Riotous Assembly (Piemburg #1)

Riotous Assembly - Tom Sharpe

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Title: Riotous Assembly

Series: Piemburg #1

Author: Tom Sharpe

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Genre: Historical, Humor

Pages: 258

Format: Kindle digital edition

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

The misadventures of the Afrikaaner Van Heerden, head of the police force in Piemburg, South Africa, as he investigates the killing of a Zulu cook by the local (socially) ruling British matron.

Along the way there are police ambushes, latex fetishists, hand to paw combat with a doberman, hangings and a play by the local madhouse which ends with the shooting of some artillery that blows up.

 

Madcap

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

A bit of context was necessary before I got very far into this. Sharpe was in South Africa during apartheid and was a very vocal opponent of it. Eventually he was deported for his writings against it. Once you have that in mind you realize that what you are reading is not a raging rascist going for the humor angle, but a satirist at his most biting.

 

This was hilarious. I was wheezing in several places and my wife had to ask me if I was ok. I was more than ok in fact.

 

Every character was incompetent, looking out for themselves and bumbling. It made for some serious misadventures. One such was when one police underling is told to guard the gate and he takes an elephant gun with him. He hides in a bunker, it is dusk and some other plainclothes policemen are coming onsite. He starts shooting, they start shooting, armoured cars get involved and in the end 21 policeman are dead and the underling is desperately trying to figure out how he can spin it so it isn't his fault. That sums up this book.

 

There was a lot of crassness involved [anything to do with latex fetishists seems to go that way] and some unnecessary sexual details. Other than that, this was an uproariously fun read.