What ho! Another Wodehouse classic.
I get tired of the Jeeves & Wooster hype and like to "get away" into some of Wodehouse's other stories from time to time. Don't get me wrong, Jeeves is classic! But variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Piccadilly Jim is some mighty fine spice.
Per usual, Wodehouse has great word play. The way he says things leaves you giggling or laughing out loud. Too many passages to quote and not enough space. Wodehouse is, or should be, on everyone's reading list at least once or twice in their life. However, I'm happy to report that among my social circles he's almost commonplace. I didn't feel a strong urge to include a Wodehouse work in Bookfest 2006's reading list. Why? Because everyone has read at least one
Wodehouse story. It verges on triteness to say, "if you've read one, you've read them all!" The names vary in silliness but ....well....Wodehouse is Wodehouse
. His style is unchanging although the plots do, thank goodness. Otherwise I don't suppose he would have gotten away with writing over 100 books and stories. (Does anyone have an exact count? I couldn't find one online.) Then again, maybe he would have. It's hard to say "Enough already!" to a good snicker.
Wodehouse is candy reading at its finest. Clean, straightforward and rather honest if you think about it. He likes to make fun of the same things I like to make fun of in other people: behaviorisms. His characters have quirks that he preys upon and that holds definite appeal for this girl's funny bone.
My reason for liking Piccadilly Jim
, in particular, is the character of Ann (this time without an 'e'). The feisty red-head who suffered the drama of a poetic youth yet blossomed into a wiley "press other people's buttons to get the response she wanted" young lady. I rather admired conniving persistent pursuit of her down to the closing scene in the library where he argues he is the man for her. He says:
"To a girl with your ardent nature someone with whom you can quarrel is an absolute necessity of life. You and I are affinities. Our will be an ideally happy marriage. You would be miserable if you had to go through life with a human doormat with Welcome written on him."
Reminds me of The Horse and His Boy
where Lewis informs us that Aravis and Cor ". . . were so used to quarrelling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently." I shall not reveal whether or not Jimmy wins his appeal with Ann but if you know Wodehouse you can make an educated guess as to the the end of the story.Ukridge
still holds the lead as my favorite Non-Jeeves Story, however, Piccadilly Jim is quite amusing on its own. Just for different reasons (like all of Wodehouse's books). They are all meant to be enjoyed and, most often, thoroughly are! Thanks, Karen, for sticking a Wodehouse out there. I was wrong about not wanting to include one on the original list. It helps to make our list complete.