Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Ineffective Satire

Riotous Assembly (Piemburg, #1)Riotous Assembly 
by Tom Sharpe

"Piemburg's mediocrity was venomous  and waited gently on events." (p 4)

I usually try to find something good to say about a book that I have read. It was difficult with this novel by Tom Sharpe. The book is humorous for about one chapter and the rest is downhill as the satire becomes so heavy-handed that is loses its effectiveness. The rest of my review must of necessity be a litany of problems. From the lack of character development to a plot that is notable only in its weakness this novel is a bit of a disaster.

I spent several weeks in South Africa in the late seventies and I thought I learned a little about the country. However the setting of Riotous Assembly, the fictional town of Piemburg, did not resemble the country I visited. I am unable to come up with an excuse for the caricatures that inhabit Riotous Assembly. It is with almost no reluctance that I suggest you avoid this book.

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Brian Joseph said...

I also usually find things of value even in flawed books.

But there are cases where such a endeavor is hopeless.

James said...


This was a very rare occurrence in my reading life. If not for the book group I would have not finished the book. In fact I probably would not have picked it up in the first place.