Sunday, August 26, 2007

Leave it to Psmith by P G Wodehouse

Title: Leave It to Psmith
Author: P G Wodehouse
ISBN: 1400079608
Publisher: Vintage books/April 2005

Written at the request of his daughter Leonora, this is the best and most popular book by P.G. Wodehouse. Psmith was one of his greatest creations and it is very touching and funny to see him fall in love and make the ultimate sacrifice: masquerading as a sensitive poet and a jewel thief, all at once.

The peculiar and affable self-centered hero of this novel is Psmith - pronounced with a silent P. Although he holds a membership to London's six most exclusive clubs and always immaculately attired, he is in dire financial straits. To make it worse, while lounging in the smoking-room window of the Drones Club, he falls in love with a passing young female but he has no idea how to introduce himself into her society.

There might be a solution to his problems, through the ad, that he recently placed in the Morning Globe. In the heading, he puts across the sentiment that he will take on any job including assassinating Aunts, except anything relating to fish. You have a problem? "Leave it to Psmith!"

“Leave It to Psmith” is the first P.G. Wodehouse novel about Blandings Castle and its inmates, Clarence, ninth earl of Emsworth, his daunting sister, Lady Constance Keeble and Beach, the butler. Clarence is obsessed with flowers and gardening rather than pigs. Although this is not the best of the Blandings Castle tales, it has one of the best plots and has an effectual way of introducing the ongoing characters and jokes. The flower pot has an important place in the plot. The story kind of revolves around it.

This novel, like most of Wodehouse's works, depicts the foibles of the British upper class. There is no moral in Leave It to Psmith. There are only giggles and grins, guffaws, chortles, titters, and an occasional smirk; and Wodehouse's understated style, as always, leaves the humour, wry and dry.

The ending is predictable, but that is hardly the point. Wodehouse connoisseurs would have their own favourite phrases, or particular sections of books that strike them as humorous from the inexhaustible collection of Wodehouse's works. Psmith is as endearing a character as Bertie Wooster and Jeeves.