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4.7 out of 5 stars100
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Tom Sharpe's second novel returned to the fertile ground of South Africa and the characters of Konstabel Els, Lieutenant Verkramp and Kommandant Van Heerden. Following from the events of `Riotous Assembly', this follows the three leads as they unintentionally wreak havoc across the peaceful suburbs of Zululand.

This is an absolutely hilarious book. Sharpe's real skill is to take seemingly innocuous situations, then, logical step by seemingly logical step morph them into a bizarre and screamingly funny situation. All the steps seem sane and logical, but the end result is as far from it as you can get.

As well as the anarchic humour, there is the serious side. Part of what makes Sharpe's South African books stand out so much above the rest of his oeuvre is his study of the people and attitudes of that place and time. When I first read these as a teenager I could not believe that these were real characters with their casual racism and paranoias. I thought that these were caricatures with attitudes exaggerated for comic effect. I have, over the intervening years, learned that such people really do exist. Sharpe performs an important job by exposing the South Africa of the time for what it was, and satirising it so well.

An excellently written, eminently readable, hilariously funny book with a serious message buried under the laughs. Five stars, six if I could.
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on 22 September 2011
Terrific story! This is the sequel to "Riotous Assembly," so if you have not read either, it's best to read that first and meet all the characters first. Still it works well as a standalone, a picture of Old South Africa, Boers v. English v. blacks. And exploding ostriches of course.

Oh its absolutely filthy, not for the kiddies. I can be a bit tetchy about rude humour, but this completely works!

Outrageous, bawdy, and violent. What more do you want?
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on 22 January 2011
What happens in this Book, if it were real, would - in the present day - make startling Tabloid headlines day after day. Shocking revelations about the hilarious attempts to subdue South African Police or Military Officers from becoming "entangled" with the locals.

Anthony Burgess had it first... in "A Clockwork Orange." Trying to rid a young delinquent of his violent ways by forcing him to watch violent acts on a screen, thus making him feel sick at the thought of it. Tom Sharpe chooses electrical shocks to the genitals - plus anesthetic injections to the same parts - to avert any cross-racial copulation. In the mid 70's this was funny... hilarious actually. Today though... let's face it... it is STILL hilarious - for realists ! Ha Ha.

Anyone with the mildest interest in "farce" will embrace this - no matter what year it is. Riotous Assembly, and this follow-on, paved the way for Mr Sharpe's delightful, delicious and laugh-out-loud situational comedy settings of his future works. I defy anyone NOT to laugh. Highly recommended.
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on 23 May 2004
Let's cut to the chase, this book along with Riotous assembly are without doubt the funniest books i've ever read.
Unlike the other Sharpe books (which are nowhere as good i hasten to add) you will find that once you've started you cannot put them down.My wife,i'm sure, contemplated having me admitted under the mental health act, such were my outbursts of laughter.
Buy both these books, you will read them again and again.
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on 29 November 1999
This book has been my first contact with Sharpe. Not my last. I find "Wilt on High" extremely funny, well written, cleverly put together, with just a dash (maybe more than a dash) of healthy vulgarity and it shows also that Mr Sharpe has an incredibly piercing eye to see, analyze and render the foibles of a great variety of human specimens such as feminists, police inspectors, teachers, American military men, quacks, overintelligent brats, etc. Highly recommended.
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on 27 October 2014
NO Spoilers.

for those that like Tom Sharpe there's a range of 'series' to choose from. Personally I prefer almost everything else he did to the Blott era, even porterhouse blue. However the one thing remained constant (Well until the godawful Grantchester Grind was it? So bad I've wiped it from mind - I put it down to a formulaic last chance to cash in and top up his pension/estate to leave etc) was the acidic eye he had for not just seeing and describing a farcical scene, but setting up deliciously and then relishing and revelling in it extracting the very essence of it right at the pinnacle of excruciatingness (if that's a real word).
This book is a great example. Although, The Throwback will live me forever there are a good half dozen others that are fantastic. Particularly any that feature Konstable Els.
Personally I'd go for anything around this era - he was really on form. And If I'm honest I'd have to say I avoid the later works as I fell he'd exhausted his vein of genius.
ACID TEST: would I buy this again - If this copy were lost damaged etc - YES - and I recommend it to any one who has a enjoys a good sense of humour.
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on 9 November 2013
Indecent exposure and Riotous assembly by Tom Sharpe are two of the funniest books I have read. Sharpe`s ability to satirise a time, place and subject normally considered in these pc times to be no go areas shows his comedic genius. Tales of a bungling South African police force set in a chaotic apartheid held state, Sharpe pokes a stick in the eye to all. I don`t like to analyse books I like to read them.How many times can you say you have read a book and laughed out loud? Well here are two that force those involuntary chuckles by the score. I first indulged in these two works over thirty years ago as a fifteen year old, I have only just revisited them in the electronic age and with a couple of thousand books in between I can honestly say they are amongst the best if not the best out and out entertainment available.
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on 17 December 2013
First read this over 30 years ago and then foolishly lent my copy to give another the same thrill. Oh will I never learn - I still do the same stupid thing! Anyway, it is still brilliant. This and Riotous Assembly were the first books I ever read that had me laughing so much that I was gasping for air. Books that I put down for a moment to recover from the (real) pain in my chest from near hysteria. There have been very few others.
In the intervening years a lot has changed in South Africa but even younger readers will be aware of the madness that shook the country for so many years. The legacy will take generations to heal. However, as we still remember, the hilarity of the book is just about as great.
If you can take the pain of the laughter then read them. The very best of a very funny writer.
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on 25 October 2001
This is Tom Sharpe's best book by far! The exploding ostrich section and the tests carried out with electrodes are so funny that I couldn't stop laughing.
If you have never read a Tom Sharpe book before, start with this one!
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on 31 December 2012
I've loved the Wilt books for years, starting from the age of 16 in 2002 when studying modern literature for English GCSE, when my teacher recommended the first book to me specifically, knowing my sense of humour. Wilt On High, like the others, doesn't disappoint. The insane situations that poor Wilt manages to wind up are ludicrous, but plausible, and the character himself, you can't help but sympathise with and admire for his ways of making an undesirable situation as interesting for himself as possible. My only complaint would be that the formula hasn't changed much from previous books, but it's a small niggle, which didn't detract from my enjoyment of the whole book. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a good laugh from a book.
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