This is not so much a review of a recent biography of P.G. Wodehouse as much as an entertaining article based on an interview with the author of the bio, Robert McCrum. I am reading into the biography now, and it seems very fine. The odd thing is, of course, that a Wodehouse biography is kind of irrelevant because here was a man who, in writing about one-hundred books, utterly ignored reality. He ignored the twentieth century! But he created an alternative universe in which reside some of the funniest characters ever conceived: Bertie, Jeeves, Aunt Agatha, Augustus Pink-Snottle, Tuppy Glossop, and there plenty others. "There are very few compelling reasons to be glad that one was born in the twentieth century," critic Anthony Lane once wrote, "and most of them are curative: heart transplants, the polio vaccine, the look on Grace Kelly’s face. Then, there is Wodehouse." True.
Wodehouse on writing: "There are two ways of writing. One of these is a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going right deep down into life and not caring a damn." Well, when you read Wodehouse, which you must, you will see and hear the musical comedy. You can start anywhere, but might as well start with Right Ho, Jeeves, since it doesn’t matter. You will not regret it.