Bachelors Anonymous - P.G. Wodehouse (1974)

I often read Wodehouse as a sorbet, a palate cleanser between heavier attacks at the world of literture. They are always delightful, never dull, and invariably end on an up note with conflicts resolved, heroes triumphant - or at least not disinherited.

This particular Wodehouse is not one of his series books, rather it is a stand alone. Written in the 70's, it reads as if it was written in the 20s and is set in a world which is pure Wodehouse. That world is perhaps his greatest achievement; whether he is writing of Jeeves and Wooster or, as in this case, of Ivor Llewellyn of Superba-Llewellyn studios, the world is clearly Wodehouse's own. A world where confirmed bachelors have formed Bachelors Anonymous, a society patterned after Alcoholics Anonymous, to protect themselves from such things as giving a girl dinner, for who knows where such things might lead?

Such things have led Ivor Llewellyn, aka I.L., to five marriages. Thus it is that Mr. Ephraim Trout of Trout, Wapshott and Edelstein flies to London to prevent I.L. from falling, as he is all too wont to do, into the clutches of yet another female. Of course, there are also several young couples whose courses of true love are not running true, they never do you know. Coincidence follows coincidence, incident follows incident, and soon enough everyone is married or engaged - all happily.

One doesn't read Wodehouse for plot, one reads him for style, and his style here is in fine form. There really is little more to be said. The prose shimmers, and if it is not quite the delightful nonsense Bertie Wooster spouts, it is still full of tidy bon mots and turns of phrase. Ultimately, it is Wodehouse - and therefore recommended.

Overall Grade: B+

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