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Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Code of the Woosters - P. G. Wodehouse

If Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry (Wooster and Jeeves, respectively, in the TV version of the series) co-authored a book, the result would be The Code of the Woosters.

More commonly known for the mis-adventures of Bertram "Bertie" Wooster and his clever servant, Jeeves, Wodehouse writes British humor at its best, sliding the duo into sticky and befuddling situations that, through Jeeves' ingeniousness, they are eventually pulled out of.

Code follows this exact pattern. The endless chaos that ensues in the story involves a cow-creamer, policeman's helmet, a frightful lug of a man named Roderick and two family engagements. Sounds confusing? It is, but hilariously so. Wodehouse's ways of intertwining mystery, suspense and adventure with light, chuckle-enducing hilarity perfect this novel, getting Bertie into so much trouble, it seems he can't get in any deeper...until he does. As is expected by many a Wooster relative, Jeeves usually comes up with an sneaky, all-satisfying route to resolution. Wodehouse, however, throws flies in the ointment, as is an expression in the book, by halting Jeeves' idea train, resulting in more of the complications and misunderstandings prevalent in the story.

The plot twists at the end of each chapter force the reader to continue on to see whether Wooster can get out of each predicament in one piece. And though Wooster oftentimes seems slightly air-headed and, to use the most accurate word available, useless, the reader can't help but feel bad for him in times of trouble and happy upon his escape. Jeeves has to be the most lovable character, though, for behind the silent lackey is a brilliant, logically- and psychologically-driven mind that refills the grave that his master has unintentionally dug for himself. Wodehouse has made a perfect pair in Jeeves and Wooster, and Code is but one example of proof.

The only mystery that remains long after one has finished the book is why a cow-creamer is so darn important to these people.

1 comment:

Darla D said...

I just listened to the audiobook of this one - I'm slowly making my way through the entire series - and it was delightful. And I agree - what was up with that hideous cow creamer, anyway?