El Coyote Gordo (supergee) wrote,
El Coyote Gordo

RIP Tom Sharpe

One of my favorite sickos is gone. Here's a review I did years ago
I have recently been enjoying the fiction of a literary sociopath. The covers of the Vintage paperbacks of Tom Sharpe's novels generally quote Roy Blount's praise of Sharpe as "the best of the nasty Brit novelists since Evelyn Waugh." What this means is that Sharpe has a crisp, witty prose style; a remarkable gift for complex plotting; and no apparent sense of the moral significance of what is being described, which is played entirely for laughs.

Typical of this approach is The Throwback, in which Lockhart Flawse, a moral imbecile with far more developed skills in hunting (human and other sorts of prey) maddens, tortures, and kills a set of victims whose one offense is living in rent-controlled property Flawse and his bride want to sell at a profit. (New Yorkers may find this part particularly unfunny.) Now my own reaction to this was to laugh uproariously at most of it, noticing the moral aspects only while being grossed out by one of the more repulsive and lovingly described tortures, but those who are either more morally concerned with their reading-or simply more squeamish may find the whole thing intolerable.
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