Saturday, August 11, 2012

Psmith in the City

Psmith in the City, by P. G. Wodehouse

(Another read-aloud with Donald.)

I think I enjoyed this one more than Mike and Psmith-- possibly because of the change of setting, definitely because there was less cricket.  The game does crop up here and there, but mostly just (briefly) near the beginning and end, so it's not too bad.  (Apologies to those who simply love reading about cricket, but it's deadly dull to those of us who don't even know-- much less care-- how the game's played.  Honestly, though, I can't see myself being interested in reading about any sport.  As far as I'm concerned, sports are meant to be watched-- if even that-- and not read about.) 

Some reviewers point out the various ways in which this early work compares unfavorably to Wodehouse in his prime.  I'm sure they're right, but for the most part, I enjoyed the book just fine and found it an effective comedic escape from the stresses and trials of Real Life.  Is the plot (such as it is) unrealistic?  Well, of course, but who reads Wodehouse for stark realism?!  I want my Wodehouseian heroes to have unrealistically happy endings.  If those endings are extremely convenient and pop up just at the end of the book, I don't really mind.  Besides, the best of Wodehouse, for me, is the dialogue-- the humorous use of language in general.  Plotting is an afterthought.

That said, I was a little disappointed that Mike didn't even have to tough it out for a single night at his rented room in London.  I'd have found that very amusing reading.