Every artists greatest fear is to be a fluke – to be lucky, rather than talented. They even say success early in an artists life can ruin a career; the pressure to maintain the reputation too great to bare.
Alan Blair is one of these artists. The novel follows a week in the life of the Princeton graduate, as he battles his anxieties, and alcoholism to write his second book. All looked on by his trusty valet, Jeeves.
The narrative meanders through Blair’s life theories and self-diagnosis’ of various mental, physical and sexual problems: His Mind/Mind problem, much like the Mind/Body problem, but where his mind tortures his own mind; Or his transferred nose fetish from reading the cases of a German physiatrist as a teenager; or even his fantasy to be part of a homosexual couple in prison, as a cry to be loved even at his lowest emotional state; and let’s never forget the eternal ‘Jewish question’ …
The book is deemed a modern adaption and homage to the (much referenced in the novel by Blair) Jeeves stories of P. G. Wodehouse. At times, the novel reads as a confusing mess of strange synaptic connections, and word association games (spelling bee, why not hot-dog-eating bee?), but always maintains a touch of dark irreverent humour giving a glimpse inside the mind of the ‘tortured artist’ and emotional sacrifice, pain and misery they put themselves through in search of the ultimate artistic creation.
Reserve Wake Up, Sir!