Jeeves and the Wedding Bells

Written by Sebastian Faulks
Review by Douglas Kemp

What ho, the renowned scribbler Sebastian Faulks has jolly well gone and bunged out a rather decent tale involving that immortal pair of Bertie Wooster and his extraordinary valet Jeeves. It is 1926, just after the General Strike, and Bertie and Jeeves decamp to Dorset, where Bertie has the task of trying to save the engagements of two good friends at Sir Henry Hackwood’s substantial pile, Melbury Hall. This involves a fair amount of brain work on Bertie’s part to come up with a stratagem that might work… By one of those Wodehousian quirky twists of fate, Bertie ends up as valet to Jeeves, who is masquerading as one Lord Etringham. As one may well anticipate, matters get dashed complicated and Bertie, the epitome of bonhomie and a thoroughgoing good-natured chappie gets a wonderful surprise at the conclusion of events away in bucolic Dorset.

This is a wonderful homage to the P.G. Wodehouse books. It is a challenging task to concoct a story in the narrative style, voice, pace and language of Wodehouse’s characters, and Faulks bring it off without wobbling. I would certainly recommend this for those who love the Jeeves and Wooster books, and for those fortunate enough to be about to discover them for the first time – then this is not a bad way to get into the mood.