Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mike and Psmith

Mike and Psmith, by P. G. Wodehouse

I have no "official" blurb to offer, but basically it's this:  Wodehouse takes on the classic English "school story" format.  Mike isn't happy about being forced (by his father's reaction to poor grades) to leave his old school, Wrykyn, for this new place, Sedleigh.  For one thing, he was to have been captain of the cricket team this year, at Wrykyn; for another, he suspects that Sedleigh's cricketing prospects will be awful.  But when he gains the friendship of the one-of-a-kind Psmith (another newcomer to the school), at least it's guaranteed that life at Sedleigh will be anything but dull.  Hijinx follow in due course. 

My Opinion:
(First things first-- this was another read with Donald.  It's a tradition, now.  Wodehouse is excellent read-aloud material.)  We skipped Mike at Wrykyn, because Donald read something to the effect that there was quite a bit of cricket in that one.  I don't think we missed much by doing so.  Reading about the cricket in Mike and Psmith was baffling (and boring) enough to tell me that more cricket would not be a good thing.  Also, Mike on his own is kind of a dull character.  He's too normal to be particularly interesting in a book.  In combination with other characters (Jellicoe, Psmith, or Downings), he's fine, but alone...  One must assume that there were other more amusing characters with whom he interacted in Mike at Wrykyn, but at present, one is content to leave that as an uninvestigated assumption. 

So.  Being Wodehouse, this has its share of humor and fun, but it's not on par with his books about Jeeves and Wooster.  Still, it's good-- relatively simple, but plenty of fun.  And though it took me a little while to warm up to the character, by the end, I was looking forward to reading more about Psmith, who sounds like a more intelligent (and fastidious) version of Bertie Wooster.