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Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

To write an r. about a Wodehouse, is pretty tough. It tests the beans. Every Wodehouse isn't the same, but a common thread runs through them all; not they-make-you-split-your-sides-with-laughter, that's so obvious; its that it makes me want to close my eyes and live forever in that idyll. 

Of course, it has its thorns. The insufferable aunts and stingy uncles, and untamed brats of nephews/nieces, equally untamed dogs and cats and a stray quaint anti-social elements. But the cynosure for the senses lies in the vast manors and gardens with their rhododendron walks and yew alleys, the lakes, the excellent cooking and of course, the impeccable judgement of one Jeeves. Ah, what would I not give to trade places with Bertie Wooster...

Floating back to the ground, Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves was such a pleasure. The story is set in Totleigh Towers, amidst the weird bunch that inhabits it, where, as the title suggests. Bertie and Jeeves land for a few days. The former has always been a little wary of this place and it had taken him immense courage to set foot there again, and once the foot was placed, trouble - and not the guests - greeted him with open arms. Things go downhill for several characters (Bertie included), and it is upto the remarkable thinking of the piscivorous Jeeves and the staunch spirit of the Wooster lad to hash out a mutually agreeable solution. 

The story moves at a leisurely pace, and while it is not as hilarious as some of the others books by this genius, it comes close. The plot, as always, complicates its way through the story, and comes together with one magic swishing of the wand. In fact, sometimes, the book seems like a good thing to read when one is relatively down and out; Bertie (Wodehouse) has rather choice phrases for such emotions, which does wonders to the mental state. Besides Bertie and Jeeves, Augustus Fink-Nottle is my favourite character. Of course, the fact that he keeps newts for pets makes him extra-adorable, but one can totally relate to the sniping that takes over the newt-lover when deprived of a certain variety of meal. 

All in all, (because that is the only way you can judge a Wodehouse), Stiff Upper Lip is a jolly read with excellent language and turn of phrases, which lights up the day, no matter how few pages you read out of it. And it also encourages you to change your dietary habits to the pure English, all the b. and e. !


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