7:26 PM 3 SEPTEMBER 2016
Selected on the list for World Book Night 2013, I picked up the e-edition, complete with alternative ending, which Blackman wrote for the occasion. The story centres on teenagers Callum and Sephie, growing up in a society split along racial faultlines and the experiences of their respective families. It is a romantic/tragic tale of young love stifled by societal tensions, which the author explores sensitively. The first in a series of novels, the plotline was developed well and with pace. A very enjoyable read.
7:01 PM 3 SEPTEMBER 2016
A chronicle of Porterhouse College, Cambridge, the acidly-Sharpe humour served up by the author is as sumptuous as a fellows feast. Dripping with hysterical characters, the book plots the chaotic attempts to spare the ancient institution from financial ruin, led by a coterie of dysfunctional men marooned in a glorious past, which is slowly and painfully being eroded. The Master (Skullion), formerly the Head Porter, the Dean, Senior Tutor, Bursar and Praelector conspire and scheme and cross metaphorical swords with a media magnate and gangster for the greater good of Porterhouse. The Machiavellian plot twists unstintingly with laugh-out-loud moments sprinkled throughout. Tom Sharpe is rightly regarded as a great post-Waugh humorist and guardian of the national funny bone. Very highly recommended.