I've been in the mood to read some stories that are funny or at the least amusing. So when I saw this post on Jeeves and Wooster, and then this post sorting through the masses of books out there by P.G. Wodehouse, I was inspired to see what my library had on hand. I lucked out and found a copy of Carry On, Jeeves on the library's shelves. It was first published in 1925 and appears to be one of his earlier books. The first story in the collection, "Jeeves Takes Charge" introduces Jeeves not only to the reader but to Bertie Wooster as well.
This is the very first P.G. Wodehouse I've read, so his work and these characters are completely new to me. I only know that Wodehouse is quite popular and popularly known for his comedic writings about the British upper class (generally eccentric) and their servants. Although this is post-WWI England, it is a frothy without-a-care version of it. Bertie Wooster is a young man of wealth, but perhaps not so much intellect. And Jeeves, the inimitable Jeeves, has everything under control. You wonder how Bertie Wooster ever got on before he met Jeeves, as he manages to get him out of a variety of scrapes and uncomfortable situations with the utmost ease and finesse. Bertie himself says, "The man's a genius. From the collar upward he stands alone, I gave up trying to run my own affairs within a week of his coming to me."
Bertie Wooster's former manservant, Meadowes, was caught sneaking silk socks and therefore had to be let go. A few silk socks is a small price to pay really, when compared to the incalculable benefits of the new man sent round by the agency--"a kind of darkish sort of respectable Johnnie"--Reginald Jeeves (I had to look up his first name as it wasn't mentioned in the story). Right from the get go Jeeves is ready to assist. Bertie receives a telegram from his fiancé, Florence Craye demanding his immediate return to Easeby, in Shropshire where they had both been staying with his uncle. It appears that Uncle Willoughby has written his memoirs revealing that he had " been somewhat on the tabasco side as a young man". He wasn't alone; Florence's father was a willing participant in their escapades. The memoirs reveal all. Florence demands that Bertie destroy the manuscript before it's mailed off to the publisher, or she's calling the marriage off.
As you might imagine, Bertie gets himself in a humorously tight situation that only Jeeves can pull him out of. The story is quite witty and amusing and was a pleasure to read. Wodehouse is great, frothy fun! And yes, I want to read all the stories. I'll have to look for some Wodehouse to mooch, however. I've got too much on my reading plate at the moment to add yet another book to it, but I do plan on reading more of his work eventually. I'm not sure I can be content at just stopping at one Jeeves and Wooster story, however!