Saturday, January 01, 2011

Wodehouse Never Makes Me Blue

I should preface this blog post by stating simply and quickly that I've missed thinking about fiction. I read a great deal of nonfiction in my everyday routine, but am away from my book club and miss the discussions of popular literature. I've restored this blog, for the time being, and will attempt to keep a record of my 2011 "brain candy" as I seek a respite from the drier nonfiction that characterises most of my working days.

Wodehouse, P. G. The Girl in Blue. London: Arrow, 2008 (1970).

Wodehouse is a constant favourite of mine, and returning to his works is like having tea with an old friend. I'm kept in stitches on every occasion by the droll wit of his narrations and the elegant timing of his characters' dialogues. The Girl in Blue most certainly does not disappoint.

Although lacking the implacable Jeeves, The Girl in Blue nevertheless has a host of unforgettable characters, including Mrs. Clayborne (a bored one-time-shoplifter), the ambitious and beautiful novelist Vera Upshaw, the charming Jane Hunnicut (occasionally a millionaire), and the butler-who-is-not-a-butler, Chippendale. These characters, and many more of equally delightful composition all serve to complicate, in some fashion, the lives of G. G. F. West (Jerry), his Uncle Willoughby Scrope, and Willoughby's brother Crispin. Through a series of misunderstandings involving miniatures, millions, and an expensive country mansion (to say nothing of several engagements), Wodeshouse's characters manage to create and resolve a number of conflicts in this perfectly timed comedy of manners.

I've missed my old authorial friend Wodehouse, and--were I making New Year's Resolutions this year--would resolve to read more of his books in the year to come.

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