The Great Pursuit

      Tom Sharpe
The Great Pursuit

Frensic and Futtle is a small and successful literary agency. But following a successful court case by a woman who claimed to have been libeled by one of their authors, the agency rapidly loses business.

One day, a manuscript for a book called Pause O Men for the Virgin arrives at the agency, together with a note from the author's solicitor, saying that the author wishes to remain anonymous and that the agency has carte blanche on how it deals with the book. The book turns out to deal with the love affair between an 80-year old woman and a 17-year old youth.

The populist American publisher Hutchmeyer agrees to sign a deal to publish the book in the United States for $2 million, providing the author carries out a promotional tour of the country. Sonia and Frensic decide to use aspiring but unpublished author Peter Piper to stand in for the anonymous author. But when Piper receives a proof copy of Pause from the publisher by mistake, it takes a certain amount of persuasion and arm-twisting from Sonia Futtle to convince Piper to travel to America.

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    Vintage Stuff

      Tom Sharpe
Vintage Stuff

Peregrine Roderick Clyde-Brown is a bumbling, naive and savagely dim-witted teenager, who, as his name reveals, cannot possibly be exposed to the evils of a comprehensive school. However, with his penchant for taking even the most innocent command literally, no reputable school will accept the boy who, when told that he must turn over a new leaf, begins fondling the foliage.

His parents, with high hopes and a considerable amount of bribery money, search for anywhere that will take their 'late developer.' In a school that time forgot, Peregrine's 'talents' for taking orders and having no discernible individual thought seem perfect for a promising career in the upper ranks of the British Army. It is at Groxbourne that Peregrine meets Mr Gladstone, a man whose teaching style extends as far as using lashings to teach arithmetic. After Gladstone whisks the unquestioning boy off on a hysterical mystery, Peregrine ends up storming a French castle, where he unwaveringly commits mischief, mayhem and even murder!

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    The Wilt Alternative:

      Tom Sharpe
The Wilt Alternative:

Henry Wilt is no longer the victim of his own uncontrolled fantasies. As Head of a reconstituted Liberal Studies Department he has assumed power without authority at the Fenland College of Arts & Technology and the fantasies he now confronts are those of political bigots and reactionary bureaucrats - in addition to his wife's enthusiasm for every Organic Alternative under the compost heap and the insistence of his quadruplets on looking at every problem with an unflinching lack of sentimentality.

It is only when Wilt becomes the unintentional participant in a terrorist siege that he is forced to find an answer to the problems of power, which have corrupted greater men than he. With a mental ingenuity born of his innate cowardice, Wilt fights for those liberal values which are threatened both by international terrorism and by the sophisticated methods of police anti-terrorist agents. In the confusion that follows, Wilt resumes his dialogue with the unflagging Inspector Flint and is himself subjected to the indignity of a psycho-political profile.

Bitingly funny and brilliantly written, The Wilt Alternative exposes the farcical anomalies, which have become the social norms of our time.

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    Ancestral Vices

      Tom Sharpe
Ancestral Vices

'Tom Sharpe is in top form- outrageously funny- Left-wing academics, right-wing capitalists, true-blue country gentry, workers, peasants, police and lawyers - all take custard pies full in the face in this boisterous knockabout farce' The Listener

'A novelist who has broken out of the pack, established a wholly distinctive style- such a keen eye for the ridiculous and marvellous ability to puncture it' Scotsman

'An immense gift for social satire- the action is unflagging' Daily Telegraph

'There's almost no one funnier' Observer

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    Blott on the Landscape

      Tom Sharpe
Blott on the Landscape

The landscape is flawless, the trees majestic, the flora and the fauna are right and proper. All is picturesquely typical of rural England at its best. Sir Giles, an MP of few principles and curious tastes, plots to destroy all this by building a motorway smack through it, to line his own pocket and at the same time to dispose of his wife, the capacious Lady Maude.

But Lady Maude enlists a surprising ally in her enigmatic gardener Blott, a naturalised Englishman in whom adopted patriotism burns bright. Lady Maude's dynamism and Blott's concealed talents enable them to meet pressure with mimicry, loaded tribunals with publicity and chilli powder, and requisition orders with wickedly spiked beer.

