Monday, September 10, 2012

Aunts Aren't Gentlemen

I'll be wrapping up my vacation recaps this week and thought I'd start easing back into book-centric posts with Aunts Aren't Gentlemen, the second Wodehouse book I've read and the first from his Jeeves and Wooster series. Apparently this was one of Wodehouse's later novels that was originally published in the U.S. under the title The Catnappers, which is more accurately descriptive of the story but much less comically intriguing.

As the story begins, an outbreak of spots on his chest has driven Bertie Wooster to see a doctor. The spots amount to nothing, but he's ordered to the country to try to counteract his late nights, frequent drinks, and otherwise harmful bachelor lifestyle. Wooster removes to a sleepy English village with his faithful butler Jeeves in tow. Also staying nearby is Wooster's Aunt Dahlia, who is heavily invested in an upcoming horse race that will pit her host's thoroughbred against that of his arch rival from across the village. His rival's horse has struck up a close relationship with a cat and, in an attempt to throw the horse off of this training, Aunt Dahlia forms a wacky scheme to kidnap the cat. She draws Wooster into the plan and, of course, madcap complications ensue. The entire plot is very tongue in cheek and quite funny, but funny in a way that tends to make me think, "Oh, that's clever" rather than actually laugh out loud. It left me wanting to read more from the Jeeves and Wooster series in the future, but not enamored enough to run out and get some more immediately.

If you've read Wodehouse, tell me- what other Jeeves books would you recommend?

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