Monday, February 8, 2021

Gussie Fink-Nottle

The Spectator (UK) provides "Books to cheer you up," among which Right Ho, Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse:
Any list like this simply has to have a novel by the great comic writer PG Wodehouse. Of the dozens that could be included, I think that Right Ho, Jeeves makes the cut simply because of Wodehouse’s greatest-ever comic set-piece, when Bertie’s friend Gussie Fink-Nottle is called upon to present the prizes at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School. Unfortunately, Gussie – a lifelong teetotaller and newt-fancier – has become extremely drunk. Over the next pages, Wodehouse depicts a farcical situation with marvellous economy and wit, where every single line and sentence brings some new and unexpected joy, and Bertie’s narration becomes increasingly panicked. It must be read, and savoured, with great attention, but sometimes it’s hard to concentrate when the tears of laughter are rolling down your face.
The television adaptation of that particular scene:

The Spectator, "Books to Cheer You Up"

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