Today I am delighted to be sharing my review of Let The Swine Go Forth as part of the blog tour. It is written with thanks to Auriel Roe for inviting me to join the blog tour, and for my copy of the book.
Out of the blue, vain and naive former drama teacher, Tristram Randolph, is offered the job of headmaster at a new school in Diskebapisbad, dysfunctional capital of a despotic post-Soviet state. Little does he know– although the signs are obvious to all but him– that the school is the pet project of the ruthless president’s spoilt daughter. Randolph hires a motley crew of teachers, each of whom embodies one of the seven deadly sins. Swineforth International, a franchise of a third rate public school in England, is built on a half-finished campus in the desert. The food is appalling and there’s no escape as the foreign faculty have had their passports retained. When inspectors Swainson and Dare arrive from Swineforth in England, their grave reservations about the new school and Randolph’s ability to manage it are confirmed. Matters come to a head when a revolution breaks out, the school is shut down and Randolph is accused of aiding and abetting the rebellion. His only hope now lies in winning a presidential pardon by giving the performance of a lifetime as a pantomime dame.
Having enjoyed A Blindefellow’s Chronicle last year, I jumped at the chance to read and review Let The Swine Go Forth. This new novel is not a collection of anecdotes in the same way in that it does follow a linear (ish) pattern, but there are still plenty of opportunities to get to know the central characters and immerse yourself in the life of the new school. The incidents that are retold in Let The Swine Go Forth range from the sublime to the ridiculous, but the writing style is so matter of fact that I could not help but find them amusing. Roe has flair for an acronym and these only enhance the humour throughout the novel.
Although he is a superb central character in his own right, Tristram Randolph is supported by a colourful cast. They each have a flaw based on one of the seven deadly sins, and whilst this means they are not always likeable, they are wonderfully observed and provide plenty of humour. We are also introduced to Tristram’s parents, and it is easy to see where his tendency for the dramatic comes from!
As Let The Swine Go Forth reaches its conclusion, the action does become more tense and I was intrigued as to where the plot would go. There are also clear political undertones which gave me food for thought as I was reading.
I am interested to find out what Roe will do next!
Let The Swine Go Forth is available from Amazon.