My first Wodehouse but (I vow) not my last. The prose is perfect. To the extent that the claim is reasonable at all, I mean it literally: there are no errors, misjudgments, or failures of craft to speak of in 231 pages of writing. Nor even a momentary lapse or break in the extraordinary narrative voice. I've never read a piece of writing so perfectly formed. There's barely a plot to speak of, of course, despite the crowd of 'plot events' to be found; the pleasure comes from the characters, who are sympathetic grotesques, and from the voice, that voice! Wooster!
What to do? I was asking myself. It seemed to me that the prudent course, if I wished to preserve a valued spine intact, would be to climb aboard the two-seater first thing in the morning and ho for the open spaces. To remain in statu quo would, it was clear, involve a distasteful nippiness on my part, for only by the most unremitting activity could I hope to elude Stilton and foil his sinister aims. I would be compelled, I saw, to spend a substantial portion of my time flying like a youthful hart or roe over the hills where spices grow, as I remembered having heard Jeeves once put it, and the Woosters resent having to sink to the level of harts and roes, whether juvenile or getting on in years. We have our pride.
The pleasure of inhabiting, for a while, a mind totally incapable of correlating or even making basic sense of its contents - the pleasure, in other words, of absolute guilelessness by proxy, of sweet sympathy and fretfulness without consequence; of a way of life in which worry is replaced by a kind of gauzy half-awareness. Wooster's verbal resources are vast (I love his weird command of American cliché) but there's no force to his speech, no imposition. Every single word passes by at the same idle half-speed. The story strolls.
As a kid I considered Douglas Adams the (my) gold standard of comedy; the Guide is still cherished Scripture to me. But it's brain-work without question - the nervewracking Pythonesque topology of DNA's sentences is half the fun. There are jokes in the Guide that take dozens or hundreds of pages to pay off. The effect of this structural involution is an impression of seemingly limitless complexity and dynamism: Adams's universe might come from sketch comedy, but it feels crowded with complicatedly-interrelatedly events and implications and sentient anthropomorphic mattresses and such. The key word is complex: DNA's proper subject was the inflationary (physical and mental) universe, ideas banging bigly. (Pardon me.)
The effect of Bertie's narration is to flatten every hierarchy and establish all of his misremembered poetry, wistful Jeeves-longing, aunt-horror, and dimwitted status unconsciousness as equally central: Wooster's world is completely flat, which is to say at every level equally complicatedly alive, which is to say Wooster's world is without status. That's the kicker. A story ostensibly concerned with trivial matters of status-consciousness, which sends up the world of the English country house (vanished now if it ever existed), does us the great favour of showing us a world in which all relationships can be, in a way, tidily symmetrical...with Wooster and Jeeves the fine-man-in-two-bodies, the attractive fantasy. Your Bertie will get you into lovely trouble, and your Jeeves will pluck you out, and there's always more.
It is bliss.