How Right You Are, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

“It is impossible to be unhappy while reading the adventures of Jeeves and Wooster. And I’ve tried.”
Christopher Buckley

I was extremely, tearfully, hormonally, and existentially (maybe even adverbially) unhappy when I began reading How Right You Are, Jeeves this past weekend. I read it purely for escape from my woes. I was so unhappy that I had to read the first page approximately five times over before I gathered the facts that Bertie and his friend Reggie, better known as Kipper, Herring are just sitting down to breakfast when the phone rings. . .

And off we go. Jeeves is set to go on holiday, off to Herne Bay for the shrimping and to judge a bathing beauty contest. Bertie is invited by Aunt Dahlia down to Brinkley Court, Market Snodsbury to be there confronted with various and sundry dilemmas and romantic entanglements of the type that only a Wooster could become involved in. All the Wodehousian cast are there: a domineering young female of unusual beauty, and a rather goofy girl who goes ga-ga over romantic poetry read aloud in the garden, a former schoolmaster of unpleasing aspect, a nerve specialist disguised as a butler, visiting Americans of dubious sanity, the afore-mentioned Kipper to whose assistance Bertie is bound by the Code of the Woosters, and even Jeeves himself, who must cut short his holiday to come to the rescue of the hapless Bertie.

At the end of the book, I was left chuckling softly, with only a mild melancholy to send me to bed. That change in mood and attitude, The Wodehouse Effect, is God’s gift to the English-speaking world, as channelled through Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse. I won’t say that it never fails, nor that it cures all ills, but it’s always worth a try —and much cheaper than hospitalization.

(By the way, it looks as if I’ve already read this book under its British title: Jeeves in the Offing. No matter. The medicine works just as well whether its already been taken before or not.)

10 thoughts on “How Right You Are, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

  1. Thanks for the reminder! I need to get a hold of this book!

  2. I hate to admit it but I’ve never read Wodehouse …

  3. Is this the one where Gussie Finknottle gives out the school prizes?! That is my favorite scene in all of Wodehouse. “It’s a beautiful world, P.K. Purvis. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.” *CACKLE*

  4. No, no Gussie in this one. But you’re right that scene is priceless.

  5. I’ve only read two of the Jeeves books so far. Key words there being ‘so far’. Love them. Not laugh out loud funny, but definitely ‘make me smile to myself’ humor.

  6. I bought several on tape–read by a wonderful British reader, exactly right–so that I could listen to them over and over. Especially when I need a dose of cheerfulness!


  7. Is this the one known also as “Jeeves in the Offing”, the one where Bertie Wooster loses his fear of Sir Roderick Glossop (cleverly camouflaged as a butler) and they actually become buddies?

    Of course one of the greatest episodes in Wodehouse is Gussie Fink-Nottle giving a speech at a school and handing out the prizes. Actually, I’d say it’s one of the best passages in all of English literature (I know, this is hyperbole, but who ever said hyperbole is never true?).

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