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(Wilt #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  9,793 ratings  ·  494 reviews
This story of Henry Wilt, the Polytechnic lecturer who gets into all sorts of trouble is written by the author of "Riotous Assembly", "Blot on the Landscape" and "Wilt Alternative".
Paperback, 221 pages
Published May 10th 1991 by Pan (first published 1976)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,793 ratings  ·  494 reviews

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Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
Better Late Than Never

Scatological sarcasm is a Sharpe speciality. In Porterhouse Blue he uses it to parody Oxbridge tradition. Wilt goes for the jugular of California-chic, a somewhat more recent tradition inserting itself into British life during the 1970’s.

Being in a somewhat sheltered environment in the 70’s educational-wise, as Wilt’s wife Eva might say (I spent most of that period on a ship at sea or in the semi-dream state of a married graduate student), I missed a great deal of the
John Martin
This is still a very funny book, surely a gold-standard member of the British humour club. It was released in 1976 and it must have been regarded as terribly risqué then.
Tom Sharpe was a masterful writer. The story, of course, is absurd but that's one of the things I enjoyed about it. It's a short, (dare I say it) Sharpe read and if you feel the need to escape from reality for a few hours, I couldn't recommend a novel more highly.
I'm sure some of my high school English teachers would have had
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very rarely do I find a book so clever and witty that I actually laugh out loud as I turn the pages. (Unfortunately, I've come across many a book that had me laughing out loud because the writing was just bloody awful, but that's a topic for another day.) Until recently I had never heard of Tom Sharpe, nor of his books--in particular, his outrageously wonderful novel, WILT (published decades ago), until I was given a copy as a gift by a delightfully ornery friend. What a gem! (On both counts.)

Leo .
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such hilarity! Tom Sharpe comedy capers are brilliant. The TV film adaption starring Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith had me in fits. The film did the book justice.

The vision of a naked Griff tied to a blow up sex doll! Uugh!
Jane Rocks
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't make the mistake of reading this book in public. Everyone will think you're crazy. I have rarely laughed so much reading anything. It's very light but totally hilarious. After reading this I became a fan of Tom Sharpe and read more of his books. They are perfect if you are looking for light relief or need cheering up.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is the funniest book I have ever read.

I practically choked to death with laughter on a London Underground train long ago, unable to catch my breath from laughing.

Everyone stared at me and some knew the book and grinned. I calmed down eventually, re-opened the book and was off again almost on the floor with laughter.
Anthony Ryan
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Sharpe was arguably the most accomplished British humourist since PG Wodehouse 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 fantasising about killing his less than sympathetic wife, Eva. However, when Eva goes missing after a disastrous party in which Henry finds ...more
This is the story of Henry Wilt, who’s a chap not really content with his middle-class existence. Neither is his wife, Eva, who wishes he had a more prestigious job and a bit more ambition and so on. Wilt fantasises about murdering his wife, especially after she meets an odious American couple, Sally and Gaskell Pringsheim, who are into Sexual Freedom and Women’s Lib and all sorts of revolutionary new things. Wilt even goes so far as to “practice” Eva’s murder, while she is away with the ...more
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, reread
Imagine an academic novel written by the Monty Pythons and David Lodge and you will have an idea of this wonderful bit of comic fiction. Written in 1976, some of it is a bit dated, but for the most part it is still a wonderfully fresh sendup of domestic life in bottom level academia.

Henry Wilt is an Assistant Lecturer (Grade Two)at the Fenland College of Arts and Technology, teaching Candide and Lord of the Flies to Apprentice Gasfitters and Meatcutters as part of a government mandated
Huw Evans
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humour
The first Tom Sharpe I ever read - thanks to Ian who set me on the road to verbal perdition. This is a genius book and a hysterical read. His strengths are the use of dialogue and scene setting, both of which appear superficially normal and descend into mayhem very quickly. This was an embarrassing book to read, causing me to laugh so much I had to stop reading several times, and the theme of the underdog rising to the surface, hapless and helpless, is brilliant.
Kasa Cotugno
One of the funniest books I ever read. It and its sequel made me laugh out loud, as did other Sharpe books, and it's good to see it's taking on new life. Oddly, the BBC rendition, much like their Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, was surprisingly unfunny although faithful in both cases to the material.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The funniest book I've come across in which sex with a blow-up doll is a major theme. It's a genre I'm only marginally familiar with, so no doubt I'm missing all the nuances.

I know, a gap in my literary education. But you can't find time for everything.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever laughed so hard reading a book.
This is an outrageously funny novel.

The book is full of ridiculous circumstances that bring out the eccentricities in its characters.
And so consistently funny, oh God!

All of Dr. Board's dialogues deserve to be written down, remembered and laughed over again and again.

