I last read ths book when I was about 16. I recollect that I found it absolutely hilarious and just the most brilliant piece of satire. I also recollect that I found the “Young ones” and “Spitting image” funny…
Going back and re-reading this book I realise that my opinions and tastes have changed a great deal.
Tom Sharpe is most certainly not the most brilliant satirist to have written. This book does not stand up to scrutiny and at best it is puerile and at worst, downright vulgar.
We follow the story of Lockhart Flawse, born into minor aristocracy and living in the moors of Northumberland. His father unknown and his mother dying in childbirth, he is brought up by his grandfather, who holds some rather out-moded ways of living and thinking. Lockhart marries Jessica, whose gold-digging mother marries Lockhart’s grandfather for access to his money as soon as possible.
A series of ‘set piece’ events takes place in order that each character can pursue their desire for inheritance or vindictiveness and it is all just rather unfunny and unsavoury. Not all books have to make a point and this book doesnt. Not all books have to be funny and this one isnt, but a book has to have some function and I’m unsure as to what this one does.