P.G. Wodehouse, Bertie Wooster, & God

by Kevin DeYoung

P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) is hands down one of the best writers in the English language, ever. He isn’t profound. He isn’t penetrating. His books may not be dissected in lit classes. But his command of vocabulary and syntax is amazing and his humor is, unlikely other humorists, actually very, very funny. There’s nothing like unwinding with a little Jeeves and Wooster after a four hour elder meeting to get the old egg cracking again, what?

Reading Wodehouse spin tall tales about foppish socialites and an unflappable butler is reminiscent of the best (and cleanest) episodes of Seinfeld. The stories are about nothing, but the characters are so memorable (e.g., the newt loving Gussie Fink-Nottle), the dialogue so perfectly ridiculous (“Hello ugly, what brings you here?”), and the put-downs so ingenious (“It was as if nature had intended to make a gorilla, and had changed its mind at the last moment”) that you can’t help grin, chuckle, and even occasionally cackle.

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