Vintage Stuff

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Vintage Stuff is a novel of British comic writer Tom Sharpe which was written and originally published in 1982.[1] Set in Groxbourne, a parody of Bloxham School where Sharpe received his education, the novel follows the (mis)adventures of Peregrine Clyde-Brown.

Plot summary[edit]

Peregrine Roderick Clyde-Brown is a guileless and dim-witted teenager, who takes every phrase or word spoken to him literally. This is where the author displays his skill in playing with the English language, His attorney father (wishing to get rid of him) and his mother (having high hopes on him as a 'late bloomer') finally manage to get him admitted to a boarding private school called Groxbourne. In a school, asynchronous to its surrounding, Peregrine's tendency for unflinchingly taking orders and having negligible individual thought (and his becoming a crack shot on the school's rifle range) seem perfect for a promising career in the British Army. It is here at Groxbourne that Peregrine meets Gerald Glodstone, a teacher like others in the school, whose teaching methods involve using the cane, but who is also addicted to early- and pre-twentieth century adventure fiction. After Glodstone drags the loyal and obedient boy off to France on a seemingly romantic quest to rescue a French countess (a "quest" set into motion by another Groxbourne teacher who hates Glodstone), Peregrine ends up storming a French castle where he commits havoc and even murder, the effects of which would span countries and affect everyone around him.

Critical reception[edit]

"When Tom Sharpe turns his attention to a very minor public school- the result is predictably savage. Hoaxes, chases, car crashes, shootings, and general mayhem. Wicked riotous humour" (Daily Telegraph)

"Wildly hilarious pot-shots at the public school system and the sacred cows of adventure fiction" (Observer)

"You'll enjoy this wild and, in places, wildly funny story- It is all an hilarious send-up of the Dornford Yates style of thriller with some modernistic Sharpe barbs added" (Daily Express)

"One of our best contemporary comic writers- very, very funny" (Birmingham Evening Mail)

"Excellently funny" (Auberon Waugh, Daily Mail)


  1. ^ Sharpe, Tom (2002). Vintage Stuff. London: Arrow Books. ISBN 9780099435549.

1. Spectator news. Retrieved February 13, 2016 2. Book review, Retrieved February 13, 2016 3. Book review, Retrieved February 13, 2016