Saturday 15 June 2013

R.I.P. Tom Sharpe

I'd missed noticing that the author Tom Sharpe died last week. He was another author of whom I can say I've read everything he ever wrote. In truth his recent comeback produced several not particularly funny books, but that only accentuated just how hilarious his early books were.

His comic novels in the 70s and 80s were a delight as they came before the need to be politically correct sapped humour of its bite. His tales featured inadequate buffoons and fat nymphomaniacs in crude and outlandish stories filled with the comic mayhem that would inevitably result when condoms are filled with helium or mountaineers buy tampons instead of crampons. The above cover depicts some typical scenes from an early Sharpe novel and to avoid the risk of offending anyone I probably shouldn't describe what they depict other than to say political correctness would deem these tales to be sexist, racist and homophobic and miss the point that they were of course poking satirical fun at the idiots who hold such views.

Even if comedy tastes have changed and his brand of humour stopped being fashionable, it'll never change the simple fact that Tom Sharpe was a very funny writer, in a snorting coffee out your nose and having a choking fit sort of way.

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