the characters couldn’t be enjoyed as caricatures — instead, their privileged stupidity was so exaggerated as to be off-putting and unsympathetic. As modern readers, we also disdained the scenes involving blackface. Some Brown Baggers noted that despite all the folly, Wodehouse’s literary universe still prized friendship and loyalty. Having Jeeves, the butler, be the most intelligent one of the bunch, also slyly subverted expectations of the British class system.
The Brown Baggers rounded out the discussion by watching a few clips of the British television adaptation starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie and sharing some biographical information about Wodehouse.
Find other books by P.G. Wodehouse in the JMRL catalog here.
Read an interview with the author in the Paris Review.
Check out the A.V. Club’s “Gateway to Geekery” on Wodehouse.
Stephen Fry’s article on Wodehouse (originally published in the Independent) is available online here.
Looking for a readalike? Try one of these titles or ask for a recommendation through JMRL’s What Do I Read Next? service.
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks (an authorized sequel)
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
Don’t Point that Thing at Me by Kyril Bonfiglioli
The Provincial Lady in America by E.M. Delafield
Join the Brown Baggers on Thursday, August 20 at noon to discuss Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.