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Creator / Tom Sharpe

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Thomas Ridley Sharpe (30 March 1928 – 6 June 2013) was a Cambridge-educated British author of comic Farce novels. He is perhaps best known for his Wilt series of comic novels, but the Piemburg farces, which are drawn from his time living and working in apartheid South Africa, are also worth a honorable mention. (He was deported from South Africa for subversion and not taking apartheid seriously). He had been described as England's funniest living writer, but in a country also boasting Sir Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt and Robert Rankin, that was perhaps open to debate.

  • Porterhouse Blue Series:-

  • Wilt Series:-
    • Wilt (1976)
    • The Wilt Alternative (1979)
    • Wilt On High (1984)
    • Wilt In Nowhere (2004)
    • Wilt In Triplicate (omnibus) (1996)
    • The Wilt Inheritance (2010)

  • The Piemburg Police force novels:-

  • Other Novels:-

  • Collections:-
    • Selected Works (1986)
    • Tom Sharpe Library Pack (2001)

  • Short stories:-
    • Stirring the Pot (1994)

  • The anthology Knights of Madness: Further Comic Tales of Fantasy (1998) features a story by Tom Sharpe.

This author's works include examples of:

  • Character Overlap: Events from Ancestral Vices are mentioned in Grantchester Grind.
  • Community-Threatening Construction: The motorway being built in Blott on the Landscape.
  • Cool Car: Glodstone's 1927 Bentley in Vintage Stuff.
  • Deep South: Bibliopolis, Alabama, stereotypical Bible Belt town in The Great Pursuit, complete with Badass Preacher.
  • Eagleland: Sharpe writes American characters as crass and foul-mouthed.
  • Fictional Document: The Great Pursuit mentions various novels which only exist in that book, most notably the erotica sensation, Pause O Men For The Virgin.
  • Forged Message: Slymne's letters to Glodstone in Vintage Stuff.
  • Gold Digger: Mrs Flawse in The Throwback, the Countess (aka Constance Sugg) in Vintage Stuff and Sonia Futtle in The Great Pursuit.
  • Here We Go Again!: The Great Pursuit ends with the protagonist, Frensic, embarking on writing the story and publishing it as a novel.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Mr Meakin, tax evasion investigator in The Throwback.
  • Karma Houdini: Some characters who act villainously don’t get their comeuppance, being too powerful or rich for justice to take down. However, in Sharpe’s stories everyone gets put through the wringer, and in his view if the hero makes it out okay then it’s okay for the villain to do so as well.
  • Kissing Cousins: In Grantchester Grind, Purefoy Osbert reportedly learnt some of the facts of life from his cousin Vera, who:
    ...being a kindly if slightly promiscuous girl, had been only too ready to show him the certainty of her sex.
  • Literal-Minded. Peregrine Clyde-Brown in Vintage Stuff.
  • Meaningful Name: Sharpe used colorful names like Wilt, Blott, Yapp, Petrefact, Slymne, Skullion, Verkramp (Afrikaans for constipated or crazy) and Flawse for his characters.
  • Moral Myopia: A major theme of Sharpe’s works. In his stories British respectability is so strong that it overrides any actual morality; one character speculates that because of this masturbation is more criminally offensive in Britain than murder.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: Most stories were set in fictional towns - Worford, Pursley, Buscott, Groxbourne.
  • Police Are Useless: A major trope in Sharpe's works. His first novels were set in apartheid-era South Africa, where the police did their best to enforce white supremacy on the black community. Later novels were set in England and America and toned down the racism, but still focused on how foolish and eager-to-please the police acted, but in a human way.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Sums up Lockhart Flawse, the titular Throwback.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Played with in The Great Pursuit:
    ...this arid bitch had written Pause O Men For The Virgin. Frensic inverted the title and found it wholly appropriate. Dr Louth had given birth to nothing.
  • Serial Killings, Specific Target: Inverted in Ancestral Vices. Emmelia, the only one convinced that Walden Yapp didn't murder the diminutive Willy Coppett, sets out on a spree of attempting to kidnap other Persons of Restricted growth to make it appear that the culprit is still at large.
  • Shout-Out: The Great Pursuit combines two titles by F. R. Leavis, author of The Great Tradition and The Common Pursuit. An in-universe book entitled The Great Pursuit is dedicated to him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Cynthia Bogden in The Great Pursuit.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Jessica Sandicott in The Throwback.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Sharpe’s preferred pairing is to have couples of skinny or slender men paired with well-built women, to the point where he received criticism for objectifying his female characters. Ancestral Vices even had him pair a dwarf with a six-foot woman (they were Happily Married, though the husband often got crushed/suffocated in bed during coitus…).