Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**     = Enjoyable
*       = Good, with reservations


****Jeeves in the Offing

by P. G. Wodehouse

Reviewed October 6, 2005.
The Overlook Press, New York, 2002.  First published in 1960.  200 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F WOD).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#7, Light-hearted Fiction)

There’s nothing quite like a P. G. Wodehouse book!  This is another book about Bertie Wooster, one of the idle rich, and his “man” Jeeves, a genius for solving social problems like an unfortunate engagement or a wealthy uncle who needs to be pleased.

I reviewed Carry on, Jeeves, the first book in which Jeeves appeared, which contains the stories on which the BBC series Jeeves and Wooster is based.  Jeeves in the Offing is more of a unified novel rather than a series of stories.  We have one grand imbroglio, which in the end only Jeeves can sort out.

We have many of the awkward situations for Bertie that we are accustomed to and some old friends.  Bertie is once again threatened with an engagement he definitely doesn’t want.  He has a friend who does want the engagement, but is going to have great difficulty persuading the father to consent.  Bertie is visiting Aunt Dahlia (along with a houseful of others), who wants to stop the romance of a god-daughter and an American playboy, while at the same time not antagonizing the playboy’s parents, who are working out an important deal with Uncle Tom.  Sir Roderick Glossop, the famous nerve specialist, is even on hand, disguised as a butler, in order to observe the American playboy.

Bertie arrives in the middle of this mess without Jeeves (who is on vacation), and makes his usual blundering attempts to set things right, which only make things worse.  When all seems lost, only Jeeves can untangle the situation.

A description can’t begin to express the hilarious tone and situations of this book.  I find myself picturing the actors from Jeeves and Wooster speaking the lines, and in this case that actually makes them all the funnier.  There is no one so capable as Jeeves, and no one quite like Bertie Wooster.  I love the consistently frivolous nicknames of Bertie’s school friends, in this book featuring Kipper Herring.  Pick up a P. G. Wodehouse book for sophistication covering up delightful silliness.  You’re sure to get a good laugh.

Reviews of other books by P. G. Wodehouse:
The Man with Two Left Feet
My Man Jeeves
The Inimitable Jeeves
Carry on, Jeeves
Very Good, Jeeves
Thank You, Jeeves
Right Ho, Jeeves
The Code of the Woosters
Jeeves: Joy in the Morning
The Mating Season
Ring for Jeeves
Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit
Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

A Damsel in Distress
Love Among the Chickens

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund. All rights reserved.

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