January 30, 2003

The Mating Season, by P.G. Wodehouse

Recently, my kids and I were having a "reading supper." In our house, we donít read and eat unless the Father personage is gone. He frowns on the lack of conversation when the rest of us have our noses in a book. But he's taking night classes this semester and the kids and I are free to read while we eat. Anyway, I was reading The Mating Season and enduring the snotty remarks from my teenagers about the title. I read them some of it to show them that no, Mom is not reading something inappropriate for public consumption and ended up reading to them the whole meal. It's hard to read aloud and eat at the same time.

Bertie is whangdoodled into going down to Deverill Hall pretending to be Gussie Fink-Nottle after Gussie lands himself in the jug by searching for newts in the fountain of Trafalgar Square. He cant take Jeeves since Jeeves' uncle is the Butler of that establishment. And Deverill Hall is full of Aunts that make Aunt Agatha seems like a toy poodle. Then Corky Pirbright shows up with a Dog who somehow ticks off the local rozzer, Constable Dobbs. Jeeves finally shows up to save the day when Gussie comes to the Hall pretending to be, yes, Bertie Wooster. There are also a couple of love plots and an absolutely wonderful scene of religious conversion by Constable Dobbs. Not to mention Bertie on a chair singing a hunting song.

I find the plots of Wodehouse novels difficult to explain. They are so convoluted they nearly defy explanation. You may as well just read the book. But the wonderful part of this novel, as with all his other work, is the description of events and the play with words. And Bertie's almost pathological aversion to marriage while seeming to surround himself with marriageable young women. And the Aunts.

Posted by Deb English at January 30, 2003 06:33 PM