From the mean streets of Mayfair to the scheming spires of Cambridge. In this homage to P.G. Wodehouse, authorized by his estate, we encounter a joyous cast of characters: chiseling painters and criminal bookies, eccentric philosophers and dodgy clairvoyants, appalling poets and pocket dictators, vexatious aunts and their vicious hounds.
Schott, renowned for his miscellanies and almanacs, has produced a further sequel subtitled 'an homage'. How well does it mimic the master? The answer is almost too lavishly. Capturing Wodehouse’s modes of wit, Schott adds others ... Splendid stuff, but the mixture is too rich. Protracted set pieces — a rowdy game of croquet, high jinks at the races — outstay their welcome ... References to films of the era jostle with allusions to The Shining or Goodfellas. It’s deliberate — some of the gags are glossed by Schott in skittishly erudite endnotes. Yet, less homage than upstaging, Schott’s razzle-dazzle might blind you to the original.
Schott’s second authorized P.G. Wodehouse homage (after Jeeves and the King of Clubs) again successfully recreates the drily humorous voice of amiable doofus Bertie Wooster ... Wodehouse’s droll byplay between master and servant is also emulated well ... While Schott is less adept at crafting the intricate, intertwined plotlines of the originals, he mostly succeeds at keeping his many plates spinning. This’ll be a hoot for Wodehouse fans.
True to form, Schott’s Bertie spends his time dodging undesirable would-be fiancees, arriving late to meals with Aunt Agatha, masquerading as a clergyman, and climbing the walls of Cambridge University buildings while Jeeves manipulates everything and everyone toward a happy resolution ... Wodehouse’s Jeeves knows more than you do about pretty much everything, but he never needs to show off; it’s part of Wodehouse’s genius to make the reader feel smart. Schott, alas, does the opposite ... Unlike Jeeves, who appears at the narrator’s elbow to supply the mot juste exactly—and only—when it’s needed, Schott opens his reference library and shakes it upside down over the text. Schott inserted an element of espionage into his first Jeeves novel, and he continues it here, raising the stakes slightly, which may or may not be what readers want from a Jeeves novel. It's agreeable enough, but Schott is no Wodehouse.