This explosively comic novel will gladden the heart of everyone who has ever confronted a bureaucrat, and spells out in riotous detail how the forces of virtue play an exceedingly dirty game when the issue is close to home.

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    Porterhouse Blue

      Tom Sharpe
Porterhouse Blue

Porterhouse College is world renowned for its gastronomic excellence, the arrogance of its Fellows, its academic mediocrity and the social cache it confers on the athletic sons of country families. Sir Godber Evans, ex-Cabinet Minister and the new Master, is determined to change all this. Spurred on by his politically angular wife, Lady Mary, he challenges the established order and provokes the wrath of the Dean, the Senior Tutor, the Bursar and, most intransigent of all, Skullion the Head Porter - with hilarious and catastrophic results.

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    The Midden

      Tom Sharpe
The Midden

Spectacular mayhem ensues when Timothy Brights, in typically dim fashion, lands in bed with the Chief Constable’s wife. And things go seriously wrong when the Chief Constable tries to frame his old adversary, the upright Miss Midden.

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    The Throwback

      Tom Sharpe
The Throwback

When Lockhart Flawse is catapulted out of his upper-class and rapunzel-esque life with the curmudgeonly Flawse Senior, he must enter the world of suburbia, and marriage. Rendered an absolute twit in modern society by his medieval upbringing, Lockhart must resort to drastic tactics in his attempt to return to Flawse House. Faced with the horrors of suburbia, he must either terrorise, blackmail and potentially kill an entire street of his tenants, or attempt to find his unknown and elusive father in order to inherit the estate.

However, with the belief that he was dropped into his mother's arms by a stork, killing a street of people may be the wiser option for the socially inept young man. He is also under mounting pressure, as it may all be in vain if his gold-digging mother-in-law has her way. Now the wife of Flawse Senior, she has decided that if Lockhart's wealthy grandfather can't have the decency to die on his own, she will take matters into her own hands.

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    The Gropes

      Tom Sharpe
The Gropes

It is one of the more surprising facts about Old England that one can still find families living in the same houses their ancestors built centuries before and on land that has belonged to them since before the Norman Conquest. The Gropes of Grope Hall are one such family....

The Gropes are an old English family based in Northumberland, separated from the rest of society and as eccentric as they come. It is a line dominated by strong-willed and oversexed women, determined to produce more female heirs regardless of whether their desired partners are willing ...

At the dawn of the new millennium, timid and gormless teenager Esmond is abducted and lured to Grope Hall by a descendant of the Gropes. Young Esmond is powerless to escape, and his kidnap sets in motion a stream of farcical events that will have readers laughing out loud.

Tom Sharpe's trademark humour abounds in this new novel, marking him out once again as an outstanding and unique British storyteller.

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    Grantchester Grind:

      Tom Sharpe
Grantchester Grind:

Though as cunning as ever, the formidable Skullion - previously head porter, now elevated to Master - is showing signs of physical frailty after his stroke. So the tricky business of appointing a new Master must start all over again. Meanwhile the College's monstrous debts refuse to go away, and a sinister American media mogul seems determined to make a television documentary on the premises, destroying part of the chapel in the process. Moreover, the widow of the previous Master is convinced that her husband was murdered, so she plants an agent in the Senior Common Room to dig up an unpleasant truth that everyone else would prefer kept under the carpet.

Faced with such continuing crises, the instinct of the true Porterhouse man is to reach for the bottle - or to fall back on the subtle and traditional Cambridge skills of blackmail and kidnap. But will those be enough?

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    Indecent Exposure

      Tom Sharpe
Indecent Exposure

In Piemburgem, the deceptively peaceful-looking capital of Zululand, Kommandant van Heerden, Konstabel Els and Luitenant Verkramp continue to terrorise true Englishman and even truer Zulus in their relentless search for a perfect South Africa.

Kommandant van Heerden, that great Anglophile, gropes his way towards attaining true 'Englishness' in the company of the eccentric Dornford Yates Club. But Luitenant Verkramp, whose hatred of all things English is surpassed only by his fear of sex, sets in motion an experiment in mass chastity (with the help of a lady psychiatrist), which has remarkable and quite unforeseen results.

