Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"When my man came in with the steaming cup of tea, I rolled out of bed and said (in a marked manner), `Oh, I say!'": How Richard Stark is like P.G. Wodehouse

P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves, like Richard Stark's Parker, goes by a single name. Jeeves, like Parker, manages heists that do not go as planned (think of the silver 18th-century cow creamer in The Code of the Woosters, for instance, and the rare coins in The Rare Coin Score). Jeeves' work, like Parker's, is often complicated by incompetent amateurs.

Setting is frequently a major plot point, the focus of all action, whether Cockaigne or Totleigh Towers.  Nocturnal break-ins abound in both the Jeeves stories and the Parker books, and Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster refers back to previous Jeeves and Bertie stories, just as Stark's Butcher's Moon is an all-star cast of characters from the Parker novels that had gone before.

More to come. In the meantime, in what other ways are Richard Stark and P.G. Wodehouse alike? 

© Peter Rozovsky 2017

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Blogger Matthew E said...

If you count Stark's books as Westlake, which I always want to do, then they are two of the funniest writers ever.

March 15, 2017  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hear, hear. The case would have been easier to make--Hell, I could even have made the case seriously--had I mentioned the Dortmunder books. The Hot Rock, especially, comes to mind.

March 15, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An account of a collaboration between Jeeves and Parker would be worth reading. Which would turn out to be more ruthless and unscrupulous, I wonder.

March 16, 2017  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm ...

March 16, 2017  
Blogger Benjamin L Clark said...

It's hard to beat the Cthulu themed Scream for Jeeves, but I'd love to read that!

April 20, 2017  

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