The Gropes ePUB Á Paperback

The Gropes ePUB Á Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 256 pages
  • The Gropes
  • Tom Sharpe
  • English
  • 23 December 2019
  • 0091930901

The Gropes❰Ebook❯ ➨ The Gropes Author Tom Sharpe – Essayreview.co.uk It is one of the surprising facts about Old England that one can still find families living in the same houses their ancestors built centuries before and on land that has belonged to them since before It is one of the surprising facts about Old England that one can still find families living in the same houses their ancestors built centuries before and on land that has belonged to them since before the Norman Conquest The Gropes of Grope Hall are one such familyA brilliantly funny novel about what happens when the women take charge 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 female heirs regardless of whether their desired partners are willing At the dawn of the new millenium, 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 that will have readers laughing out loudTom Sharpe s trademark humour abounds in this new novel, marking him out once again as an outstanding and unique British storyteller.


About the Author: Tom Sharpe

Tom Sharpe was an English satirical author, born in London and educated at Lancing College and at Pembroke College, Cambridge After National Service with the Royal Marines he moved to South Africa in , doing social work and teaching in Natal, until deported in His work in South Africa inspired the novels Riotous Assembly and Indecent Exposure From until he was a History lecturer at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology, which inspired his Wilt series Wilt, The Wilt Alternative, Wilt on High and Wilt in NowhereHis novels feature bitter and outrageous satire of the apartheid regime Riotous Assembly and its sequel Indecent Exposure , dumbed or watered down education the Wilt series , English class snobbery Ancestral Vices, Porterhouse Blue, Grantchester Grind , the literary world The Great Pursuit , political extremists of all stripes, political correctness, bureaucracy and stupidity in general Characters may indulge in bizarre sexual practices, and coarser characters use very graphic and or profane language in dialogue Sharpe often parodies the language and style of specific authors commonly associated with the social group held up for ridicule Sharpe s bestselling books have been translated into many languages.


10 thoughts on “The Gropes

  1. says:

    The Gropes is a terrifically funny Tom Sharpe novel Yes, yes, I can see my positive assessment runs counter to nearly all other reviews posted.Many reviewers judge The Gropes a disappointment, a story where author Tom Sharpe appears to have been simply following his long established comic formula to win some laughs after all, the British author wrote The Gropes at age 80 with over a dozen sidesplitting novels already to his credit.We can understand such harsh judgement here since a reviewer u The Gropes is a terrifically funny Tom Sharpe novel Yes, yes, I can see my positive assessment runs counter to nearly all other reviews posted.Many reviewers judge The Gropes a disappointment, a story where author Tom Sharpe appears to have been simply following his long established comic formula to win some laughs after all, the British author wrote The Gropes at age 80 with over a dozen sidesplitting novels already to his credit.We can understand such harsh judgement here since a reviewer usually relies on comparison as part of their stockpile of analytic tools in assessing a work, frequently contrasting the book with the author s overall output And Tom Sharpe s oeuvre rates phenomenal, novels like Riotous Assembly send up of the South African police force , Porterhouse Blue send up of academia , The Wilt Alternative send up of, well, all strata of British society I wonder what reviewers would say if Sharpe published The Gropes as his one and only novel Oh, well, that s the breaks, Tom You ve been hoisted on the petard of your own past success Anyway, with The Gropes we have the author s vintage broad, over the top, Monty Python style absurdity and slapstick, literary fiction with enough helpings of the politically incorrect to offend readers inclined to be offended But for those courageous booklovers up for something completely different a la John Cleese s Python intro , this, the author s shortest novel, will be a delight As for myself, reading proved so much fun I could hardly put the book down.The tale opens thusly Grope Hall in the hinterlands of northeast England, specifically in the County of Northumberland, possess a history lapsing into legend, a legacy of dominant women, fierce of temperament, hideous of looks and unsurpassed of strength, women who must resort to kidnapping men to father their daughters baby boys are either strangled or kept on as slave labor , a proud tradition extending to the years prior to the Norman Conquest when Ursula Grope took a sick Viking by the name of Awgard back to her sod hut and forced the huge, muscular warrior afflicted by illness to marry and take on the name of Grope By the turn of the twentieth century, Grope Hall is headed by a brood of huge, musclebound, extremely ugly women and fortified by stone walls and barbed wire Just to make sure outsiders are kept out, a pack of snarling bloodhounds and two angry Spanish bulls grace the grassland of the estate But modernization finally catches up the Grope women and by the closing years of the century nearly all flee the deadly isolation of Grope Hall And then we read It was to this isolated estate and ancient farmhouse that, as the new millennium dawned, Belinda Grope, niece of the now aged Myrtle, brought a young and largely callow youth named Esmond Wiley Tom Sharpe makes a quick shift to Esmond Wiley s boyhood and the backstory of his parents, Mr Horace Wiley and Mrs Vera Wiley So as not to reveal too many surprises as the story bounces along, I ll simply highlight a quartet of my favorite bits Pounding Heart Ever since she was a teenager, Vera immersed herself in Barbara Cartland type romance novels, she lived in a world in which men, gentlemen of course, proposed marriage passionately on clifftops under a full moon with the waves crashing on the rocks below We watch as Vera presses milquetoast bank manager Horace Wiley into the role of passionate romantic and to think, the reserved, mild mannered sop only wished to have the comforts and stability of married life Poor deluded man, if you only knew Victim of Passion Vera named her son Esmond after a character in one of the romantic novels she happened to be reading shortly before his birth Vera attempted to mold Esmond into the ideal romantic gentleman It was bad enough to be called Esmond but to see also the image of Vera s romantic hero littering the house and on sale in every bookshop and newsagent he went into was enough to make even an insensitive boy aware that he could never live up to his mother s hopes and expectations On top of this, every single time Esmond accompanied his mother in public, she would announce in a loud voice that Esmond was her love child, a true love child without the faintest idea that people understood her to mean her son was a little bastard, born out of wedlock Meanwhile, Esmond couldn t begin to comprehend the dynamics of the situation since he was too busy enduring the jeers, catcalls and whistles of any and everyone who happened to be in the vicinity at the time Doppelg nger Poor, poor Horace Wiley the guy simply can t win Esmond Wiley made a mockery of his father s hopes He resembled Mr Wiley so precisely that there were moments in front of the shaving mirror when Horace had the terrifying illusion that his son was staring back at him The same large ears, the same small eyes and thin lips, even the same nose, confronted him And then on his fourteenth birthday, when Edmond s Uncle Albert gives him a drum set for a present, Horace s only escape from the racket is to leave early for work and return late at night after stopping at the local pub to fortify himself with the hard stuff Bumblers Events move apace until a grand explosion at the home of Uncle Albert prompts the local newspaper to write POLICE TERRORISTS BLOW HOUSE UP WHO NEEDS TERRORISTS WHEN WE VE GOT THE SECURITY POLICE As with his skewering the South African police in Riotous Assembly and Indecent Exposure, Tom Sharpe can t help himself when the local men in blue arrive on the scene Again, The Gropes is the author s shortest novel the publisher stretches the book to 247 pages by large font and multiple black spaces If you re up for several hours of satire and extreme slapstick, a novel well worth your time.British author Tom Sharpe, 1928 2013

