Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Aunts Aren't Gentlemen

Following doctor's orders, Bertie goes out to the country for rest - only to have his life interrupted by an overly friendly cat, a lovelorn couple, and his amoral Aunt Dahlia's betting schemes.

This is the final Jeeves book, and though it still sparkles with Wodehouse's usual wit, the wheels of the plot move with less complexity than they did in The Code of the Woosters or The Inimitable Jeeves (which contains "The Great Sermon Handicap," possibly the best Jeeves short story). Aunt Dahlia only gets a scene or two in her best form, plus Bertie's usual chucklehead Drones friends are noticeably absent and our hero seems a bit lonely on his solitary adventures. (Instead of staying in an overpopulated country house, Bertie has a cabin of his own.) Bertie's resigned despair at being unexpectedly engaged to a woman who seeks to ban his smoking and drinking is muted as a result.

Still, the inconvenient cat makes for a very funny plot device, and Wooster lovers will eat this one up like Anatole's cooking.

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