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Not one of Sharpe's best
on 7 March 2009
Tom Sharpe is always violently funny, bawdy, rude beyond expectation and totally un-politically correct. This book follows that pattern precisely.
It tells the story of the rivalry between two masters at a below par public school. One obsessed by old fashioned adventure stories and the other obsessed with getting revenge on his rival. Throw in a stupid school boy who has been turned into a sociopathic killing machine and send them on a harebrained adventure into the wilds of France to rescue a countess who has no idea that she even needs rescuing and you have your story.
Fleshed out with sex, violence, politics and explosions it makes for a page turning read.
Having said that, this has none of the empathy that helps to cut this farcical slapstick and turn it into something more than a romp, the stuff that makes such classics of Wilt and Blott on the Landscape, which is a bit of a shame. Enjoyable but not a classic.