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4.4 out of 5 stars
36
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 December 2013
Politically incorrect, vulgar, in very bad taste and extremely funny. A really good poke at political correctness and an illustration of how things can go so badly wrong with misunderstanding and misinterpretation in weird or unaccustomed social environments. A lot of wonderfully insane nonsense but worth reading in somewhere like an airport lounge or similar where you can laugh out loud - and where you will probably be deemed as mad as the book characters themselves. Worth it for the laugh alone!

For relaxation and a serious laugh, well worth it but if you are offended by vulgar crudity, perhaps best avoided.
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on 31 March 2010
This book is definitely worth a read. There are a number of hilarious episodes including the bath incident and especially the scene at the car wash. I would venture to add that this is perhaps the best Sharpe novel I have read so far after Porterhouse Blue, The Throwback and Vintage Stuff. However, the novel seems to fizzle out as if Sharpe suddenly thought that he had written enough and just wrapped everything up in the most inconsequential way; hence the four stars.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 March 2012
My first Tom Sharpe novel, recommended by a colleague.

Though full of that great British wit and sarcasm I wasn't that impressed. It's Certainly readable, but a little lacking in places.

Waldon Yapp, a hapless genius, takes on a job not realising he's being played as a pawn. As the story progresses he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into trouble as one coincidence after another goes against him, trapping him with, seemingly, no way out. Murder, money and mayhem abound this is one very well plotted misadventure.

I know plenty of people who love Tom Sharpe and I'd certainly try give another of his novels a try. But this wasn't as funny as I thought it was going to be.
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on 26 July 2007
he did tail off in his later books,but this for me is the high point.no clues to the plot,just get it and enjoy.dont read it with young kids about,first they will think your gone mad with all the laughter,second are you really going to tell them about the porg that came out of the oven?good clean dirty fun.a masterpiece
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VINE VOICEon 30 August 2003
I remember reading Ancestral Vices for the first time, on a train. And did I laugh? I howled, I wept, I was a helpless, quivering jelly for minutes at a time. The other passengers probably assumed I was having a fit or seizure.
In terms of plotline and characterisation, it is typical of Sharpe: the English class system is torn apart like tissue paper in a vicious social satire; the male characters are unsympathetic pedantics and deviants; women are often hideous gorgons. Yet there are two qualities that also come out in a Sharpe novel - a quaint love of the fault-ridden society with its appalling mores, iniquities and moral dilemmas, and a darker subtext presenting the evils of meddling with that society.
Like few other writers I know, Tom Sharpe has an unerring eye for the ridiculous, and a rapier wit to exploit a farce to its most extreme potential. Some people might call it juvenile, schoolboy humour (including Sharpe himself), but that undersells his skill as a writer.
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on 1 April 2014
Wth the sad loss of Tom Sharpe I began to re read a few stories of his I already knew, and found myself on a mission to read them all. This like all Tom Sharpe books is funny, insightful and silly :-)
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on 25 April 2013
After a quiet start this develops into a brilliant satyrical farce on the higher education of the time and on business. There's some great dark humour, a dash of dark slapstick and a chunk of insight. Times have changed, and this is a book of its time, but I still really enjoyed it. Tom Sharpe is a master of taking the mickey.
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on 8 December 2012
It makes a point by belabouring the reader about the head, sometimes with truly hilarious slapstick and sometimes with rather boring small mindedness. Some of my favourite humour comes from authors with a very different world view from mine, early Jilly Cooper comes to mind, but for my tastes, his ideology is the acid reflux underlying the belly laugh.
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on 28 October 2011
Ancestral VicesThis was the first Tom Sharp book I read and it is the funniest book - had me laughing out loud. I enjoyed it so much I promptly bought 5 more.
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on 5 June 2013
I first read this back in the eighties...and have revisited several times! The plot is as expected from vintage Sharpe - if you like his earlier works this may be worth a read.
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