Our Man In Havana (Graham Greene)

Havana, frozen as it is in time since 1959, is a special, exciting and fascinating place to be. The Havana described by Greene from this 1950s slice of fiction is still very much there to see, albeit in its 21st Century version. Anyway, this light hearted novel is uncannily reminiscent of The Tailor of Panama. A spymaster and an expat on the ground in Cuba manage to concoct between them, but entirely without each other’s knowledge, a fantasy international plot, which allows the “source” to receive generous ex-gratis payments, and the spy to convince his masters in the UK that he is doing something useful, thus worthy of a generous budget. The joke wears off when people start to get killed; but they’ve started so they have to finish.
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No Sex Please, We’re British (1973 UK)

No SPWBThere was an era when British stage comedy was at it’s zenith with plays that became known as Whitehall Farces. So named because they were always staged at the Whitehall theatre, and produced by Brian Rix. Many were later filmed and enjoyed success on the big screen and “No Sex Please” is one of them. Ideal light entertainment if you are stuck in a hotel in North Wales on a very wet weekend. No foul language, no extreme violence, no Americans!  [Read more…]

Carry On Jeeves (P G Wodehouse)

bookPGW revels so much in the richness of the English language to get his laughs and there’s never so much as one word in his prose that’s surplus to requirement, or indeed a passage approaching anything less than perfect in its pace or construction. It’s as if his work was edited by some sort of super human deity. There is nothing jarring or awkward; just fabulous comic writing page after page, time and time again. [Read more…]

Wilt (Tom Sharpe)

articleCompellingly hilarious from start to finish. Tom Sharpe was a great British humourist and Wilt is possibly his best loved book. Sharpe drew on his experiences as a polytechnic lecturer in conceiving the character of hapless and unhappily married Henry Wilt, who spends his days teaching Lord of the Flies to disinterested apprentice butchers and his nights fantasizing about killing his less than sympathetic wife, Eva. [Read more…]

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