Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Porterhouse Blue

by Tom Sharpe

“Tom Sharpe masters a staggering range of effect, from the bawdy to the sublime.” –Sonja Bolle, Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 224
  • Publication Date April 30, 1989
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3279-6
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $17.00

About The Book

The basis of a PBS miniseries, Porterhouse Blue confirms that Tom Sharpe is “an excellent writer and absolutely hilarious. His characterizations are deft, his plots are brilliant, and his prose style is smooth and winning” (P.J. O’Rourke).

To Porterhouse College–bastion of a formidable crew team, lavish dining hall and wine cellar, and laughable academic standards–comes a crusading new Master. Porterhouse alumni believe in manly sports, the royal family, and brandy in the library with a fervor they bring to few intellectual positions. And the college upholds a long tradition of granting degrees to a certain number of muttonheaded young gentlemen of enviable pedigree and adequate family contribution to the school’s treasury.

The new Master, afire with liberal zeal, upsets everyone’s digestion with a speech outlining plans to do things that simply aren’t done: the admission of women, a cafeteria to replace the revered service of the kitchens, and contraceptive dispensers in every bathroom. The shock of the new and modern rattles even the college retainers. The head porter, Skullion, perhaps the staunchest supporter of the old way, rallies some powerful graduates to the cause, including the illustrious Canon Bowel and the madly wealthy–and plain mad–Sir Cathcart D’Eath. Their counterrevolutionary efforts result, among other peculiar events, in the most bizarre disaster seen at Cambridge in five hundred years, and in an escalation of threats, bluffs, and maneuvers to shame the shadiest of politicians. And the production of an investigative documentary on the strange doings at Porterhouse precipitates scandal of the highest order and an utterly unforeseeable conclusion.

Tags Humorous


“Terrific. It is light years since I read anything so original.” –P.G. Wodehouse

“The funniest writer in English today.” –The Washington Post Book World

“The plotting cannot be faulted. Fates, schemes, and antithetical points of view and purposes smoothly collide on every page.” –The New Yorker

“Malevolent, nasty and supremely funny.” –Ann Waldron, New York Post

“Tom Sharpe masters a staggering range of effect, from the bawdy to the sublime.” –Sonja Bolle, Los Angeles Times Book Review


Selected as one of Time Out‘s 1,000 Books to Change Your Life