Chris's Reviews > Thank You, Jeeves

Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
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's review
Nov 30, 2010

really liked it

I'm trying to remember exactly who it was who first recommended these books to me so long ago. Joe George? Jon Ball? In any case they were right to do so. This book was hilarious and surprisingly easy to read, despite the potentially obscure setting of upper-class society in mid 1930s England. The central characters of the careless young gentleman Wooster and his all-knowing, all-competent, always dignified butler Jeeves are truly fun to read about. It's no wonder this book (and series) have been so popular and have stood the test of time. It's witty too. Many of the novels funniest moments come in the dialogue. Grammar nerds will be in stitches.

In some ways the book does show it's age. The most obvious and egregious example comes with a lack of racial sensitivity (this is the 30s after all) in which a large plot point involves central characters in blackface, and where the N-word makes an unfortunate (if not intentionally malicious) appearance. That these flaws are unintentional is obvious in the central characters' progressive (for the time) attitude towards the black characters. The audio recording of this book has it's ups and downs as well. For the most part it's well read, with the narrator bringing out the characters and the humor well, but unfortunately the female characters sound breathy and ridiculous most of the time. (I'm noticing this is a frequent problem for male narrators.)

All in all, an enjoyable book. If you like British humor, clever dialogue, or humorous send-ups of Jane Austen-esque high society novels (like The Importance of Being Earnest) I definitely recommend this book.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Minor cultural note: blackface does not seem to have the same heavily negative connotations in the UK as it does in the US, and even occasionally shows up today in comedy shows. It is very jarring at first sight.

Chris Interesting! I had no idea.

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