April 17, 2012

Book: Blott on the Landscape by Tom Sharpe

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 4:12 pm

Tom Sharpe is a humour writer in England, aspiring to the mantle of PG Wodehouse and Canada’s Stephen Leacock.

This story is about Sir Giles and Lady Maude,who are landed gentry in a quiet part of England, living in a castle overlooking the Gorge. Sir Giles cannot stand his wife and dreams of the day he can go free. He has made some wise investment in the castle, the disposal of which would net him a tidy sum.

A Godsend is the proposal of the government to run a road through the Gorge, which would net a nice compensation for Sir Giles. So what is people have to be displaced? He is the MP and the next election is not for a while yet.

The only fly in the ointment is the blaster Lady Maude and her devoted gardener Blott (a German by origin but a naturalized British citizen now) who want to fight it to the fullest to save the old pile of rocks (the castle).

Sir Gile’s diabolical plan to seem to oppose the Gorge while doing all he can to promote it, the trap he lays for Government Official Dundridge to dissuade him from reaching any other decision, the love that Blott holds Lady Maude in, the lengths he would go to help her – all make for interesting reading.

But a PG Wodehouse comparison? Not by a long shot. There are some amusing anecdotes but this cannot hold a candle in the situations that the Jeeves inventor can cook up, nor the comic genius of the conversations. He is not a match for Stephen Leacock’s wry humour either (Remember the Barber’s chair?)

But not bad… Overall, an OK kind of humour, sometimes contrived, but keeps your interest, even if it not always provokes a smile, let alone a chuckle.

All in all a 5/10

— Krishna


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