A Brief Review of ‘Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit’ by P. G. Wodehouse
If you have never read anything of the adventures of Wooster and Jeeves, then I highly recommend you do so: they are truly a treat.
Originally published in book-form in the short story collection, Very Good, Jeeves, in 1930, ‘Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit’ is a Christmas tale. Having cancelled a post-Christmas trip to Monte Carlo, much to Jeeves’ disappointment, the pair head to “Skeldings for the festives”, at the invitation of one Lady Wickham. There, Bertie Wooster attempts to demonstrate to one guest, Sir Rodderick Glossop – “in the face of all the evidence” – that he is “not actually insane”, whilst simultaneously hoping to win the heart of another.
Being a short story, I shan’t delve any further into the plot. My interest and enthusiasm here stem from the writing. P. G. Wodehouse’s style is, quite simply, a joy to read. The pompous, buffoonish personality of Wooster is conveyed with an all-around daft, albeit pleasing, use of language.
Here are three sample lines to give a flavour of the charm:
The night being a trifle chillier than the dickens, I had donned for this expedition in a dressing gown.
So, all in all, life at this juncture seemed pretty well all to the mustard…
Reason told me that a bloke who could snore like that wasn’t going to be awakened by a trifle.
As is my nature, I have bought a number of the collections, although haven’t read much yet. I look forward to doing so; for ‘Jeeves and the Yule-Tide Spirit’ is genuinely amusing and had me laughing out loud in parts.
A ripping yarn, as Bertie might say.