  2. says:

    I was prompted to re read The Gropes after coming across a review by Glenn Russell Some ten years after my first acquaintance with the book, I was annoyed that the details were now so vague to me The first two chapters promise Sharpe s best work ever Unfortunately, they set a benchmark to which the remainder of the novel can only aspire That said, we are still presented with a great story that embraces the farcical shenanigans of eccentric characters which have become Sharpe s trademark L I was prompted to re read The Gropes after coming across a review by Glenn Russell Some ten years after my first acquaintance with the book, I was annoyed that the details were now so vague to me The first two chapters promise Sharpe s best work ever Unfortunately, they set a benchmark to which the remainder of the novel can only aspire That said, we are still presented with a great story that embraces the farcical shenanigans of eccentric characters which have become Sharpe s trademark Like your favourite slippers, Sharpe s writing is easy and comfortable to slip into He writes with a frivolous abandon, caring not whether he s offending, using stereotypes and clich s where he chooses and finishing a story when it s told.This has been referred to as his worst book But when your most unpopular work is still a five star read, you know you re on a rung of the literary ladder that very few writers will ever reach

  3. says:

    It s a 4 star read perhaps 3.5 But it s too short If it were longer, it would get five It s light, it s very funny, but the book feels as if it s half a book I m currently reading Full Moon by P.G Wodehouse and it s similar in a fashion Except that Full Moon is a full book too Yes, it s light and fluffy and wonderfully funny, but it s also complete So, 4 stars A good read, just not long enough It s a 4 star read perhaps 3.5 But it s too short If it were longer, it would get five It s light, it s very funny, but the book feels as if it s half a book I m currently reading Full Moon by P.G Wodehouse and it s similar in a fashion Except that Full Moon is a full book too Yes, it s light and fluffy and wonderfully funny, but it s also complete So, 4 stars A good read, just not long enough

  4. says:

