I didn’t get any new books, but I realised the other day that I hadn’t actually read all of my PG Wodehouse books. I had two that had been sitting on my shelf for I-don’t-know-how-long that I had not read. It wasn’t that I looked at the titles and thought, “Oh, yeah. I’ve read that book.” But rather that I just looked past them when I looked at that shelf. And then, a few days ago, I was looking at my shelf in greater detail for some reason and it dawned on me that I hadn’t actually read Laughing Gas or Spring Fever. So I did.
Laughing Gas pretty funny, but it had a ridiculous and outlandish premise. That is to say, far more ridiculous and outlandish than even most Wodehouse books. In it, an English Earl and child actor switch bodies while under the influence of anaesthetic at the dentist’s office. Madcap adventures ensue. Funny, but it doesn’t stand out among the Wodehouse canon.
Spring Fever receives the same verdict. It was funny, one laughed a bit, smiled a lot and generally had a good time, but once it was over there weren’t any parts that were especially memorable. The book suffered a bit, I think from not having a real protagonist. Was it Stan Cobbold? Or was it perhaps Mike Cardinal? Or Lord Shortlands? Or Teresa Cobbold? I have no difficulty in recommending both books to anyone who has enjoyed Wodehouse, but not as an introduction to his work.