Right Ho, Jeeves
By P.G. Wodehouse
The best Jeeves novel, and as such a masterpiece of comic escapism. The plot is standard Wodehouse: a country-house farce in which Bertie Wooster attempts to help his pathetic geek friend, Gussie, find the courage to propose to his true love. It's hard to say why this is great literature. There's no attempt to engage with the complexities of life. But the book does several things supremely well: There's Bertie's first-person voice, a pitch-perfect mix of posh English and American Jazz Age slang; it has a beautiful structure, with one hilarious, expertly staged setup folding seamlessly into the next. And Wodehouse does make you believe (at least momentarily) in a world where trivial problems have the status of huge ones, and the huge ones have vanished altogether. Pure delight.
Ishiguro's next pick: Blood Meridian