    I keep thinking about this book, so I felt compelled to write a review by the way, continuing to think about a book after you ve read it is not necessarily the sign of a good book I think it s already pretty evident that I did not enjoy this book As I m at work, here are a few bullet points why.1 The characters were completely unlikeable They were not humourous, and I could only sympathise with one of them I think his name was Horace I actually can t remember So while I could sort of s I keep thinking about this book, so I felt compelled to write a review by the way, continuing to think about a book after you ve read it is not necessarily the sign of a good book I think it s already pretty evident that I did not enjoy this book As I m at work, here are a few bullet points why.1 The characters were completely unlikeable They were not humourous, and I could only sympathise with one of them I think his name was Horace I actually can t remember So while I could sort of sympathise with him, he did not leave much of an impression I m generally pretty good at remembering names Oh I did also like that gardener bloke, mainly I think because he seemed to have a brain that worked But not enough to leave the house of mental crazy.2 The plot was utterly and completely ridiculous I am quite happy to suspend my disbelief, but there are limits I understand that it was supposed to be a farce and satirical, but there are farces and there are farces This was the latter.3 It was supposed to be funny and satirical It was not funny and satirical I did not laugh once I had high hopes, we have quite a few Tom Sharpe books at home, and while I sort of expected it to be of its time i.e slightly 80s though a lot of 80s humour is brilliant And yes, I know the book was published in 2009 I thought I would still be able to laugh I wasn t 4 The kidnapped male in the story was 17 SEVENTEEN Yes, he s legal to do a lot of things, but in many others way like marrying without requiring parents permission he s not Yes, I know the marriage is null and void anyway as she was already married, but that is beside the point He was abducted and then brainwashed into believing that this was ok That s a little too Stockholm Syndrome for my liking.5 Is it not a little outdated to portray all the police as incompetent, with no emotional intelligence The police make mistakes, they re not perfect, I would never say that they are, but the police are overworked, overstretched, poorly funded organisations, who are not the police of the 1970s and 1980s They have progressed 6 I like the idea that this was a book about women I m sorry, I m about to go English Literature at you, and very uncharacteristically so Strong women in books is a good thing I like the idea that women can control their own destiny, that they can decide who to marry, if indeed they want to marry These women of this family, yes they were strong but were they really Every man that they married was one orof the following a had no brain and too weak to stand up for his own rights and opinionsb was essentially raped to produce the children requiredc was discarded like rubbish when he didn t help produce the correct childNow, none of these things sound like a progression of womens rights to me a If you have to marry a weak man who has no self respect, or brain, or ability to express his opinions that does not make you a strong woman That makes you someone who is callous enough to only take advantage of those weaker than you Yes, you can argue that men have been doing that to women throughout history, but it is not a sign of progression to reverse the roles like that It s a sign of an inability to move on and become equal.b Sexual assault is not acceptable at any time against any one, regardless of gender Your desperate need to have a daughter is no excuse to justify sleeping with a man who has been drugged That is date rape.c Some men do discard their wives when a younger model comes along Some men are misogynistic Some men are complete bastards who have no respect for their wives girlfriends partners Some men Henry VIII I m looking at you did discard their wives if they couldn t produce the correctly gendered child However, just because history predominantly shows us that men did this and I imagine there were a fair few women too , this does not mean that it is funny when reversed, or indeed something that should be celebrated in any way See point a for views on progression and how this is not it.I m sure that Tom Sharpe meant the reversal of historical gender roles as a satirical look an alternative to the themes running throughout history Then again, he may not have, and just thought it was entertaining I think if the characters and the plot hadn t been so preposterous it might have worked better I understand the satire, I hope the satire was the point of the book otherwise this is terrible, I just didn t find it funny, and I think a little outdated.The feeling I felt after finishing That was one of the most pointless books I ve ever read Yes, it s not really my type of book they include death and policemen and possibly a kidnapping too Yes, this book had all those things, but not in the way that I like them.TheI think about this book theandI dislike it If I could bring myself to I would give it 2 stars for the understanding what it s trying to do But I thought it was pants, and there are too many negatives to do that, so I m afraid it only gets one

  5. says:

    I ve always had problems with Sharpe s abrupt endings but the stories he spins are amazing I would ve given it a 3 if not for the bizarre characters.

  6. says:

    I usually love Tom Sharpe, but was disappointed here.The funny situations are there, but they don t seem to lead anywhere.

  7. says:

    A pleasantly funny and very easy to follow comedy of errors typical of Sharpe s style Just what I needed to keep my mind off what s happening in the world right now.

  8. says:

    This must be the most uninspired book by Tom Sharpe that I ever read The plot is tenuous at best, and it ends in a fizzle unworthy of the writer of such gems as the Wilt series Thankfully the story is rather short and I managed to complete it fairly quickly no mean feat considering that I got bored of it relatively early and I trudged on simply because I hoped it would redeem itself in the end Sadly, my hopes remained just that Avoid.

  9. says:

    So dissapointing Very obviously written to a now tired formula, there is little new here Bullying women, timid husbands upper middle class goofyness and police stupidity same old same old Except the funny has gone Tom Sharpe was once one of my favourite funny authors but this was very dull.

  10. says:

    Worst ever from Tom Sharpe A shadow of his old self The final 40 50 pages are just embarrassing, and reminded me of the little essays I wrote at school Did the author run out of time or energy and have to rush to finish the book

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