Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: The End of the World. Maybe. by Jo Nesbo
|Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: The End of the World. Maybe. by Jo Nesbo|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The third in this wacky series of comedy adventures, and despite the unlikely source there is still a gentle side to the completely odd.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: April 2012|
|Publisher: Simon and Schuster|
If you put authors you least expect to diversify from more literary to children's works on a scale of one to ten, Jeanette Winterson must be a four, Ian McEwan a high eight, and Jo Nesbo, Nordic crime sensation de nos jours at least eleven. But this is now the third in the series of youthful, frivolous adventures, and this time the titular professor, diminutive smart Alec Nilly and Lisa (and their seven-legged spider) have to save the world.
Yes, the signs of infestation by moon chameleon are very slight, bar their habit of stealing socks and their inability to spell anything they're hiding camouflaged in front of. With the help of some awful hypnotism, they could be on track to take over us all and have us for breakfast. It's how the heroes can use the fart powder and a couple of other inventions to survive that trouble that makes for another entertaining narrative.
This being Jo Nesbo there is a very Scandinavian flavour, with some jokes - not all of which might translate - about Norwegian provincialism and so on. The hypnotism comes through a TV talent show, and whereas we would have a Simon Cowell figure as the baddy, here the crime is accomplished through patriotic choral singing.
The rest of the flavour is on the whole enjoyably flippant. The same dunderhead guards keep turning up, and in fact, nobody is completely sensible. Although there is less fart powder used here than in the first book in the series, there is a bit of scatological humour, enough to give some of this an edge to carry it a little beyond the tweenage audience.
On reflection, it might be a tad too long, even as the large print pages speed by. But I think this works in Nesbo's favour. He can be a little off-the-wall, a bit funny peculiar, and so the way he soothes us into his world is better done by his slow matter-of-factness. There's no particular welcoming, fond recap of who anyone is, so this is completely self-contained, and once again our acceptance of the characters and situations has to simmer. But it's a brew well worth the wait in the end.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy. We also have a review of Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: The End of the World. Maybe. by Jo Nesbo.
For further wackiness, we really enjoyed the humour in the pair of books beginning with The Monkey Pirates by Mark Skelton and Ben Redlich.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: The End of the World. Maybe. by Jo Nesbo at Amazon.com.
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