In this hysterically funny book, we are back in the 1970s. Bad taste in clothes and free love is the backdrop to the story of Henry Wilt, a demoralized and professionally under-rated assistant lecturer who teaches literature to uninterested construction apprentices at a community college in the south of England. Wilt, tied to a daft job and a domineering wife, has just been passed over for promotion yet again. With no prospect of promotion or success, Wilt spends his days dreaming of killing his wife in various gruesome ways. But a string of unfortunate events – including being stuck in an inflatable plastic female doll – start Wilt on a farcical journey. Wilt finds himself in several embarrassing positions: Eva stalks out in stratospheric dudgeon, and Wilt, under the inspiration of gin, puts one of his more vindictive fantasies into effect. But suspicions are instantly aroused and Wilt rapidly achieves an unenviable notoriety in the role of The Man Helping Police With Their Enquiries. Or is he exactly helping? Wilt’s problem – although he’s on the other side of the fence – is the same as Inspector Flint’s: where is Eva Wilt? As the story progress, Wilt finds humiliation and chaos, which ultimately lead him to discover his own strengths and some level of dignity. And all the while he is pursued by the tenacious police inspector Flint, whose plodding skills of detection and deduction interpret Wilt’s often bizarre actions as heinous crimes.
Tom Sharpe is an English satirical author. Born in London, he was educated at Bloxham School, Lancing and Pembroke College, Cambridge. After spending some years in South Africa, he returned to England as a history lecturer at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology – finding inspiration for “Wilt”. After the success of the initial Wilt novel, Sharpe continued with ” The Wilt Alternative” in 1978, ” Wilt On High” in 1984 and a further four Wilt books (the latest of which is The Wilt Alternative in2011). He currently lives in Llafranc, Catalonia, where he according to himself is “busy not learning the language”.