Riotous Assembly Paperback – 1601
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Top Customer Reviews
Imagine the writer you would get if you mixed P.G. Wodehouse and Hunter Thompson, and then placed them in South Africa; that's Tom Sharpe. He indeed manages to combine the wit and language skills, as well as the awkward situations of Wodehouse with the sharpened pen of satire and low opinion of humans from Thompson, and his target is South Africa and the police forces there (I believe that he was jailed there for awhile, and ultimately deported).
Upon finishing Riotous Assembly, I rushed to see if I could find any more by this Sharpe fellow. Luckily, Vintage has brought him across the sea for our enjoyment. Indecent Exposure is the sequel to Riotous Assembly and just as funny; perhaps even funnier, given the satire of the Dornford Yates club (a group of Englishmen who adore the veddy British writer Dornford Yates who is clearly an analog for Wodehouse) within the larger South African satire. I also read Wilt, in which he drops some of the satirical and plays the perverted Wodehouse more. Wilt is okay, but I would suggest you try the South African novels first. If you're like me, you'll have to read Wilt or any of his other novels then--just because you can't get enough of this amazing fellow.
The book begins with the murder of a black house wroker by a member of a prominent English family in the city of Piemburg. Enter the police. There is Kommandant van Heerden, who wants nothing more than to be English, Konstabel Els, who is renowned as a killer of blacks, and Luitenant Veerkramp, who is one of the slimiest and wiliest characters in the Piemburg police force. A routine police investigation turns into an armed confrontation between the unwitting members of the Piemburg police force, while van Heerden is unwillingly seduced by the murderer he is investigating. These are just a few of the hijinks that ensue as the police's irrational actions keep making the situation worse.
This book is excellent because Sharpe is able to expose the irrationality of apartheid and the actions of the authorities to keep this practice going. After reading this book, there is little wonder in my mind why Sharpe was expelled from South Africa in the '70s.
Most recent customer reviews
I read this book twenty years ago or more. I laughed until the tears were running down my face. I just re-read it and I had the same experience. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2012 by Dragoon
Tom Sharpe is a terrific writer of farce! This is his first novel and he spares no one in his story of apartheid South Africa.Published on Sept. 29 2004
In many respects, apartheid South Africa provides a great setting for farces and satirical novels. Tom Sharpe ably exploits the possibilities in this tale involving an interracial... Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2002 by Krige Siebrits
Clearly one of the hallmark comic works in the English lanuage, somewhat sick, should certainly appeal to fans of M. Python or Roland Aktinson. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2000 by James L. Jones
Possibly the funniest book in the English language. I must have for any dedicated humor collector!Published on May 26 1998