Friday, April 23, 2004

Jonathan Ames has a new novel 

Maud's marvelous guest blogger Stephany Aulenback links to a recent interview with Jonathan Ames, whose next novel, WAKE UP, SIR! will be out in July (and which Aulenback excerpts here.) It's essentially a reworking and re-twisting of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves & Wooster novels, which Ames is quite the fan of:

I originally titled the book Home, Jeeves!, but had to change this for legal reasons, which is perfectly understandable, since it would have mislead Wodehouse fans, though that wasn't my intention when I came up with the title; it was, as described above, a personal thing, my inner-cry for salvation on school-nights when my life was in danger. Anyway, as it is, changed title and all, I've been very careful to illustrate in the book that my Jeeves is not the great Jeeves as created by the great Wodehouse.

For whatever reason, if you're writing about lit and culture in the 'sphere, you're supposed to be a Jonathan Ames fan, and for good reason. He's funny as hell and an excellent social satirist, both in fiction and non-fiction. And though I haven't seen him at an event, I've been told that he's a must-see attraction. Which was why, with some trepidation, I picked up a copy of THE EXTRA MAN a couple of months back. Luckily, I enjoyed it very much, but I could have sworn this book was trying to emulate Wodehouse's style and tone as well, although the main influences were Ames' enjoyment of "young gentleman" novels by the likes of Maugham and Waugh (and a bit of F. Scott Fitzgerald to boot.)

Anyway, I am v. excited about this new book, and hope to catch Ames at some event somewhere. Since he's a must-see attraction, after all....

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