As I was experiencing The Cold That Will Not Quit, I turned to my new stack of library books and knew in an instant what I wanted to read-P.G. Wodehouse. P.G. Wodehouse can cure any ills, I am convinced, and I'm not quite sure why he has not made it onto my blog. He is also extremely prolific, so you don't have the problem of feeling like weeping when you find a good author that wrote one book. According to a page in the front of my book, he had written 80 books by 1973 (he started writing in the 19-teens). Wodehouse wrote the Jeeves and Wooster books, which are probably his greatest claim to fame, but in addition to that, he's written about all sorts of hilariously eccentric characters.
This book centers around a whole host of characters. There is a secretary, Sandy Miller, in love with her boss-turned-fellow secretary, Monty Bodkin. Unfortunately, Monty is in love with a beefy hockey player, Gertrude Butterwick, who is putty in the hands of her father who hates Monty and has forced the lazy aristocrat to earn his living for a year. Added to this confusing puzzle is Monty's employer, the employer's controlling wife, and the employer's even more controlling step-daughter. There is also a band of thieves disguised as friends and valets trying to steal the employer's wife's necklace. Whew.
This book is classic Wodehouse. It has lots of humor and sly pokes at the English upper-class, a cast of very eccentric characters that grow more complicated in their relationships by the minute, just a touch of bad guys (but only the bumbling kind), a little romance, and a problem that will be neatly solved by the end of the book.
This book was written near the end of Wodehouse's career (early 1970s) and, maybe it was just me, but I thought I could read the wistfulness in some of his references to gentlemen's clubs and "the old ways". However, this book still has all of Wodehouse's charm and frivolity. He lavishly sprinkles funny, well-rounded characters all through the book, makes word jokes left and right (my favorite kind of joke, by the way), and crafts a very funny, yet somehow also gripping, plot that left me hanging onto the book until the last page.
This book was the perfect thing to get me over the worst of the cold and I'm sure I made a funny sight sitting there wrapped in a quilt and alternately laughing and coughing my lungs up over a book. I think of Wodehouse as being classic summer reading. I'm not quite sure why, but I do know that, as soon as I had finished that book, the spring thaw began. Hooray!
So if you are the kind of person that likes Wodehouse's humor (I would describe it as a combination of just-plain-silly, sarcastic and…well…there needs to be a term for Wodehouse's humor, because it is its own category) and would like a welcome-to-spring (or whatever season you happen to be in at the moment) read, then I really recommend this book. I enjoyed it immensely.