Historical fiction

Jeeves and the Leap of Faith by Ben Schott

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Still available to request on NetGalley!

I have always been a Blandings person when it comes to PG Wodehouse’s books. I have the Psmith collection as well, but for some reason, I never actually worked my way through the entire Jeeves set. I have read a few, here and there but not enough to qualify as someone who knows the people in that world.

That said, seeing Bertie Wooster and Jeeves in this avatar has made me curious if I am finally ready to give them a shot again. This reimagined series has Jeeves and Bertie as spies for the crown. I have not read the first book of the series, but given the way this ended, I know that reading this instalment would be a necessity to make sense of the next! Thankfully I felt pretty comfortable reading this without the first.

Like Wodehouse’s original works, this begins innocuously enough with debates about crosswords as well as wallpaper. Multiple different problems snake and twist their way around each other, but only some get solved by the time the book ends. Bertie’s troublesome aunt and even more troublesome friends and enemies continue to pop up regularly while he tries to do a simple (on the surface) task for his country. It took me a while to get into the groove of it all, but I laughed like I usually do for the original Wodehouse capers once I did. I laughed even as I waited to see what would happen to the more serious aspects of the narrative.

I really appreciated the appendix at the end where the author provided not just the details about the places and phrases used with helpful meanings but also indications of why the characters would act in the manner he wrote them in the book based on where they occurred in the original. This felt like reading a whole extra book – in a good way! 

I am unsure of how to talk about the book to people who have not read or read and not liked Wodehouse’s works, except to say that this is a story of a man and his gentleman’s gentleman (who literally runs the show) and in their busy world help pairs of lovebirds (sort of), try to track jewel thieves, stay sane with family around and finally do their best work as spies. It is written in PG Wodehouse’s language with twisty sentences, and the underlying sarcasm was fun to unearth.

I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience as well as my previous affinity to the works of PG Wodehouse.

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