Sebastian Faulks on Jeeves and Wooster

Having re-imagined Bond the author turns his hands to Wooster and co.

Time In

What were your favourite books when you were growing up?
The stories about Doctor Dolittle, Sherlock Holmes and Jeeves. Then I read books by Jane Austen, Dickens, DH Lawrence and lots of 1960s American poets. At first I looked to escape from the world; then I tried to understand it and to engage with it.

Which book have you re-read more than any other?
I read The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis quite a few times because it made me laugh so much. Also Success and Money – about four times each. I’m always reading or re-reading bits of Proust.

Has a book ever compelled you to do something totally stupid?
The Oresteian trilogy of Greek tragedies inspired me to murder my father in the bath and sacrifice my sister on a pyre. I blame my missing toes on polar frostbite sustained after reading The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

Has a book ever inspired you to be anything other than an author?
Tolstoy made me want to be an enlightened landowner who ends up marrying a naughty princess who is really too young for me.

Which is your favourite Bond book?
Live And Let Die has a great final scene. I like Moonraker, too. And the car chase is in Kent.

Which book do you wish that you’d written?
I would like to have written The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. But I would have liked people to recognise in my lifetime how good the book actually was, so I wouldn’t have had to go to Hollywood and write terrible scripts first.

Do you draw any ideas from non-fiction work?
No. I find inspiration in my dreams, which do tend to be exhausting and florid.
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells, Sebastian Faulks’s new book, is out now, Dhs58 from www.amazon.co.uk.

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