Cassoulet for the mind – “Jeeves and the Wedding Bells” by Sebestian Faulks

February 3, 2014 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

GetImage“Jeeves and the Wedding Bells” by Sebestian Faulks, Published in 2013 

There are novels that are like comfort food for me.  I return to them because they make me feel at home, they remind me of something wonderful. They are my favorite reading discoveries because I finish these books and I just sigh happily, not unlike after eating dark chocolate or bingeing on mashed potatoes or finding an amazing cassoulet, my absolute favorite comfort food (as pretentious as it sounds, it is just simple happiness).  When I first found P.G. Wodehouse it was purely by chance.  My favorite bookstore, The Book Loft, has several shelves dedicated to Wodehouse and I kept walking by and thinking “hmmm, who is this guy?”  So I bought one. And this began my cassoulet-like relationship with Wodehouse.

His foppish characters are always the British upperclass. There are hilarious antics and ridiculous opinions and, well, high jinx, lots o’ high jinx.  There is commentary in his humor but Wodehouse is not sardonic and his tone is never bitter like his contemporary Evelyn Waugh (who is another comfort food writer for me).  He is truly just good fun.  His series about Bernie Wooster and his brilliantly exasperated butler, Jeeves, is notably Wodehouse’s most popular.

Sebestian Faulks has decided to carry the Wodehouse torch and write, in his best Wodehouse voice, a new Jeeves and Wooster book.  I was a little worried about this idea.  Wodehouse is, well, a rarity and should a modern writer try to touch his legacy? This type of attempt is often hideous – “Sanditon” is the best example (poor Jane Austen).  But I couldn’t help myself and asked my husband to buy it for me for Christmas.  I admit to cringing a bit as I asked.  My dramatic cringing and snobbery was apparently misplaced, because Mr. Faulks pulls this all off seamlessly.   I can’t imagine the painstaking work that went into assuming the voice and tone of Wodehouse but somehow Faulks manages it.  He states in the foreword that he hopes this book will bring Wodehouse to a new generation of readers, because he is just too brilliant to miss. I really do hope his plan works.   Cassoulet and dark chocolate and chicken and dumplings for everyone can’t be wrong.

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Entry filed under: February 2014 reads. Tags: , , , .

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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.

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