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Main page » Fiction literature » Tom Sharpe The Great Pursuit

Tom Sharpe The Great Pursuit


"Caustic humor is a long and noble British tradition. What sets Tom Sharpe ahead of the pack is not the depth of his perversion (which is deep enough) or the sheer volume of comic mayhem that he can squeeze into two hundred pages, but that he can make you laugh out loud at the most appalling things, and keep you coming back for more.
Part of his secret is that the stories are laced with Awful Truth. It’s hard to conceive that a writer who uses penis mutilation as a recurring motif and whose characters habitually cavort in rubber rooms and sex-toy factories might have something important to say. Sharpe is driven by a deep-seated anger at the system, and it’s the anger that powers the black extremes of his humor.
The other part of his secret is harder to express in a short recommendation: because, yes, the books are charming in a sick adult sort of way, and this charm of style seldom fails even when Sharpe is describing (in his South African series Indecent Exposure and Riotous Assembly) the efforts of white Afrikaners to eliminate black Africans by raping black women, or (in The Throwback) the efforts of a young man to hang onto his inheritance by having his dead grandfather stuffed and wired for sound. Look, I don’t expect you to believe me: read the books and find out for yourselves. Reading Tom Sharpe is a test of character — try him and see if you pass."  Freder Frederson

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