Let’s hear it for Psmith! Wodehouse wins again! I love this guy. He makes me laugh. His stories are lighthearted and feel-good and things always come out right in the end. This is my first non-Jeeves Wodehouse, and I loved it.
I don’t think I’m able to sum this plot up briefly, but I will say: there is a spacey Earl (whom we met the other day) with a thick-headed and scheming son, a tyrannical (but efficient!) secretary, a decidedly difficult sister, and a hard-beset brother-in-law. There is a small crowd of people trying to steal a diamond necklace, mostly independent and unaware of one another. And Psmith (the ‘p’ is silent) comes on the scene to solve the world’s problems and woo the girl – under a false name, naturally. He is a perfect Wodehouse creation: a little bit bumbling but oh so charming and well-dressed. There are several strong female characters (some portrayed more flatteringly than others) and the requisite daunting aunt. There is a troubled but eventually happy love affair. And oh, the laughs.
I was relieved to detect none of the misogyny in Leave It to Psmith that I found in my last Wodehouse read. This was as delightful as it gets. While there is hilarity and even some light slapstick, Psmith is less ridiculous than Bertie Wooster, and a little more capable. I still like the Jeeves and Wooster pairing, mind you, but Psmith is a new love. Beyond that, I should direct you to Simon’s recent discussion of the wonders of Wodehouse as he said it so well. More ice cream, please!