Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 Reading Challenge~Book #5


I knew this week would be a busy one with Girl of the House's 14th birthday at the end of it, so I opted for listening to an audiobook and beginning another ink-and-paper book to get a jump on next week. The book I listened to was The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse (Blackstone Audiobooks); the one I began reading was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I first heard of P.G. Wodehouse back in the '90's, and then several years ago some friends lent us a season of the BBC's Jeeves and Wooster television series. Watching the young Hugh Laurie (whom I first encountered as Mr. Palmer in Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility) and Stephen Fry was hilarious! Since then I've listened to enjoyable dramatized versions of several books, similar to old-time radio programs, but I wanted to experience Jeeves and Wooster unedited and unabridged. The library had The Code of the Woosters, so off I went on a rollicking ride.

Bertie Wooster is a young, happy-go-lucky English gentleman of the 1920's who is surrounded by people who have the gift of involving him in their personal foibles, and Jeeves is his extraordinarily able valet, cool under pressure, foresighted, and brilliant. If it weren't for Jeeves, the inept but lovable Bertie would be in constant hot water with no hope of deliverance. Just about every one of Bertie's friends and relations also come to rely on Jeeves' considerable intelligence and ingenuity.

Poor Bertie has a knack for getting entangled in other people's messes, and fortunately for him, Jeeves has a decided talent for getting him out. But not before we are taken through a convoluted and uproarious maze of escalating predicaments (or predics, as Bertie would say). One thing leads to another, and by mid-book it seems impossible that all will be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. But Jeeves comes to the rescue and the (relatively) virtuous live happily ever after while the wicked get their just desserts.

This was another example of dry British wit that had me laughing out loud at times and smiling with pleasure all the rest. The narrator, Simon Prebble, was superb.

But after so much jocularity the past two weeks, it is time for more serious fare. Jane Eyre is a book I've long wanted to read, and that is my next choice for this reading challenge.

Here's Mr. Linky. I'd love to check out what you're reading!

2 comments:

  1. Last year I read Jane Eyre for the first time. I read it aloud to Kristen. We loved it. I'm glad I read it aloud as I tend to read fiction too quickly and reading it aloud forced me to slow down and enjoy the language and the story. My kids are big PG Wodehouse fans but I've only ever read half of one of his books. I'm terrible when it comes to reading fiction, except for to and with the kids.

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  2. Good book! :) I haven't read any Jeeves and Wooster books, but the DVDs with Hugh Laurie are hilarious.

    I read "The Biblical View of Self-Esteem, Self-Love, and Self-Image." I'm about ready for some fun books but it's not to be - next week is "New Covenant Theology" by Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel.

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