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Review: Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, By Sebastian Faulks


What’s the point of this book? If it’s to introduce a new generation to the joys of P G Wodehouse’s most famous creations, then just sling one of the originals at them. If it’s a tribute to the Jeeves and Wooster writer then it’s a rather feeble one, to be honest. Faulks states in his Author’s Note that he doesn’t want to imitate or satirise, but Jeeves and the Wedding Bells certainly does imitate and verges on spoofing Wodehouse’s work at times.

Stylistically Faulks lays on the linguistic mannerisms with a trowel; there is none of Wodehouse’s lightness of touch here. The whole book is painfully overwritten with set pieces and dialogue dragging on interminably, and you get the feeling Wodehouse would’ve cut to the chase in half the time. There is also a rather smug sense of showing off to many of Faulks’s allusions and references within the text, which doesn’t endear him to the reader at all. The plot is a familiar country house yarn with unrequited love, misunderstandings aplenty, and buckets of light farce, but the character motivation is ham-fisted, the sentimental streak throughout is jarring, and the story runs out of puff well before the end.