Tom Sharpe is truly the master of satire! I'm certainly going to read more of him and hopefully without choking myself out in the process.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've seen this book on every bookshelf in every second-hand/charity shop I visited and also read some good reviews so I thought I'd part with 50 cents and see what is all about. It's a British farce, not consistently funny, and a bit over-the-top but delightful nonetheless, fast and very well written. It's about this guy who's so disappointed with his life he finds a sort of escape in daydreaming of murdering his wife. Then she disappears and naturally becomes the prime suspect. It's good fun.
Jun 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my cup of tea
Gary M.
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book many many years ago when I was in my mid teens, and I remember loving it. I decided to revisit it as an adult but was slightly dubious. Would it be as good as I remembered? To be honest it was even better - most of the humour is broad enough for even a teenage reader to enjoy but there's a sophistication here that must have gone over my head years ago. I think with this re-reading I got more out the book. The book had me laughing like a loon several times and my heart was ...more
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FIVE STARS!!! NOT A STAR LESS! This book was uproariously hilarious! A must read for anyone wanting a good laugh. Tom Sharpe was a master British satirist, up until his unfortunate death in 2013. I have now read 3 books by him, and each as good as the last if not better. I also happen to own every book he has written, and plan to read all of them once if not twice or thrice!

Lewd, raunchy, and ludicrously comical are among the many words that can be used to describe this book and others. This one
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok I am on a bit of a Tom Sharpe run but this book introduced you Henry Wilt someone who you cannot help but feel is one of life's victims although some of it he does bring on himself - it is cutting, it is vulgar, it is insulting and you know you it is going to be hilarious but also just ever so slightly familiar.
I will not give away the situations he gets involved with but when his fantasies about killing out his wife suddenly and surprisingly take on a deranged reality you can imagine the
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it again after long - its still as hilarious as I remember it 10 years ago. Wilt used to be my favorite, especially once rejuvenated but this time I was flipping pages waiting for an appearance by the indelible Dr. Board. Sample this - "I've never had much sympathy with necrophilia before but I do begin to see its attractions now".

I still do think Wodehouse trumps Sharpe writing-wise. It could be since I do like laughing out aloud after plowing through the prolix. That, only the master
Pee-your-pants funny and just the kind of slapstick humour I like. This was No.1 in the Wilt series and I will be delving further into Henry Wilt's escapades.

However, be warned. This book is not for those who dislike swearing, crudity and scenes of a sexual nature. If you are broad-minded, though, add it to your TBR list. You'll be glad you did.
André Silva
To be honest, i found the book incredibly boring at the beginning. Now that i've finished it, i think it was well worthy or my time. I found it a bit too weird but at the same time the story works, and the writing style is great. Also, the development of Wilt throughout the book is interesting, and ironical. So, all in all, it's a decent read but certainly not a favourite of mine.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love love loved this book.

I was initially not sure if I would enjoy this but it's been a long time since I read a good purely comedic novel. Wilt is dark and funny and witty (the character and the book both btw). Would highly recommend this one. What a hidden gem. Thank you so much to the very special person who bought this for me.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. A book that starts slowly but really builds up a head of steam after 50 or so pages. Quite funny overall and hilarious in places. The writing is delightful and the scenarios well-concocted. A worthy read
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: portuguese, 2016, own
This was just what I needed! The non-sense of the situation Henry Wilt creates when plotting to kill his wife, the comments of his co-workers and his students, the situation his wife goes through... It was just what I needed!
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reí mil.
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of the best books I've ever read. Smart and clever, a book that literally makes you laugh out loud
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny, especially in the second half as the farce ramps up. Gobbled it up in two nights.
Gillian Black
Quite enjoyable not a book I would have normally read.
Andrew Fish
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If there's a theme to Wilt it is that of being trapped. Henry Wilt is trapped in a job teaching literature to unappreciative manual workers and a marriage to a flighty, egocentric force of nature in the shape of his wife Eva. When Eva drags him to a party thrown by a pair of maladjusted sex-mad Americans, Henry finds himself first trapped in a blow-up doll and then, when he disposes of the doll and his wife doesn't come home, he finds himself trapped in a police cell being interrogated about her ...more
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humerous, celever and very well written. I enjoyed this story very much.

It's about a rather depressed, anti-social individual named Henry wilt who is fed up with his job at tech which he has had for ten years in a row and his wife who he been married to for twelvs years and fantasizes about killing her regulary on walks with his dog. It is one night after a horrid party his wife dragged him to, he decides to but thoughts into action with a plastic doll he had been humiliated with at the very
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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 1951, doing social work and teaching in Natal, until deported in 1961.

His work in South Africa inspired the novels Riotous Assembly and Indecent Exposure. From 1963 until 1972 he was a History

Other books in the series

Wilt (5 books)
  • The Wilt Alternative (Wilt, #2)
  • Wilt On High (Wilt, #3)
  • Wilt In Nowhere (Wilt, #4)
  • The Wilt Inheritance (Wilt, #5)
“The man who said the pen was mightier than the sword ought to have tried reading "The Mill on the Floss" to Motor Mechanics.” 16 likes
“While he lived a violent life in his imagination, Eva, lacking any imagination at all, lived violently in fact.” 3 likes
More quotes…