To Porterhouse College, Cambridge, famous for rowing, low academic standards. and a proud cuisine, comes a new Master, an ex-grammar-school boy, demanding Firsts, women students, a self-service canteen, and a slot-machine for contraceptives. There is considerable opposition to this challenge to the established order, in the form of Skullion, the intransigent porter at Porterhouse, who is determined that the hallowed traditions of the College will never change.
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The instinct of the true Porterhouse man faced with a crisis is to reach for the bottle and then to fall back on the subtle tactical skills honed at Cambridge down the centuries: blackmail and kidnap. But will these be enough? Menaced on all sides - by the collapse of the Chapel, by the tentacles of organised crime, and by the hovering threat of the abominable Dog’s Nose Man - will Porterhouse be forced to unleash the most fearsome weapon in its armoury - the college food?