Thursday, May 31, 2012

Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse, narrated by Martin Jarvis

Rating:

* * *

The book's description from the website dedicated to P. G. Wodehouse:

A Jeeves and Wooster collection These marvellous stories introduce us to Jeeves, whose first ever duty is to cure Bertie's raging hangover ('If you would drink this, sir... it is a little preparation of my own invention. It is the Worcester Sauce that gives it its colour. The raw egg makes it nutritious. The red pepper gives it its bite. Gentlemen have told me they have found it extremely invigorating after a late evening.')


And from that moment, one of the funniest, sharpest and most touching partnerships in English literature never looks back...

The key word here is 'stories'. How on earth did I not see that when I purchased the book?! I don't like short stories, I don't get most of them and generally short stories and I don't get along very well. Inevitably, this selection didn't fare all that much better in my view. I can see that there is much writing talent that Mr. Wodehouse possessed and if it were one, full-length novel, I believe I could appreciate it a lot more than I did.

I did like Jeeves. I suspect, you simply cannot not like him. He says precious few words throughout each story, and yet these few words always present such comical contrast between Jeeves and Wooster, Without uttering a single insult, Jeeves manages to clearly show who the slightly idiotic character is. Again, I wish at least one of these stories could have been longer. I have no doubt I would have laughed my a** off.

The stories did, however, elicit a few smiles from me Bertie Wooster is definitely a very funny, if a little simple-minded, man. If you like short stories and comedy of manners, I'd say you should give it a go. Carry On, Jeeves will make for a summer afternoon or two of easy, pleasurable read.

Narration

The version of Carry On Jeeves I listened to is narrated by Martin Jarvis, and this guy just stole my heart. He's splendid. He switches between the voices without a flaw, not a line seems monotonous, and I believe he gives Jeeves and Wooster an extra special something. It is Jarvis's narration that I give credit for keeping my resolve to finish the stories going. Jim Dale is no longer the sole holder of my very 'bestest' narrator, that honor now will have to be shared with Martin Jarvis.