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    Wilt in Nowhere:

      Tom Sharpe
Wilt in Nowhere:

When his endlessly capricious wife Eva receives plane tickets for the family to visit Auntie Joan and Uncle Wally in Atlanta, Wilt knows only one thing - that nothing could entice him to fly three thousand miles over the water, and especially not two rotund Americans with more money than sense. What better way to escape and find equilibrium then to embark on a walking tour? Just Wilt, the countryside, and an ill-judged bottle of whiskey...

Meanwhile, Eva finds her plans to inherit Joan and Wally's fortune slipping away faster than her sanity, thanks to a combination of sinister teenage quadruplets with foul mouths, and her unexpected role as lead suspect in a drug-trafficking plot.

Outrageous, darkly comic, and packed with calamity on top of calamity, Tom Sharpe's latest episode of Wilt's misadventures is a razor-sharp farce that will delight fans both old and new.

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    Riotous Assembly

      Tom Sharpe
Riotous Assembly

When Miss Hazelstone of Jacaranda Park kills her Zulu cook in a sensational crime passionel, the gallant members of the South African police force are soon on the scene: Kommandant van Heerden, whose secret longing for the heart of an English gentleman leads to the most memorable transplant operation yet recorded; Luitenant Verkramp of the Security Branch, ever active in the pursuit of Communist cells; Konstabel Els, with his propensity for shooting first and not thinking later - and also for forcing himself upon African women in a manner legally reserved for male members of their own race.

In the course of the strange events which follow, we encounter some very esoteric perversions when the Kommandant is held captive in Miss Hazelstone's remarkable rubber room; and some even more amazing perversions of justice when Miss Hazelstone's brother, the Bishop of Barotseland, is sentenced to be hanged on the ancient gallows in the local prison.

Not a 'political' novel in any previously imagined sense, Riotous Assembly provided a completely fresh approach to the South African scene - an approach startling in its deadpan savagery and yet also outrageously funny.

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    Wilt on High:

      Tom Sharpe
Wilt on High:

Wilt is back - in form, and in a good deal of trouble.

Henry Wilt is still teaching at the Fenland Tech, attempting to drill English into plasterers, dozing through tedious committee meetings and occasionally getting mildly plastered in 'The Pig in a Poke' with one of his few bearable colleagues. But the even tenor of his days is rudely interrupted when the shadow of drug dealing flickers across the Tech. Suddenly Wilt becomes the target of suspicion. His colleagues believe him to be responsible for triggering a departmental inquiry, and his old adversary Inspector Flint, knowing that he's guilty of something, sees a chance to settle a number of scores.

What starts with an accusation of voyeurism in the staff lavatory (of the wrong gender to boot) leads, more or less directly, to a massive confrontation at a nearby US airbase with the forces of law and order on both sides and Wilt in his usual place - in the middle.

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    Wilt:

      Tom Sharpe
Wilt:

Henry Wilt, tied to a daft job and a domineering wife, has just been passed over for promotion yet again. Ahead of him at the Polytechnic stretch years of trying to thump literature into the heads of plasterers, joiners, butchers and the like. And things are no better at home where his massive wife, Eva, is given to boundless and unpredictable fits of enthusiasm - for transcendental meditation, yoga or the trampoline.

But if Wilt can do nothing about his job, he realises he can do something about his wife - and as each day passes, his fantasies grow more murderous and more real.

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    The Wilt Inheritance

      Tom Sharpe
The Wilt Inheritance

****Stuck in a job he doesn't want - but can't afford to lose - as nominal Head of the Communications Department at Fenland University, Wilt is still subject to the whims of The Powers That Be, both in and outside of work. The demands of his snobbish wife Eva, and the stupendous school fees of his despicable quadruplet daughters, cause him the biggest headaches... apart from the hangovers, that is. When Eva signs him up for a summer job, teaching the gun-toting idiot son of a lusty local aristocrat, Wilt is not amused. But, as circumstances unravel and the summer goes on, Wilt sees that the situation could be put to his financial advantage, as well as giving Eva some headaches of her own.

With Tom Sharpe's famous dark humour in full evidence, and an explosive plot which takes its readers to places they never realised they wanted to visit, The Wilt Inheritance is another instant classic from the British master of farce.

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