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Summary

To Porterhouse College, Cambridge, famous for rowing, low academic standards. and a proud cuisine, comes a new Master, an ex-grammar-school boy, demanding Firsts, women students, a self-service canteen, and a slot-machine for contraceptives. There is considerable opposition to this challenge to the established order, in the form of Skullion, the intransigent porter at Porterhouse, who is determined that the hallowed traditions of the College will never change.
©2014 Audible, Inc. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Porterhouse Blue

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic British farce and a glimpse in time.

This book is a classic British farce and full of beautiful language that illustrates the very essence of British bigotry and pomp. Be prepared for a roller coaster of humour alongside an avalanche of discomfort. The language and prejudice of the time is perfectly summarised in this book. Just as Skullion somehow loves and loathes his position in life, this book both celebrates condems and what it means to be British.

13 people found this helpful

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Others were better

Struggled to finish this book. The narration didn't work for me. I've really enjoyed his books in the past though

5 people found this helpful

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Good in parts

Hasn't aged well, very much of its time I suppose. Narrated well on the whole but certain sections were unintelligible

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

A beautiful reading of a great story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5 people found this helpful

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Tom Sharpe at his Prime

Where does Porterhouse Blue rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a funny and enjoyable romp that has not dated. Tom Sharpe livened up my teens and it was great to revisit an old friend. Griff's reading is enjoyable and he reads with a relish for the extreme situations the story conjurs up. Just wish the S.African novels and the Thriwback were available.

What other book might you compare Porterhouse Blue to, and why?

Tom Sharpe is unique! It is just a shame his later books lost the mad excess of Wilt, The Throwback and the glorious S.African books.

What about Griff Rhys Jones’s performance did you like?

There was a juicy relish to his reading. The Chaplin especially was excellent. He didn't tire and it worked well throughout. Many thanks. Tom would have loved the reading

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Only to tears of laughter. Inflated condoms up the chimney!!!

Any additional comments?

Buy, listen and enjoy!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Sharpe's gift for satire and sermonic illustration is blistering in this tale, which predicts the evisceration of education by way of Porterhouse, a Cambridge college for the production of Gentlemen, a distinct class of rugged sons of a certain class naturally superior as England is to other nations, and whose success at Porterhouse has nothing to do with ability but position and privilege, Cambridge being able to award degree passes on its own evaluation without the need for the student to sit any exam. It's hard not to draw the parallel with current 'egalitarian' education and the provision of degrees through such means as modular assessment and final exams providing a lower provision to one's overall achievement, thus critics insist educational standards are much lower than when education was conceived as the pursuit of a distinct academic class. Certainly Thatcher's removal of tenure put paid to the notion that experience matters and now academics are like any entertainers 'only as good as their las gig' or book. Over against this is that majority whose dreams are small, desiring only to have a role and some comfortable certainties, which it is ever the desire of progress to rend or destroy, out with the old indeed, and Sharpe has Skullion who in pursuit of only what he once knew humble himself before the very Master who would destroy all he cherished, to become both his unwilling destruction and then supplant him. Skullion as the Master of Porterhouse sits a victim of its famous Blue. The very symbol of its impotent determination to linger on though the spirit which once animated its institutions is but that laconic nostalgia which the former Master railed against, an English dis-ease indeed.

3 people found this helpful

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Hilarious


Superb story.
Mostly good but some of GRJs characters a bit grating. Was difficult to discern between them at some stages.

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Porterhouse Blue hilarious

Of course i loved the book. Very similar to real life university. Absolutely brilliant read

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very witty

excellent story brought to life by Griff RysJones. took a bit of getting used to the speed of his voice though

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Overacted!

good book spoilt by Gryff Rhys Jones weird accents... don't know why he's done it like this.
Otherwise a really good laugh.

4 people found this helpful

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  • maxwell
  • 16-08-10

enjoyable satire

Wonderfully narrated satire.Tom sharpe is a clever writer and the narrator did a fantastic job of bringing the work to life. Somehow he micked the whole British class system with all of it's arrogance and crusty ignorance.I was actually dissappointed when it ended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 22-01-13

Laugh out loud funny

Would you listen to Porterhouse Blue again? Why?

yes, to catch anything I might have missed the first time.

What other book might you compare Porterhouse Blue to and why?

other Tom Sharpe work

What does Griff Rhys Jones bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

character

Any additional comments?

I listened to this author for the first time traveling in tandem with other family members on the way to a funeral.. several hundred miles, through several states. They looked on in wonder trying to figure out why I was laughing so hard at such a sober, and sad event . Just another great piece of work by this man. All of his early work is a must have for me, in print as well as audible..

3 people found this helpful

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  • ernest drown
  • 01-01-15

Laugh your a** off!

A masterfully brilliant reading of one of the funniest books ever penned in the English language. A delight throughout; as good as Amis's Lucky Jim, which would be a good addition, btw.

2 people found this helpful

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  • AmazonShopper_Kate
  • 26-04-19

Great narrator but not really funny

A little boring but maybe just over my head. Great narrator though a little tough with the female voices. But that’s to be expected

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  • Dub
  • 29-06-16

why does it say optional if it is required

good stuff good stuff good stuff good stuff stuff hey dim diddly fun dum that was porterhouse