Sunday, July 4, 2010

Review: Piccadilly Jim by P.G. Wodehouse (1917)

How does one go about reviewing a Wodehouse book? Plot description? Useless - his books don't really have plots. Or rather, they do, but they are all: A bunch of people meet in a large Conutry House in England. Through various circumstances, some of these people are required to pretend to be people they are not. There are some young people who are in love with each other. Everything turns out alright in the end. And to go into any more detail would spoil the fun of actually reading the book.

So should I then talk about the jokes? Well, they are the primary attraction of the books, but what does one say about them? That they are good? Well of course they're good, it's a Wodehouse novel. That goes without saying. So, then, what, should I go into detail about the jokes? Recite some of my favourite lines? Well, no. Again, that would just spoil the fun of the book.

So, what, do I talk about the characters, and which ones I liked and disliked? That's a dumb way to review anything. Moving on.

Do I analyse what it is that is funny about Wodehouse? Do I break him down into dry, tedious chunks, taking away all that is good about his work? Do I discuss the meaning of the word "farce," and how, exactly, Wodehouse managed to master it?

No. I don't want to do any of that crap. So here's my review: Piccadilly Jim is a really funny book. It isn't Wodehouse at his best - there are a few slightly slow spots, and there aren't that many actual comic set pieces - but it was really good. There you go. Review over.

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