cover image Indecent Exposure

Indecent Exposure

Tom Sharpe. Atlantic Monthly Press, $14 (247pp) ISBN 978-0-87113-142-3

Set in South Africa, this broad, brutal farce begins when AfrikaansKommandant van Heerden, chief of police in the little town of Piemburg, takes a short vacation. While he indulges his Anglophile tendencies by trying to ingratiate himself with some would-be upper-class Britons, Liutenantthis is Afrikaans spelling Verkramp decides to make his part of South Africa safe from the communist threat once and for all. This he undertakes by blowing up the town's main facilities and by arresting and torturing the main citizens. Then, upon the suggestion of libidinous psychiatrist Dr. von Blimenstein, Verkramp subjects all police officers to aversion therapy to keep them away from black women. The experiment goes awry, and the police force becomes homosexual. Called back from his vacation after cuckolding his host on a fox hunt, van Heerden finds Piemburg a shambles and a raving mad Verkramp about to marry Dr. von Blimenstein. In the apocalyptic climax, van Heerden saves face with his superiors while exacting revenge on his snobbish former hosts. This timely satire will strike readers either as hilarious or beside the point. (April)