JEEVES AND THE MATING SEASON

P. G. Wodehouse, Author, Jonathan Cecil, Read by , read by Jonathan Cecil. Audio Editions $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-57270-318-6

Wodehouse and Cecil are a terrific pair. Cecil's narration is marvelous, as he perfectly evokes the character of Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster: good-natured, educated, articulate, but often befuddled as he finds himself drawn into harebrained schemes. Fortunately, he can rely on the sensible advice of his butler, Jeeves, to "pull him out of the soup," as Bertie would say. Cecil's lively performance highlights the humor of Wodehouse's words, and he creates distinctive voices for each character, which is an admirable accomplishment, considering nearly all of them are upper-crust British men. He is also faithful to directions in the text. Whether it's depressed Catsmeat saying "hello" in a "hollow voice that sounded as if it came from the tomb," or Madeline simpering in her "syrupy" voice, Cecil's narration is on target. The comical story is pure Wodehouse. In an attempt to help various pals with their romantic difficulties, Bertie finds himself at Deverill Hall pretending to be insipid acquaintance Gussie; frantically sneaks into Madeline's house to snatch an incriminating telegram before she reads it; and faces the dire prospect of reciting Winnie the Pooh poems to a rough-and-tumble audience at a village concert. Of course, with Jeeves's sage council, all is put right in the end, and four loving couples are reunited, while the relieved Bertie remains happily unattached. (May)

Reviewed on: 07/07/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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