Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wodehouse magic

I was a little disappointed with the first few pages of P.G. Wodehouse's "Carry on, Jeeves!". Nothing much happening in the first few pages and a good deal of lines were devoted to explaining how he came about to work for the author. By the end of the tenth page, however, Wodehouse had started weaving his magic around me... In simple words and casual conversations, I was being introduced to the wits of the amazing Jeeves... I couldn't stop laughing at the way he says "Very good, sir!" at the most solemn and unexpected occasions... It is the ability to the treat the reader to something he doesn't expect at a time he isn't ready... while retaining both men in character, that makes this so amazing to read...

Sample these:

On hearing about the author's broken engagement to Florence and showing no sympathy for the same:

"You're sacked!"
"Very good, sir."
He coughed gently.
"...(long discourse of fatherly advice)... You would not have been happy, sir!."
"Get out!"
"...(discourse continues)...You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir... He is fundamentally unsound..."
"Get out!"
"Very good, sir."

By this time, I was pausing between laughs, careful not to finish the moment too soon and to savor it as much as I could :P If there was any doubt that Wodehouse had me totally enthralled in his piece of work by now, he sealed the deal with the end of the first chapter:

On hearing from Jeeves that his choice of the suit was not 'suit'-able (pun mine :P) and asking him to give it away to someone:

He looked down at me like a father gazing tenderly at the wayward child.
'Thank you, sir. I gave it to the under-gardener last night. A little more tea, sir?'

And I became a Wodehouse fan. Just like that. So much so that I couldn't stop reading it. Work life gives us few moments of our own, add to that my varied interests like salsa and badminton and the picture looks grim. But I couldn't put the book down. I started reading it at breakfast in the morning... And took it to my trip on the long weekend... Moments in the line for baggage claim, I discovered, are better utilized with Wodehouse in your hand and Starbucks is more fun with you imagining the server to be a likeness of Jeeves.

Wodehouse, to conclude, is pure magic... Read it if you get a chance!