My first thought when I saw the title in the bookstore was, "How in the world did I miss this?! I've read EVERY Jeeves and Wooster in the series!" Looking more closely, of course, I realized that this is an homage to P.G. Wodehouse's beloved characters, written by Sebastian Faulks in 2013. I bought the book (of course I bought it!) feeling equally split between excitement and anxiety. I really wanted to read more Jeeves and Wooster--but I really didn't want someone screwing up something I love so much.
In the author's note, Faulks says he wasn't trying to imitate Wodehouse insomuch as he wanted to try to introduce Jeeves and Wooster to the younger generation. He calls himself not an expert but a fan. I decided to give him a chance, so with slitted eye like the chihuahua in the popular meme, I turned the page.
This was better than I had expected! Yes, there are two parts that didn't feel like Wodehouse wrote them, but that's okay because Faulks addressed that issue in his author's note. For the most part, though, he really nailed Jeeves's and Bertie's characters, and that, to my mind, is what matters. The only real issue I had is that he had Bertie use the word "bunged" at least ten times. I mean, it was noticeable, and while I know Bertie would have used "bunged," he wouldn't have used it so many times in one book. Nit picky on my part, perhaps, but there it is. Other than that minor point, Faulks nailed the dialogue, the characters' distinct tones, and he even managed, for the most part, to capture the zaniness of a Jeeves and Wooster adventure.
Was this Wodehouse? No. Was it humorous and enjoyable? Heck yea! I even found myself literally laughing out loud, and I could "hear" Bertie and Jeeves in my head (thanks to Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie). It was like Faulks brought my two good friends, Reginald Jeeves and Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, back from the dead and gave me the chance to spend just a little more time in their presence. For that, I truly thank him.