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Seventy-Two Virgins is a comic political novel, with similar appeal to Stephen Fry or Ben Elton, written by one of Britain's most popular politicians. It is Boris Johnson's first novel and was widely acclaimed on publication. The American President, on a State Visit to Britain is giving a major address to a top-level audience in Westminster Hall. Ferocious security - with some difficulties in communication - is provided by a joint force of the United States Secret Service and Scotland Yard. The best sharpshooters from both countries are stationed on the roof of the Parliament buildings. Then a stolen ambulance runs into trouble with the Parking Authorities. A hapless Member of Parliament, having mislaid his crucial pass, is barred from Westminster, his bicycle regarded as a potential lethal weapon. And a man going by the name of Jones, although born in Karachi, successfully slips through the barriers, and whole new ball game starts. Despite the united efforts of the finest security minds, events begin to spin out of control. A remarkable new worldwide reality television show dominates the airwaves. And the most unlikely heroes emerge...
frightening in the place one doesn’t expect it. She emitted the kind of noise you might hear from some tumbledown outside privy in Italy, where a well-brought-up girl has secluded herself on a hot day, and looked down to see a snake coiled in the bowl below. The Arab straightened up. The crack in his skirts disappeared, and he was probing her with his brown eyes when they were interrupted. Hermanus Van Cornelijus was here, his thinning grey hair still wet from the sponge, and a band-aid on his
the world would have been bleak indeed.’ Bleak indeed! thought Sir Perry Grainger, who fancied himself as a bit of a rhetorician and never turned down an invitation to debate at the Oxford Union: that was a bit of a diminuendo, that wasn’t exactly a climax for his ascending tricolon. But it was consonant with the general crapness of the speech, he thought. Sir Perry was out of sorts. It had been embarrassing enough to present the leader of the free world with a Toby jug, worse to find the
corner, along the corridor, he was starting to feel that burning sensation you get in your lungs at the end of a cross-country run. The soles of his shoes were leather and he found it hard to gain traction on the polished tiles. His coat flapped, his shirt tails came out, his spongy elastic cufflink exploded, his cuffs waved in the air, and his tie slip-streamed behind him. In the fond imagination of one Commons secretary who crossed his path he had the air of a man who had just burst through a
the breast of that old matelot as he spied the coast of Newfoundland. He was disappointed. Heath did not seem to like America much. The White House researcher did not bother to consult the oeuvre of Major or Wilson or Callaghan on the ground that any citation would lack the necessary uplift, and everyone had frankly forgotten about Sir Alec Douglas Home. So it was with a joyful cry that late one night in the West Wing a bright intern called Dee came upon the following emetic passage recited by
keeping his eyes travelling around the crowd. ‘Soon, may it please Allah.’ Haroun listened to the change in the note of the helicopter that had been hovering above them, and then saw a shadow pass over the south window as the Black Hawk descended. ‘And then do you know what Big Food puts in your cocktail sausage, Mr President? Even in the ones you serve in the White House? They put tons of sugar and salt and a load of bread crusts to make it hold water. It’s disgusting, it’s evil, it’s’ —