November 25, 2010

The Small Bachelor

The more stressed I get the more likely I am to have to read either Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic) or P.G. Wodehouse. I skulk up to the counter at the used book store ("Psst, do you wanna buy an "A"?) and ask sotto voce if they have any P.G. Wodehouse, and of course they always do as I'm not the only one with this embarrassing addiction. Like Kinsella, Wodehouse makes me giggle and that's worth a lot sometimes.

The Small Bachelor differs from some of the others in Wodehouse's long list of publications in that it's set in New York instead of in England, but the rest of the elements are familiar. There's romance, everyone of interest is really wealthy, the hero is awkward but extremely nice and the heroine is smart and sweet. To keep them apart there are any number of ridiculous obstacles all solved at the end. The beauty of Wodehouse is in the wry commentary (" A lover..will see sweetness and light in almost everything, but George Finch, despite his most earnest endeavours, had been compelled to draw the line at Mrs. Waddington") and hilariously exaggerated description ("Mr. Waddington's eyes were now protruding to such a dangerous extent that a sharp jerk would have caused them to drop off.") Sometimes I cannot believe the time Wodehouse takes to describe the tiniest detail but the cumulative effect is very funny to me, and being the incorrigible Anglophile I am just adds to the fun.

Wodehouse is not for everyone, but sometime when you need a laugh, pick up one of his books and give it a try.

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