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Wake up, Sir!: A Novel

by

Wake up, Sir!: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What kind of book has Jonathan Ames written this time? Well, think of Cervantes' Don Quixote, except that Wake Up, Sir! is not as good. But that's all right — no book is as good as Don Quixote. You might also think of A Confederacy of Dunces, but there again Ames's book falls short. I think, though, we might be pushing this humility business too far.

So how else might we describe this brilliant, comedic, and literary novel? How about brilliant and comedic and literary, which we just used. One could also apply such adjectives as: exuberant, zany, and sexy. God forbid we should give you four adjectives in a row, but you know how it is: The Rule of Three Adjectives!

In fairness, I should say that the last adjective mentioned is somewhat misleading. But there is one rather long sex scene in the book, worthy of placement in Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis, so it's not entirely misleading.

I imagine that it's about time we gave you a plot summary, without giving too much away, which is never an easy task:

Alan Blair is a young, loony writer with numerous problems of the mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical variety. He's very good at problems. He's also quite skilled at getting into trouble. But luckily for Alan, he has a personal valet, a wondrously helpful fellow named Jeeves, who does his best to sort things out for his young master.

Our tale begins in Montclair, New Jersey, where Alan gets into a scrape with his uncle Irwin, a gun-toting member of the NRA. So Alan and Jeeves flee New Jersey and take refuge at a Hasidic enclave in Sharon Springs, New York. Unfortunately, more trouble ensues — involving a woman! — so Alan and Jeeves again take flight, this time landing at a famous artist colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. There Alan encounters a gorgeous femme fatale who is in possession of the most spectacular nose in the history of noses. Such a nose can only lead to a wild disaster for someone like Alan, and Jeeves tries to help him, but...

Happy reading!

Review:

"Ames's (My Less Than Secret Life) latest over-the-top offering concerns a week in the life of Alan Blair, a 30-something novelist and booze hound coasting along thanks to a fall on the ice that netted him a hefty lawsuit payout. Said quarter-million means that Alan can avoid employment and hire a valet named Jeeves, who inhabits the spare bedroom in the modest Montclair, N.J., home of Alan's uncle and aunt ('the old flesh and blood'). After Alan refuses to go back to rehab, Aunt Florence and Uncle Irwin have no choice but to oust him, so Alan and Jeeves hit the road, heading for an artists' colony in Saratoga Springs where 'careworn' Alan might finish his second novel, a roman à clef based on an elderly playwright he'd roomed with in Manhattan years ago. Varied ruminations on human sexuality (mostly Alan's obsession with homosexuality) and the nature of men's room wall graffiti follow. One night, looking for a good time, a very drunk Alan calls a number scribbled in a gas station phone book and gets mightily punished for it, but he arrives at the Rose Colony in one piece. Surrounded by the nutty residents at the picturesque retreat ("'It's glorious, Jeeves,' I said. 'Like Brideshead.'") Alan tries to write, but excessive drinking and passionate lovemaking to sculptor Ava steals his time away. An accusation of theft and a bout with pubic lice complicate matters, but good-natured Jeeves escapes unscathed with his reliable retort: 'Very good, sir.' Ames's tale zips along, brimming with comedy and wild details, proving him to be a winning storyteller and a consummate, albeit exceedingly eccentric, entertainer. Agent, Rosalie Siegel. (July) Forecast: There's a whole host of folks out there wishing P.G. Wodehouse had written a few more Jeeves novels; no doubt they'll snap up this zany homage. With a nine-city tour and an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (Ames is a regular guest) scheduled for the month of publication, this book should be Ames's biggest yet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A demented picaresque....Pungent and hilarious, if completely off the deep end: Ames is like a perpetual undergraduate jokester, whom you either love or hate on first sight." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Ames can produce a pretty good facsimile of Wodehousean badinage, some of it sharpened to a 21st-century edge. You'll find plenty more such quipping in the book, along with graphic sex, ludicrous mishaps and even a few literary judgments." Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Ames's inventive romp follows its hero into very un-Wodehousian territory....But Jeeves remains faithful throughout; no amount of bad behavior can wring from him a sterner rejoinder than 'Very strange, sir.'" The New Yorker

Review:

