One of the most impressive things about Wilt in Nowhere is that Tom Sharpe manages to go on being outrageous and funny after such a long career--after all, what does a satirist do when real world lifestyles and events exceed his wildest earlier inventions? The answer is, of course, that he just goes on making wonderful things up--this is the first novel about his quietly stroppy, lazy-as-hell college lecturer hero Wilt for 20 years, and Wilt is as funny in an era of e-mail and NHS cuts as he was back then.
There is also a gentle nostalgia in some of the writing here. Wilt's hike through the English countryside in early chapters has pastoral charm in patches as well as a sarcastic sense of rural dereliction. Sharpe's sense of rural American life is rather more broad-brush, but the damage inflicted on an obnoxious millionaire by Wilt's four terrifying daughters shows a sense of just how power works.
This is a gentler book than some of Sharpe's satires, but he still has all of his bitter irony intact; this is not the book of someone who has mellowed in later life. --Roz Kaveney [via]