Welcome Back, Jeeves!

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells   Pigs Have Wings  Right Ho, Jeeves

Heralding the return of P.G. Wodehouses’s character Jeeves, via Sebastian Faulks’s “homage,” Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Macmillan Audio) arriving tomorrow, Charles Finch (author of the series of six Victorian mysteries featuring the “gentleman sleuth” Charles Lenox), writes in USA Today about the original, “One of the most astonishing miracles of modern literature is that the novels and stories of P.G. Wodehouse are still, 111 years after the publication of his first book, so incredibly funny. Not in a nostalgic, black-and-white way, either, but in a helpless, can’t-quite-breathe way.”

While Faulks’s “love and knowledge of Wodehouse shines through on every page,” says Finch, the result is “not in the same class as the originals it honors.” Prepub reviews are much stronger, however, with Booklist starring it, Library Journal offering this verdict: “Let word go forth, from Mayfair to Herald Square, from Piccadilly to Kansas City: Jeeves and Wooster are back and in fine fettle. After sampling this tasty bonbon, Wodehouse fans and new readers will want to go back to the original series” and PW goes so far as to declare that Faulks has managed to outdo the master (in his own country, Faulks endured scathing attacks for having the temerity to attempt to write in the Wodehouse’s vein, as he reports in an interview in The Telegraph).

There’s good news for readers who want to return to the originals, as Jonathan Yardley writes this weekend in the Washington Post. Overlook Press is publishing the Collector’s Wodehouse series, printed on acid-free paper, and, astonishingly, sewn and bound in full cloth, with a retail price of just $19.95.

It’s time to replace that copy of  Pigs Have Wings we borrowed from the Decatur, IN, Public Library many years ago and mislaid (we hasten to add that we paid  the fine).


Comments are closed.