Lindsay Heller's Reviews > Aunts Aren't Gentlemen

Aunts Aren't Gentlemen by P.G. Wodehouse
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's review
Apr 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, antiquity-nostalgia, humour
Read from April 20 to 23, 2012

I've done a lot of reading P.G. Wodehouse lately, because sometimes it's just necessary to get lost in the hilarious world of a fun, engaging, and good book. Nothing in Wodehouse seems completely real; the plots are over the top, the reactions unrealistic, and the conclusions that are immediately, and erroneously, drawn are absurd. In other words, everything is simply wonderful.

'Aunts Aren't Gentlemen' is a Jeeves novel centering around Bertie Wooster and his trusty man, Jeeves. This time Bertie has awoken to some mysterious red spots on his chest and when his doctor suggests a relaxing turn in the country Bertie up and heads out to Maiden Eggesford where his Aunt Dahlia is staying with some friends, the Briscoes. Coincidentally, also in residence in the sleepy Somerset village (where Bertie believes the mean age is approximately one hundred years old) are Pop Cook, his daughter Vanessa (one of Bertie's many ex-fiancees and current fiancee to old friend Orlo Porter), and guest Major Plank (who once believed Wooster to be the notorious criminal Alpine Joe [it's a long story]). The conflict arrives in two race horses; the Briscoe's Simla and the Cook's Potato Chip, both entered into the local race and both equally matched. When it comes out that Potato Chip is unusually attached to a particular cat it seems like everyone in town has a motive to steal it and it's no surprise when Bertie finds himself in the middle of it from many sides.

I would be remiss to give anything Wodehouse writes less than four stars, and certainly this deserves them. However, having read a lot of his books lately it did seem, at parts, like a rehashing of old stories. In every one there is something that needs stealing, Bertie is pressed from several sides to procure the item to no mutual advantage, and he's at constant risk of entering matrimony with someone he doesn't care for. Now, there's no problem with this, but I do wish I had waited a little longer between this and, say, 'The Code of the Woosters', which is clearly superior.

But, like any Wodehouse I would suggest picking it up if you find a copy because this book is delightful. And in the end it may be clear that aunts aren't gentlemen, but you can't blame them really, very few people in Wodehouse truly are.

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