The Gropes are an old English family based in Northumberland, separated from the rest of society and as eccentric as they come. It is a line dominated by strong-willed and oversexed women, determined to produce more female heirs regardless of whether their desired partners are willing....
At the dawn of the new millennium, timid and gormless teenager Esmond is abducted and lured to Grope Hall by a descendant of the Gropes. Young Esmond is powerless to escape, and his kidnap sets in motion a stream of farcical events.
©2009 Tom Sharpe; (P)2009 Isis Publishing
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Tom Sharpe is still the 'laugh out loud' champion. Fun plot with all of the muddles and misunderstandings that he's famous for and a little twist at the end. GREAT
"Very entertaining, light comedy"
This is a typical Tom Sharpe comedy, full of wonderful characters put into very improbable but amusing situations.
The performance by Micheal Tudor Barnes was really engaging with a wide variety of voices for the the sometimes very eccentric characters.
It made me laugh out loud.
"Amusing and easy listening"
Yes I would try another book by Tom Sharpe. His writing usually holds the attention and brings many smiles, it is gentle humour and does not seek to hurt or wound..
The description of the central character and the worship that his mother bestows on him is really amusing. He is not the brightest star in the fermament but ends up in a situation that is totally to his liking, through no effort of his own.
Yes, excellent listening as the characters were all easy to identify through the differing types of speech.
It did end up on a note that suggested a further book could be written now that the main character is in different circumstances and there are several areas that could be explored.
Rather short and ended before I expected it.
"Not one of Sharpe's best"
No, I'd find it difficult to recommend this book. I like Sharpe's humour and this book begins with the usual farce and mayhem that you would expect but the story seemed to peter out about three-quarters of the way through.
The ending seemed to be cobbled together as if Sharpe had run out of ideas but needed to hit a deadline. I did not think it matched the threads developed in earlier parts of the story.
I thought his characterisation and consistency in the voices were excellent.
A difficult one. The first half is well up to the usual standards of a Sharpe novel but it fades afterwards and, I think, the last quarter falls off a cliff. Taken overall, I'd have to say no. The Gropes is not on a par with the Wilt series, Blott on the Landscape or Porterhouse Blue.
One to avoid unless you are a Sharpe aficionado and prepared to accept a lesser story on that basis.
"I just didn't get the joke"
The subject matter of this story I guess some people would call 'dark humour', i just found it distasteful.
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