"Ames's fourth novel strings readers along in a madcap adventure complete with a lively and varied set of characters. There is something for everyone here." Library Journal

Review:

"The story line is really a vehicle for Ames' hilarious riffs, spasms of universal recognition, moments of psychological immolation and numerous flights of disastrous fancy." D.K. Row, The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"Ames's book pits the self-lacerating gush of alcoholism-in-transition against the cool detachment of the English hospitality industry; Wake Up, Sir! is a Wodehouse novel for the recovery era." Henry Alford, The New York Times

Review:

"Wake Up, Sir! has the broad outline of a classic Wodehouse farce....But Wodehousean as Ames' plot and language may be, the book has a dark side that its model never approached." Polly Shulman, Newsday

Review:

"Wake Up, Sir! takes on the big themes — the homosexual question, the Jewish question, the great American novel question, and more — in this witty, wild romp about a somewhat disturbed young writer. Comic and incredibly accurate: if anyone ever wanted to know what a writer has to endure in order to produce, Jonathan Ames has made it perfectly clear. Wake Up, Sir! is bound to delight." A. M. Homes, author of Music for Torching

Review:

"A hilarious journey into one man's labyrinthine neuroses, with day trips to compulsion and delusion. The perfect gift for anyone who has ever imagined having a manservant." Colson Whitehead, author of John Henry Days

Review:

"Very funny and altogether elegant, this tale of an endearing drunk and his unflappable manservant is a love story of sorts, but with an American twist. Here, a valet is just a friend one pays." Sarah Vowell, author of The Partly Cloudy Patriot

Synopsis:

From the author of the much-loved The Extra Man comes a witty, poignant, and subversive homage to the Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse — the story of a young alcoholic writer and his personal valet, who happens to be named Jeeves.

Synopsis:

Increasingly relying on his loyal valet, Jeeves, alcoholic writer Alan Blair wonders at the valet's coincidental likeness to the famous character from the P. G. Wodehouse mysteries and travels to a New York artist colony, where a confrontation with a nosy sculptress prompts Jeeves to show his true colors. 25,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

Alan Blair, the hero of Wake Up, Sir!, is a young, loony writer with numerous problems of the mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical variety. He's very good at problems. But luckily for Alan, he has a personal valet named Jeeves, who does his best to sort things out for his troubled master. And Alan does find trouble wherever he goes. He embarks on a perilous and bizarre road journey, his destination being an artists colony in Saratoga Springs. There Alan encounters a gorgeous femme fatale who is in possession of the most spectacular nose in the history of noses. Such a nose can only lead to a wild disaster for someone like Alan, and Jeeves tries to help him, but...

Well, read the book and find out!

About the Author

Jonathan Ames is the author of I Pass Like Night, The Extra Man, What's Not to Love?, and My Less Than Secret Life. He is the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship for prose fiction, but as a boxer he is a loser — he had a singularly unsuccessful amateur career (0-1), fighting as "The Herring Wonder." Mr. Ames contributes frequently to Public Radio International's The Next Big Thing and has been on Late Show with David Letterman more than once, which is nothing to sneeze at. Feel free to visit, especially since it's free, his mildly amusing website: www.jonathanames.com.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416590408
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Scribner
Author:
Ames, Jonathan
Author:
Jonathan Ames
Subject:
Fiction : General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Humorous
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Young men
Subject:
Alcoholics
Subject:
Authors
Subject:
Valets
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Humor : General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20050712
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
203.2 x 133.35 x 20.32 mm 298.01 gr

