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Bertie Soldiers on during Jeeves's Vacation,
This review is from: Jeeves in the Offing (Arena Books) (Paperback)
Bertie Wooster is one of P.G. Wodehouse's greatest comic characters. He is normally balanced by the quick wit, aplomb and shimmering progress of Jeeves, his butler. But even butlers need a vacation. So Bertie bids good-bye to Jeeves for the year . . . and promptly faces all sorts of unexpected problems.
The troubles begin a most distraught telephone call to Bertie from Lady Wickham. She sobs between words as she demands to know if "this awful news is true." The awful news is in this morning's Times. When Bertie opens the Times, he finds an announcement of his engagement to Lady Wickham's daughter, Bobbie, a woman to whom he has tried to become engaged to in the past. Darned if Bertie can figure out what it's all about. Bobbie, although beautiful, is one of those women who want to improve their men, and Bertie isn't up for such improvements. The path to solving the challenge leads him to his aunt Dahlia's country home, Brinkley Court, to help her entertain Homer Cream, an American tycoon who is doing a deal with her husband, Tom, where Bobbie is also staying. Bertie's old headmaster is also in residence, which leaves Bertie quaking. But the lure of Anatole's delightful cooking draws Bertie to Brinkley.
Once there, events become ever wackier. Sir Roderick Glossop, who thinks Bertie is dotty, is posing as the butler to evaluate a fiancé.
As usual, romance, plots to gain funds, weird collections and mistaken identities quickly twist the story into unexpected complications and directions.
The pages are filled with original similes and metaphors that will delight any student of the English language. This story has great fun with the fish theme. Bertie's great friend Reginald Herring has the nickname of "Kipper." At one point, Bertie says coldly that "I have every right to goggle like a dead halibut . . . ." Elsewhere, Bobbie's motives are described as, "She wanted you to see the big fish . . . you must have been surprised to see Kipper . . . ." Cream and cream pitchers are also done well in this story.
But the best schemes of Bertie and Kipper come a cropper, and Jeeves has to be called back to make a miraculous recovery for the causes of love and the old feudal spirit.