During our last book club we discussed Wake Up, Sir by Jonathan Ames, a Wodehousian novel written by the name-founder of Bored to Death. Let’s see what else you can read if you liked this book. We now also give some discussion questions that arose during the book club, that you can use for your own!
Our book club vote was between Wake up, Sir and The Extra Man. Instead of recommending this last book again, we’re listening to Twitter and will recommend you one of Ames’ non-fiction works. His memoir What’s Not To Love: The Adventures of a Young and Mildly Perverted Writer will definitely give you in insight in the man behind the book.
And we can’t not recommend you a P.G. Wodehouse novel after reading Wake Up, Sir. So, where to start if you want to tackle the vast work of Wodehouse? The ‘Jeeves’ started with the novella The Man With The Two Left Feet, but this was a Jeeves novel in its proto-state. Chronological order is always a good way to go, but we’ll go with this recommendation by A.V. Club who wrote a guide into Wodehouse’s work. They recommend The Mating Season, nr 9 in the Jeeves series, because it’s one of his best, but then without all the recurring characters that can overwhelm new comers.
Instead of recommending another book that might be similar, we thought we’d recommend one of Ames’ influences. He’s a big fan of Bukowski, and although our internet snooping didn’t reveal his favorite work, we would like to recommend Ham on Rye. Often lauded as one of Bukowski’s best novels, we felt that the story of a young man, fighting his way through life and exploring the adventures of alcohol was a good fit.
Possible Discussion Questions:
– Do you need to read Wodehouse before you can really ‘get’ this book?
– Is Ames’ Jeeves different from Wodehouse’s Jeeves and if so, how?
– Please discuss the amazing ways in which Jeeves appears in this book. If you haven’t noticed, just open any page on which Jeeves ‘enters’ the scene.
– What did you think of the short summary at the start of every chapter?
– What happens to Alan at the end of the novel? Does he die and what does the nursery rhyme mean?