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About the Author: Tom Sharpe

Tom Sharpe was an English satirical author, born in London and educated at Lancing College and at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After National Service with the Royal Marines he moved to South Africa in 1951, doing social work and teaching in Natal, until deported in 1961.

His work in South Africa inspired the novels Riotous Assembly and Indecent Exposure. From 1963 until 1972 he was a History lecturer at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology, which inspired his "Wilt" series Wilt, The Wilt Alternative, Wilt on High and Wilt in Nowhere.

His novels feature bitter and outrageous satire of the apartheid regime (Riotous Assembly and its sequel Indecent Exposure), dumbed- or watered-down education (the Wilt series), English class snobbery (Ancestral Vices, Porterhouse Blue, Grantchester Grind), the literary world (The Great Pursuit), political extremists of all stripes, political correctness, bureaucracy and stupidity in general. Characters may indulge in bizarre sexual practices, and coarser characters use very graphic and/or profane language in dialogue. Sharpe often parodies the language and style of specific authors commonly associated with the social group held up for ridicule. Sharpe's bestselling books have been translated into many languages.

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Goodreads rating: 4.08

Paperback, Published in Nov 2002 by Arrow

ISBN10: 0099435454 | ISBN13: 9780099435457

Page count: 306

When Miss Hazelstone of Jacaranda Park kills her Zulu cook in a sensational crime passionel, the gallant members of the South African police force are soon on the scene: Kommandant van Heerden, whose secret longing for the heart of an English gentleman leads to the most memorable transplant operation yet recorded; Luitenant Verkramp of the Security Branch, ever active in the pursuit of Communist cells; Konstabel Els, with his propensity for shooting first and not thinking later - and also for forcing himself upon African women in a manner legally reserved for male members of their own race.

In the course of the strange events which follow, we encounter some very esoteric perversions when the Kommandant is held captive in Miss Hazelstone's remarkable rubber room; and some even more amazing perversions of justice when Miss Hazelstone's brother, the Bishop of Barotseland, is sentenced to be hanged on the ancient gallows in the local prison.

Not a 'political' novel in any previously imagined sense, Riotous Assembly provided a completely fresh approach to the South African scene - an approach startling in its deadpan savagery and yet also outrageously funny.

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