The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

RSS feeds: v0.91; v1.0 (RDF); v2.0; Atom.

Previous entry. Next entry.

11:07am on Sunday, 2nd January, 2022:



In a desperate attempt to think of something my wife could buy me for Christmas, I came up with the idea of a few Jeeves & Wooster books by P. G. Wodehouse. These are often described as among the funniest texts written in the English language, but to date I've avoided them on the grounds that anything attracting such True Believers must be suspect.

Anyway, I'm half-way through the first book I opened, which seems to be a collection of vaguely-interlinked short stories. They do feature several amusing turns of phrase, but they're not quite as laugh-out loud as I had been led to believe they would be. The plots have rather too much coincidence in them, and Bertie's vague speech patterns can be at times irritating. It's a well-realised world, though, which of course I'm a sucker for because why wouldn't I be?

I fear my overall judgement of the stories may be clouded by memories of a TV series based on the books, starring Stephen Fry and Jeeves and Hugh Laurie as Wooster. There was an earlier series I saw some of when I was about 7, the principal attraction of which was that it had Ian Carmichael as Bertie. Against all evidence of accent, Carmichael came from Hull (where his family owned a department store), so he was regarded in some esteem locally. It's the Fry & Laurie adaptation that sticks in the mind, though, the episodes of which were faithful enough to the original text that the plots of the short stories are no no surprise to me, which perhaps somewhat undermines their comic effect.

Alarmingly, the Fry & Laurie series was broadcast some 30 years ago. It's roughly equidistant in time from today and my date of birth. That's rather more ancient than I thought it would be.

Latest entries.

Archived entries.

About this blog.

Copyright © 2022 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).