A sharp-witted, hilarious, and attention-grabbing array of stories and characters
The Book Commentary
Read the full review here
Reader reviews on Amazon.co.uk
Read all the Amazon reviews here
Very funny indeed. Pokes a sharp-witted finger at all those pre-war public school novels. There’s always a little twist in each of the stories that you just don’t see coming. I hope he writes more but in the meantime I shall read it again. Yeah, that good.
Witty and wonderful
Loved this book – just what is needed in these gloomy days. Full of zany characters, delectably painted with a highly tuned vocabulary in which adjectives bounce forth with eager delight. The glory of good writing and the height of imagination, along with the twists and turns of good story lines. Even the cover of the “hard copy” (I like a book which is pleasingly to hold, and this one definitely is) radiates quality. Love it. Thank you, fair author – more please!!!
Well-written stories, wonderland characters and very funny.
I really loved this book. Each story gave us something different, as we entered the world of these boys at Faysgarth.
A great bit of escapism in these troubled times. Do hope there will be a follow up.
Not only is this collection of stories absolutely hilarious, it also manages to be both poignant and politically apposite. Skimpton is a flawed hero: a champion sportsman but pretty hopeless at everything else.
In these times where the UK seems to be run by appalling public school bounders it’s great to see those privileged institutions taken apart with such style and wit.
Absolutely recommended reading!
A comprehensive survival guide to one of the country’s foremost minor public schools. Hilarious.
A series of wonderfully preposterous stories, ‘Skimpton’s Compendium’ is one of those books that — once read — you’ll find yourself buying for others. It’s a highly colourful and comic world: a world of spectacular sporting miracles and hare-brained schemes, of love-to-hate villains (Marcus Dent) and unlikely heroes.
Not many authors can throw adjectives around like Biggins and get away with it, but he does. It’s bonkers, barmy and comprehensively triumphant.
Most books set against this backdrop of the English public school languish in a fug of complacent nostalgia whilst recreating the arcane world of Jennings, Bunter, et al. Biggins, on the other hand, carves out his world with a rage-fuelled chisel, refined with smaller cuts from a wickedly cruel scalpel.
It won’t please everyone, but perhaps the people it doesn’t are the ones who should be compelled to read it.
This is a hugely entertaining read. A very clever pastiche of the Tom Brown’s Schooldays and Boy’s Adventures type of book, with an affectionate nod to Wodehouse. It’s well written, the characters are sharply defined, and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments. I loved it. I’ll look forward to more from this author.
Riotous, witty and immensely enjoyable
An hilarious, anarchic array of adventures encompassing the inmates of a minor public school, led by their sporting hero, at the mercy of an eccentric cast of misfits. Sheer delight from start to finish. Beautifully and eloquently written. Heartily recommended.
A cautionary tale of privilege indulged
So much more than a witty pastiche, highly recommended.
Absurd, clever but above all funny
A laugh-out-loud read, I loved this. Even though it’s all about public school boys and sport, it’s not just for blokes, because it’s so well written and funny. It’s a cross between PG Wodehouse and Billy Bunter, with the hero Skimpton getting into ridiculous scrapes and adventures, and up against bullies, stupid teachers, dim policemen and all sorts of criminals and ne-er-do-wells, and coming out on top thanks to his sporting prowess, his brains and his sheer niceness. One to give your mates for Christmas.
Just as I remember books at school.