Leave It To Psmith - P. G. Wodehouse

Leave It to Psmith - P.G. Wodehouse

I don't know why I held out against reading Wodehouse for so long.

 

I think I was under the vague opinion that, being eighty years old and based in upper-class values which have very little modern-day relevance, Leave It To Psmith would be not only dry as dust but also spectacularly unfunny. And, of course, I was wrong.

 

It's set at Blandings Castle, stately home of the perpetually distracted Lord Emsworth, whose sister Lady Emsworth owns a twenty-thousand-pound necklace which she refuses to keep safe in the bank. Various nefarious characters rock up at Blandings with their eyes on the necklace, and so begins a strangely surreal farce vaguely reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel written by Douglas Adams.

 

Of course, it's not the plot that's important. I'm quite sure I'll have forgotten pretty much every plot point by this time next week. What will stick with me, however, is Psmith himself, an irrepressible, gentlemanly rogue who is charmingly inappropriate and exceedingly funny and, incidentally, an early prototype for Dirk Gently. I'd quite happily read fifty books with him in, back to back, if necessary.

 

It's not great literature, and it's not good plotting, and there are no Meaning of Life-type moments. But it is funny. And sometimes, that's enough.