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Wake up, Sir!: A Novel
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 352 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416590408 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Ames's (My Less Than Secret Life) latest over-the-top offering concerns a week in the life of Alan Blair, a 30-something novelist and booze hound coasting along thanks to a fall on the ice that netted him a hefty lawsuit payout. Said quarter-million means that Alan can avoid employment and hire a valet named Jeeves, who inhabits the spare bedroom in the modest Montclair, N.J., home of Alan's uncle and aunt ('the old flesh and blood'). After Alan refuses to go back to rehab, Aunt Florence and Uncle Irwin have no choice but to oust him, so Alan and Jeeves hit the road, heading for an artists' colony in Saratoga Springs where 'careworn' Alan might finish his second novel, a roman à clef based on an elderly playwright he'd roomed with in Manhattan years ago. Varied ruminations on human sexuality (mostly Alan's obsession with homosexuality) and the nature of men's room wall graffiti follow. One night, looking for a good time, a very drunk Alan calls a number scribbled in a gas station phone book and gets mightily punished for it, but he arrives at the Rose Colony in one piece. Surrounded by the nutty residents at the picturesque retreat ("'It's glorious, Jeeves,' I said. 'Like Brideshead.'") Alan tries to write, but excessive drinking and passionate lovemaking to sculptor Ava steals his time away. An accusation of theft and a bout with pubic lice complicate matters, but good-natured Jeeves escapes unscathed with his reliable retort: 'Very good, sir.' Ames's tale zips along, brimming with comedy and wild details, proving him to be a winning storyteller and a consummate, albeit exceedingly eccentric, entertainer. Agent, Rosalie Siegel. (July) Forecast: There's a whole host of folks out there wishing P.G. Wodehouse had written a few more Jeeves novels; no doubt they'll snap up this zany homage. With a nine-city tour and an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (Ames is a regular guest) scheduled for the month of publication, this book should be Ames's biggest yet." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A demented picaresque....Pungent and hilarious, if completely off the deep end: Ames is like a perpetual undergraduate jokester, whom you either love or hate on first sight."
"Review" by , "Ames can produce a pretty good facsimile of Wodehousean badinage, some of it sharpened to a 21st-century edge. You'll find plenty more such quipping in the book, along with graphic sex, ludicrous mishaps and even a few literary judgments."
"Review" by , "Ames's inventive romp follows its hero into very un-Wodehousian territory....But Jeeves remains faithful throughout; no amount of bad behavior can wring from him a sterner rejoinder than 'Very strange, sir.'"
"Review" by , "Ames's fourth novel strings readers along in a madcap adventure complete with a lively and varied set of characters. There is something for everyone here."
"Review" by , "The story line is really a vehicle for Ames' hilarious riffs, spasms of universal recognition, moments of psychological immolation and numerous flights of disastrous fancy."
"Review" by , "Ames's book pits the self-lacerating gush of alcoholism-in-transition against the cool detachment of the English hospitality industry; Wake Up, Sir! is a Wodehouse novel for the recovery era."
"Review" by , "Wake Up, Sir! has the broad outline of a classic Wodehouse farce....But Wodehousean as Ames' plot and language may be, the book has a dark side that its model never approached."
"Review" by , "Wake Up, Sir! takes on the big themes — the homosexual question, the Jewish question, the great American novel question, and more — in this witty, wild romp about a somewhat disturbed young writer. Comic and incredibly accurate: if anyone ever wanted to know what a writer has to endure in order to produce, Jonathan Ames has made it perfectly clear. Wake Up, Sir! is bound to delight."
"Review" by , "A hilarious journey into one man's labyrinthine neuroses, with day trips to compulsion and delusion. The perfect gift for anyone who has ever imagined having a manservant."
"Review" by , "Very funny and altogether elegant, this tale of an endearing drunk and his unflappable manservant is a love story of sorts, but with an American twist. Here, a valet is just a friend one pays."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the much-loved The Extra Man comes a witty, poignant, and subversive homage to the Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse — the story of a young alcoholic writer and his personal valet, who happens to be named Jeeves.
"Synopsis" by , Increasingly relying on his loyal valet, Jeeves, alcoholic writer Alan Blair wonders at the valet's coincidental likeness to the famous character from the P. G. Wodehouse mysteries and travels to a New York artist colony, where a confrontation with a nosy sculptress prompts Jeeves to show his true colors. 25,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , Alan Blair, the hero of Wake Up, Sir!, is a young, loony writer with numerous problems of the mental, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical variety. He's very good at problems. But luckily for Alan, he has a personal valet named Jeeves, who does his best to sort things out for his troubled master. And Alan does find trouble wherever he goes. He embarks on a perilous and bizarre road journey, his destination being an artists colony in Saratoga Springs. There Alan encounters a gorgeous femme fatale who is in possession of the most spectacular nose in the history of noses. Such a nose can only lead to a wild disaster for someone like Alan, and Jeeves tries to help him, but...

Well, read the book and find out!

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