Porterhouse Blue

Hilarious, biting satire set in a Cambridge college, Tom Sharpe's Porterhouse Blue was written in the early-1970s. Having lived and worked in Cambridge for the last 20 years, much of it spent at the University, there are some elements that haven't changed that much. The clash of tradition and modernity, of intelligence and money still continue. There are some college porters who are clearly descendants of Skullion, some Heads and Masters who are not unlike Sir Godber, while the Dean and the Senior Tutor still have their archetypes.

Tom Sharpe cleverly steers a course which stays just on the side of the absurd but could easily tip over into reality. Often blackly comic there are some great scenes - poor neurotic Zipser's demise and the destruction of the college, Skullion's election, the TV interview. It's not always comfortable reading, but it's rude and funny, and as a piece of satire is outstanding.


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