Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Psmith, Journalist

Psmith, Journalist, by P.G. Wodehouse

The adventures of the dapper Psmith continue when he and his confidential secretary and adviser (a.k.a. Mike) "cross the pond" over to the U.S.   While Mike tours the country playing cricket, Psmith promptly finds himself involved in the fascinating world of New York City newspapers.  There are tenement buildings, gangs, pugilists, and cats, as well.

My Reaction:
Psmith himself is fine in this book, but I think I liked it less as a whole than Psmith in the City.  The "social justice" aspect of the tenement story failed to enthrall, for one thing.  Also, I was happy to hear that the drowse-inducing Mike would be absent for most of the book, only to learn with some disappointment that a Mike-style surrogate would be there in his stead.  (Though perhaps a straight-man is required for comic characters like Psmith...) Finally, I was not entirely smitten with the "local color"-- boxers, gangs, and nearly impenetrable accents.

Meh.  This was not my favorite Wodehouse, by a long shot.  I prefer his stories of the upper crust.  Still, it's not at all bad.  But this is Wodehouse, so you already knew that.  ;o)

(This was another read-aloud with Donald.  I quickly gave up on trying to read the accents as written.  "Translating" to more-or-less ordinary speech on the go was infinitely preferable to muddling awkwardly through that garbled mess.)