Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
I am an avid reader – yes, not a trait that many possess these days. I have read extensively – subjects have never been a bar and intensively – when I pick an author, I read all his/ her works.
So far, I had held Rajaji and Jeffery Archer as the best authors, they were just inching ahead of Shakespeare. Wodehouse has pushed them out by miles. I recently read Thank You, Jeeves by P G Wodehouse and reading just one book made me fall in love with his writings. They say that it takes only one rice flake to judge an entire potful. How true! I have been smitten by the Wodehouse bug and I have thoroughly enjoyed the other novels as well.
Story wise, Wodehouse novels are very ordinary; in fact they are all based on extreme and very passionate stupidity. However, a good writer is one who can write even a stupid tale in a manner that can be relished. The main thing that I loved about Wodehouse’s writings is his character personification. Creating a character with traits that we all are accustomed to is easy. We all like Dumbledore because we have seen teachers with such qualities. It is very difficult to make a person like a peculiar character that does strange things. Wodehouse manages to do exactly that and with bravura.
His characters are downright eccentric. But what is wonderful is that Bertram Wooster, Aunt Dahlia, Ukridge and Seabury are likeable despite their eccentricity, in some cases for their oddness. The saneness of Jeeves is another charming factor of the Wooster – Jeeves series.
All of Wodehouse’s novels speak about people and situation and don’t get into too much of detail about scenery or surroundings. He knows when to showcase the bizare nature of his characters and when to stop it. He shells details without being verbose. His writing has enough specifics that make it apt for a stage play – a very unique attribute.
His distinct sense of humour that can make a person laugh out loud despite circumstances is highly appreciable. His sense of satire is a superb thing. When Wooster thinks (Aunts aren’t Gentlemen), “I thought to myself the circumstances that I might have been in had I married her. I would have ended up marching on streets and throwing stones at the constabulary. It re imposed my faith in the Divine being.”, you cannot help notice the satire on street marches and protesters.
If you are a novice reader, Wodehouse offers awesome literary value – unlike Archer or Rowling. His sentence structure, vocabulary and quoting of famous authors and poets are very striking. For all this, it is simple enough to understand.
He has the minor fault of being a tad racist. But that is not reason enough to not appreciate his works. Style is not something that comes to everyone. Few people are blessed with it in this otherwise non elegant world. Likewise for humour. A combination of both humour and style is really rare. Wodehouse is one of them and I just can’t stop reading his works.
Wodehouse has once again reinstated very powerfully that writing is an art. On the cover of his Blandings Story, I found this comment – “Recommend a Wodehouse novel to someone and after that, they trust you with all major decisions. I just love that feeling.”
I recommend P G Wodehouse to one and all, especially teenage readers.