Friday, November 14, 2008

Book 3: Psmith in the City

Psmith in the City by P.G. Wodehouse

Pages: 158

How was it obtained: 50 cents from a book warehouse that appears in our mall every now and then. Usually they just have junk. I picked up this book and God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis (which I haven't read yet either, it evades this list because its at the office. I don't even want to think of all the books at the office that I need to read! I'm sure it surpasses the 55 of this list.).

Time spent on the "To Read" shelf: Under a year.

Days spent reading it: 4.

Why I read it: P.G. Wodehouse makes me chuckle quietly to myself a lot. I enjoy his wit and humor, even if I have to concentrate to be entertained. I have read a few of his Blandings adventures, and enjoy the TV versions of Jeeves and Wooster.

Brief Review:
Right ho! This was a jolly good tale of Psmith and his friend Mike as they have to briefly leave their lives of idyllic freedom and enter the workforce in order to relieve financial hardship on Mike's family. Wodehouse is the master of making a dull situation hillarious. His characters (Psmith in particular) are able to create elaborate plans about their futures and pull them off with humorous results. Psmith is a little more mean than say Jeeves and Wooster (in this short novel he blackmails, stalks, and harasses a manager), but he pulls it off with an attitude of complete civility, in a classic Wodehouse manner. He even explains how his mean actions are simply misunderstood (although clearly they are not, he is offering a humorous counter interpretation to his actions to get off the hook). It amazes me how Wodehouse has these crazy characters doing insane things, and it still comes off as light, good spirited fun. We need a little more Wodehouse in today's society.

Back to the story--Psmith is a smooth talker. He could, as the saying goes, sell ice to an Eskimo. For the most part, Psmith simply uses his powers of persuasion to slack at his job in the bank. Classic. I highly recommend Wodehouse. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this particular book, although there were plenty of chuckles along the way. Definitely check out Stephen Fry as Jeeves and Hugh Laurie (of House fame) as Bertie Wooster in the BBC's 4 seasons of Jeeves and Wooster. One word for them: genius.

Favorite quote from the book: "I shall toil with all the accumulated energy of one who, up till now, has only known what work is like from hearsay."

Stars: 3.5 out of 5.

The Final Word: Psmart.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I have to say -- AGAIN -- that maybe you missed your calling & should be a reviewer. Or maybe you can be a reviewer AND youth pastor. :-) You are really on a role! You're riding right through an Elizabeth Book Highway -- you could have stolen the last 3 from my bookshelves. Great job on your list!