My Man Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse

Hugh Laurie states the case admirably "The first thing you should know, and probably the last, too, is that PG Wodehouse is still the funniest writer ever to have put words on paper."  I couldn't agree more.

"I'm not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare-or, if not, it's some equally brainy lad-who says that it's always just when a chappie is feeling particularly top-hole and more than usually braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with a bit of lead piping..  There's no doubt the man's right." And so is our first introduction to Bertie Wooster.

Bertie Wooster seems destined to always have Fate sneaking up behind him with a lead pipe.  If anything can go wrong for him, it will. Overbearing relatives, friends that need rescuing, ties that don't match the suit he's wearing. Enter Jeeves, his gentleman's gentleman.  Calm, cool, and collected,  Jeeves is always able to get Bertie and his friends out of whatever scrape they have gotten into. And he's always able to make sure that Bertie is properly attired while doing it. Comis genius is the only description of what goes on in a Jeeves story.

This book, Wodehouse's earliest writings about Jeeves, is a set of short stories, several of them about Reggie Pepper, rather than Bertie.  The two characters are almost interchangeable except for the absence of Jeeves in the Pepper stories. Some of these stories were rewritten for later Jeeves books.

If you've never read P.G. Wodhouse before, his writing is almost hard to describe.  He's quintessentially British.  He's hilarious and there is plenty of slapstick humour but there is also lots of dry humour.  His vocabulary is different than anyone else I've ever read. His use of the slang of the time and his depiction of the idle upper class and the aristocracy before WWII are just fun! He's one of the five authors who's works I would take to a desert island with me.