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3.8 out of 5 stars31
3.8 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 January 2005
I have read most of Tom Sharpe's books and I normally enjoy them immensely. "Porterhouse Blue", while not as funny as Wilt and Blott, was still satire of the highest calibre, but its strong point was the plot, which had me reading the book in record time.
Then came volume 2, and at 490 pages it is quite a volume. The problem is that it never really got off the ground. The plot is okay but mostly boring and I found at times I had to force myself to pay attention. It's a good book for practising speed reading - that's what I did.
The plot is one of Sharpe's more complex ones, and it builds up expectations for a monumental climax. But instead it simply fizzles out and leaves one feeling cheated. I am willing to put money on it that after 450-odd pages, the author realised that he couldn't bring it together and then lost interest. So he made X die, Y retire, and Z live sort of happily ever after. All within the space of the last four pages.
If you also hate the bombastic arrogance of the Americans, you are in for a treat though. Sharpe makes no secret of his sentiments (or lack of) in this respect. He treats his American characters in a noticeably more venomous fashion than his British (or African) ones.
But I felt cheated afterwards. The book is not up to Tom Sharpe's normal high standards and is most certainly not a worthy successor to "Porterhouse Blue". As I've said: stick to Wilt and Blott and avoid disappointment.
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on 19 July 2007
I have been a fan of Tom Sharpe's for many years, and have read all his work,my favourite book being 'the throwback'.
It was well documented that Tom went through 'writers block' and I believe I'm right in saying that this book was written after this period.

Having settled down to read this with a good deal of expectation, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Grantchester grind was a sad follow-up to Porterhouse blue, a book I personally really enjoyed - although not my favourite.
After the black humour of Tom's earlier works, including the wonderful South African books, this was a pale imitation of their quality.

If requested to suggest a TS book for someone, this particular book wouldn't even be on my radar....
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on 29 April 2009
I've read several Sharpe books before, such as Blott on the Landscape and Wilt, and was looking forward to reading this one after seeing the fantastic Porterhouse Blue television series. While this book has its moments, it's certainly not Sharpe's best novel. Mind you, it must be quite a challenge to keep up to the standard he has set himself with some classic novels in the past.

It was great to see the character of Skullion again but some of his funny stories about the college just tailed off in the manner of genuine recollections, which was realistic, but it made them a bit of a letdown in places. There were none of the enormously shocking and funny moments that Sharpe is so famous for and this book falls into the trap of many sequels in this regard, since it fails to live up to the brilliance of its predecessor.

I liked the sardonic character of the Praelector but though the new Purefoy character showed great promise, he failed to deliver the laughs I had expected. I thought that Lady Mary should have been used in more scenes (she disappears fairly early on) and that this was a missed opportunity. If I had written this I think some brilliant comedy scenes could have been created with Purefoy giving Lady Mary his report on the College but it wasn't to be.

Some Porterhouse Blue fans will like this as a trip down memory lane but this book is always going to be compared unfavourably with its predecessor. There were some good bits but they serve mainly to remind you of how good the first book was.
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on 19 May 2012
Tom sharpe is back on form with this sequel to porterhouse blue, it's a dark witty tale full of strange characters in strange places with plots and sub-plots wit and savage humour a must read for any fan and a good introduction to anyone just discovering his work.
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on 10 January 2010
This was a sequel to Porterhouse Blue. It containes the same array of characters as Porterhouse Blue including Skullion, who is now Master.The novel covers the desire of the Fellows to sort out the finances of Porterhouse, and to find a new Master, who will raise the academic standards of the college.
I found the novel enjoyable, and there was some very amusing lines. Tom Sharpe gives a good insight into the workings of an Oxbridge college, and how the structure works. Hartang gives a idea of how misleading the academic language can be when it is mentioned that the Dons will be present at the Masters Inauguration.It was a good read, and you did not have to have read Porterhouse Blue to enjoy it, but if you had read it there was not too much repetition.
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on 23 April 2011
I am a huge Tom Sharpe fan but this book does not form part of my collection anymore. Instead I have given it away to charity. While usually I find myself flying through the pages of the various Sharpe novels, this one had me thinking at every page: 'Shall I save myself the time and give up now or shall I read on in case it becomes more interesting?' Unfortunately I was not rewarded for finishing the book. I found this novel dull, the characters unbelievable and most annoyingly the plot frizzled out in the end. Please do the author justice and read any other book by him - all his other novels are hilariously funny!
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on 1 March 1999
i nearly made the fatal mistake of listening to this superb reading whilst driving, laughing so much can cause accidents. david jason brought to life the characters so well you could see them.if his other books are as good as this on tape,i;ll certainly have more of this
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on 28 November 2010
This is very much second-rate Sharpe, not in the same class as his earliest books. Having said that second-class Sharpe is pretty good, and much better than most author's best work. The book is at its best when it is taking the piss out of Americans.
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on 9 May 2015
Even for a Tom Sharpe novel, this is obscure and the characters contrived. I absolutely love Porterhouse Blue but I had to persevere to finish this one
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on 9 March 2015
I bought the book Grantchester Grind: (Porterhouse Blue Series 2) by Tom Sharpe for my son to read. He is enjoying it immensely. Thank you
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