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A comic novel with both verbal wit and comedy of situation, that owes something to the tradition of Tom Sharpe, and a great deal more to the Langfordian warped sense of humour. The Leaky Establishment has that quality belonging to genuine farce, best described as delighted frustration - frustration because Tappen is blocked at every turn, difficulty piled on impossibility, until it seems that the plot can never be resolved; and delight, because these impossibilities are comic, one has the immense and reprehensible satisfaction of seeing some other poor bugger in the mire. -- Mary Gentle, Interzone
A comic novel with both verbal wit and comedy of situation. -- Mary Gentle, Interzone
A splendid send-up. -- Daily Mail
An agreeable romp. (AWRE News, house journal of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (since renamed), Aldermaston, Berkshire, England) -- AWRE News
An agreeable romp. -- AWRE News, house journal of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment
I'd rank this book alongside Michael Frayn's The Tin Men, another neglected classic. I've wanted for years to see it back in print. It is one of those books you end up buying several copies of, because you just have to lend it to friends. It's very funny. It's very real. -- From the introduction by Terry Pratchett
The Leaky Establishment concerns the trials and tribulations of one Roy Tappen, a scientist at the Nuclear-Utilization Technology Centre at Robinson Heath, who discovers that sneaking the plutonium core of a nuclear warhead out of the centre is easy enough; the problems arise when he tries to sneak it back in. It's either a gloriously absurd farce or a sober record of The Great British System disguised as a gloriously absurd farce: whichever way round it's the kind of book you can give to spouses/partners who can't stand SF. -- Andy Sawyer, British SF Association, Paperback Inferno
The Leaky Establishment was the first title I signed up for Big Engine. I had read it at university and found it frighteningly funny -- its more than just a knockabout farce in the nuclear industry, its plausible too, from its opening blurb of genuine British Admiralty bureaucratese ( it will be seen to that the bottom of each warhead immediately be labelled with the word TOP) to the closing line. Then I graduated and grew up and moved out into the real world, and found further proof of its reality at every line.
Part of Big Engines ideal is to keep the classics, the works that people need to read, in print. This is one such book. Anyone who grew up in the Reagan/Thatcher era can read it and thank their lucky stars they are still here today. Anyone from a younger generation, read it and see what your elders and betters went through
Ben Jeapes,Big EngineSee all Product Description