Home » Book Review » Joy in the Morning

Joy in the Morning



by P.G. Wodehouse

Published 1947

Okay, so I realize that I said that The Code of the Woosters was probably my favorite Wodehouse book, but Joy in the Morning!  Well, it’s right up there, too.  Instead of talking about this book, I would simply like to quote for you its opening pages (the first sentence is one of Wodehouse’s most beautiful, I think):

After the thing was all over, when peril had ceased to loom and happy endings had been distributed in heaping handfuls and we were driving home with our hats on the sides of our heads, having shaken the dust of Steeple Bumpleigh from our tyres, I confessed to Jeeves that there had been moments during the recent proceedings when Bertram Wooster, though no weakling, had come very near to despair.

“Within a toucher, Jeeves.”

“Unquestionably affairs had developed a certain menacing trend, sir.”

“I saw no ray of hope.  It looked to me as if the blue bird had thrown in the towel and formally ceased to function.  And yet here we are, all boomps-a-daisy.  Makes one think a bit, that.”

“Yes, sir.”

“There’s an expression on the tip of my tongue which seems to me to sum the whole thing up.  Or, rather, when I saw an expression, I mean a saying.  A wheeze.  A gag.  What, I believe, is called a saw.  Something about Joy doing something.”

“Joy cometh in the morning, sir?”

“That’s the baby.  Not one of your things, is it?”

“No, sir.”

“Well, it’s dashed good,” I said.

And I still think there can be no neater way of putting in a nutshell the outcome of the super-sticky affair of Nobby Hopwood, Stilton Cheesewright, Florence Craye, my Uncle Percy, J. Chichester Clam, Edwin the Boy Scout and old Boko Fittleworth–or, as my biographers will probably call it, the Steeple Bumpleigh Horror.

If that doesn’t make you want to read Wodehouse, you simply weren’t meant to do so.

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