Sunday, June 24, 2018

Review: The Mating Season

The Mating Season The Mating Season by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Catsmeat Pirbright and Gussie Fink-Nottle come to Bertie Wooster with their lady problems, he has no choice but to help. Before you know it, Gussie's in stir, Bertie's pretending to be Gussie and Catsmeat is pretending to be Jeeves. Can Bertie get Jeeves to sort things out?

Spoiler alert: Yes.

Way back in 2012-ish, I decided to reread all of the Jeeves novels I read in that hazy time before Goodreads. Then I forgot about that goal until a few days ago.

I read this one ages ago so it was like a new book in a lot of ways. The only parts I remembered were the allusions to Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, since I'm a Dark Tower junkie, and the bit with the cosh.

First, the primer for anyone who has never read a Jeeves book before: Bertie Wooster is one of the idle rich in Edwardian England and Jeeves is his valet (or Gentleman's Personal Gentleman) who specializes in extricating him from trouble.

Like pretty much all of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves tales, this one involves romantic misunderstandings and Bertie Wooster trying his best to sort them out without Jeeves. Once things are suitably dire, Jeeves swoops in with his super-brain and works things out. Not usually by coshing someone, though...

Wodehouse's tales always have a superb rhythym and this one is no exception. You can feel the reversals of fortune coming several pages away. Since I forgot most of this one, I thought for sure Bertie would wind up in stir for a month without the option, It was all sweetness and light by the end, though, as it usually is.

The Jeeves books all tend to blend together in my mind since they all have the same basic plot but Wodehouse manages to take things into different directions each time, keeping them fresh. Wodehouse does his one trick very, very well, I suppose. While I still put The Code of the Woosters at the top of the Jeeves list, this one is still in the upper echelon of Wooster and Jeeves books. Four out of five stars.

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