Magazine article The Spectator

The Imitable Jeeves

Magazine article The Spectator

The Imitable Jeeves

Article excerpt

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks Hutchinson, £16.99, pp. 272, ISBN 9780091954055, Spectator Bookshop, £13.49, Tel: 08430 600033 For as long as I can remember - I take neither pleasure nor pride in the admission - I have been one of those people who feels an irresistible curling of the lip at reviews of the 'I laughed till I cried' variety. Something about that hackneyed claim, invariably trumpeted in bold letters outside West End theatres, inspires absolute scepticism.

No longer. At two memorable moments in Jeeves and the Wedding Bells I did indeed laugh until I cried.

To readers unfamiliar with his role as a team captain on Radio 4's The Write Stuff, the literary quiz which culminates each week with a pastiche of an author's style, Sebastian Faulks, still best known for his novels Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, may appear an unlikely candidate for donning the mantle of P.G. Wodehouse. Modestly - or perhaps disingenuously - Faulks himself makes carefully circumspect claims for his new novel in which he revisits Bertie Wooster and his gentleman's personal gentleman, Jeeves. He describes it as a 'tribute', and denies any expertise on his part. Hollow claims, as it happens. For this Wodehouse devotee at any rate, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells is a masterpiece - albeit no self-respecting aficionado would wish marriage on Bertie, with its attendant risk of Jeeves moving on (Faulks nimbly negotiates that hazard).

Faulks's plot is bang on-message. Not for the first time Bertie Wooster finds himself in a country house where his presence is definitely irksome to at least one member of the host family. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.