Anatomy of a Book: Stiff Upper Lip Jeeves by PG Wodehouse

images‘You don’t mean that old crumb was there?’ I said, Great-Scott-ing… (p.7)

Bertie Wooster is talking about Sir Watkyn Bassett, and so is Wooster’s Gentleman’s Gentleman, Jeeves, here:

‘You will recollect that Sir Watkyn recently entertained Mrs Travers and yourself at Totleigh Towers.’ (p.7)

And on with the discussion via this reaction:

I winced… mere to refresh my memory, he had touched on an exposed nerve. (p.7)

And on through concerns of marriage, visits, biting dogs, ugly collectables, prop forwards, and vegetarianism, Wooster shows fear and a Wooster-kind-of resourcefulness to try and counter his affronts.

But the thing I’ve often noticed is that when I’ve something off my mind, it pretty nearly always happens that Fate sidles up and shoves on something else, as if curious to see how much the traffic will bear. (p.95)

The resolution and problems and resolutions seem continuous, and form the joy of words and writing by PG Wodehouse there is a wish that the story will never end.

Changing Status:

I wonder if you have even noticed… how differently the same news can affect two different people? (p.123)

Wooster can feel deflated and joyous. Thankfully while the content changes his summary tone holds the same great use of words and thus humour.

High Stakes:

Wooster could be married. This is pain enough to drive him to actually go to Totleigh Towers and deal with Sir Bassett, among others, to help avoid this event.

Page Turner:

As mentioned there are constant hiccups and alterations. Almost every page has a change taking place, and every chapter ends with a significant event about to occur.

Believable Characters:

It is its own world – a 1950s world with the English upperclass bumbling about. Each characters reacts and acts as one would expect from their introduction, with excellent, endearing personal features. It is known that these people are not real, but in this world they are believable.

Educate:

‘The poet Browning in his Pippa Passes… goes on to say, “The lark’s on the wing, the snail’s on the thorn.’” (p.10)

And the world is made real by the inclusion of facts. Every so often Jeeves will quote, or Wooster will mis-quote, a poet or make reference a verse of scripture. This is not meant as being educational but it adds some feeling of trust and confidence in the writer and the characters.

For a free Wodehouse book, download a file from Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/783

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One thought on “Anatomy of a Book: Stiff Upper Lip Jeeves by PG Wodehouse

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