Last night before going to bed, I finished reading P. G. Wodehouse’s book, “Summer Lightning”. As with every book of his that I have ever read, it left me feeling both elated and dejected.
I was elated because each and every one of Wodehouse’s books are are delight and a treasure. He creates a world that we all want to escape to, to live in and to be a part of. We want to meet his characters and talk to them. We want to roam around Blandings Castle or the Drones Club and have a look about.
And I was dejected for much the same reason … because my brief little foray into his world was at an end. I was faced with the prospect of closing the book, setting it down on the little table beside my chair, and being forced to re-enter my own world.
A world sometimes called, without blushing, the “real” world.
But let’s face it: the world of Wodehouse is the real world. We, on the other hand, are in some sort of alternate reality that has gone awry.
But we are stuck here, so we might as grab what enjoyment we can.
And the best way to do that is to read anything written by P.G. Wodehouse.
I should probably admit at this point that I am primarily a “Bertie and Jeeves” fan. I have read a few of Wodehouse’s non-Jeeves books, but only a very few. While I very much like the non-Jeeves books, I absolutely LOVE (all caps) the Jeeves books.
Even so, I quite enjoyed “Summer Lightning.” After all, what is not to like? A chorus girl posing as an heiress? Several love triangles … or love parallelograms … or some shape or another? An annoying little detective running around trying to get the goods on everyone? A dotty old Lord who is gaga over his prized pig? A pig, I might add, that is stolen and hidden away as a pawn in one (or more) of the love triangles I just mentioned? Or even apparently-barmy private secretaries who hurl flower pots at his employer or jumps from windows?
As with most Wodehouse books, there are a lot of moving parts to this story, but they all move in perfect concert and are a joy to behold.
The ending may not be a complete surprise to anyone, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Wodehouse is a master of buttoning up a story perfectly at the end and leaving the reader completely satisfied, rubbing his tummy, and already thinking ahead dreamily towards reading his next Wodehouse book.