P. G. Wodehouse is one of my favorite authors. He wrote over ninety books in his lifelong career as a writer; most (well, all) of them are completely BRILLIANT humorous fiction. Yet I couldn’t find a single sentence on SparkNotes that even mentioned him (I am disappointed, Sparklers and Sparkitors). If you need a bit of convincing to read some of his books, here are some reasons as to why P.G. Wodehouse is amazing:
- His writing is very, very funny. It’s hard to explain exactly why it’s hilarious, but Wodehouse can describe a situation or character with ridiculous imagery that surprises you every time. You can often find me giggling to myself while clutching Galahad at Blandings to my chest.
- His plots are often complex in an instructive and interesting way. Aunts must be placated, lovers torn apart and brought together, bets won, and policemen escaped before the stories are brought to their satisfying conclusion.
- I don’t know why, but most of Wodehouse’s books have the most beautiful covers (this really does matter to me). They invoke the happy, carefree age in which so many of Plum’s (his nickname) books are written with Jazzy flare.
- J. K. Rowling likes his books. I’ve even noticed a similar style in the humor of Harry Potter books and Wodehouse's books. Wikipedia tells me that Hilaire Belloc, Evelyn Waugh, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams, and John Le Carré are fans as well.
- Reading his books makes you feel happy. Wodehouse writes in a silly, almost innocent world; there are no gritty scenes or truly evil characters. There are always happy endings, avenged victims, and reunited lovers.
- If you’ve ever heard of Jeeves, the do-it-all, miracle worker valet (or butler), then you might already know a little about Wodehouse’s characters. The stories with Jeeves and his employer Bertie Wooster are some of the best (along with the Blandings Castle stories) that Wodehouse has to offer.
- Reading a Wodehouse book is like eating M&M’s. None of them are very long (often it’s a compilation of related short stories), but they’re sweet and fun and colorful. You can read a bunch and never run out (well, I say never, but he really did write like a hundred books so you’ll be occupied for a while). It may not be “important,” capital G great, but it’s enjoyable. You enter a world pre-Depression, timeless and innocent, full of gentle satire and dry wit.
- The British words. I’m American, so reading words like “billy-o,” “toucher,” and “oompus-boompus” (I kid you not), which seem to be used for everything, is quite entertaining, even if they aren’t used today (or ever).
- The names he uses are completely ridiculous (at times). Augustus “Gussie” Fink-Nottle. Honoria Glossop. Stilton Cheesewright. Are you laughing yet?
- He was knighted, for Cheese’s sake! The queen appreciates his goofy humor, and what better recommendation is there?
Those are just the reasons off the top of my head as to why every Sparkler who reads this (bless you if you do) should at least try some Wodehouse. Most bookshops or libraries should have a couple, and they’re free domain, and therefore free on e-books. So, well, pip-pip!
Do you love Wodehouse, too?
Post by DesertLassie!