P.G. Wodehouse’s writing is, in a way, a parody in itself. All that “What ho, Jeeves?” and “Very good, sir.” Wodehouse carefully controls his characters and language; the humor comes from us outside watching Bertie Wooster, a man who never really knows the joke is on him. Wodehouse’s humor never spills over the edge, it’s never campy.
So, how do you parody a parody ? How do you pay tribute to (and gently poke fun at) Wodehouse without taking it too far? The same way you brush an alligator’s teeth.
Very, very carefully.
Matthew David Brozik’s new e-book, Whimsy & Soda, does just that. Brozik gingerly plucks up Wodehouse’s characters and pops them down into new, kind of surreal situations. What would happen if Wooster turned into a budgerigar overnight? How would Jeeves handle it? And that’s just the first story. Wait till you get to Bruce Wayne.
What makes Whimsy & Soda such a fantastic parody is that Brozik manages to stay completely true to the characters, no matter how bizarre the situation. He has a perfect handle on their voices and personalities that can only possibly come from a devotion to Wodehouse. The situations he comes up with for the characters can only come from a brilliant and probably somewhat disturbed mind.
Brozik’s humor is as tightly controlled as Wodehouse’s. He, too, never slips over the edge and never breaks from Wodehouse’s voice, except in the one twist of the situation he sticks the characters into.
It’s a great book for a Wodehouse fan. I had actually never read Wodehouse before this, but since I’m rapidly becoming a Brozik fan and I love a good parody, I invested the time in a Wodehouse book before coming to Whimsy & Soda. It was time well spent, because a good parody is hard to find.