Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff

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Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Satire of the US justice system with flavours of Dickens, Heller and even Woody Allen. Funny, surreal and, above all, pointed.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 268 Date: February 2016
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press
ISBN: 978-1681141978

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Leopold Plotkin finds himself in some very hot water when he initiates the Mud Crisis. Leopold inherited the family butcher's shop and he is a very good and skilled butcher. But he doesn't like people watching him work and is generally lacking in social skills. The shop's trade suffers and Leopold decides to cover the window with mud so that no-one can see inside.

Bad move! His fellow citizens in The Republic see this as an affront to capitalism. Protests ensue. Protests grow and become rowdy. And Leopold, as the instigator, is arrested and thrown into the Purgatory House of Detention to await trial. And if the house of detention is bad, the trial is worse. Lined up against poor Leopold is a biased jury, a judge who thinks he's working for the prosecution, hysterical news reporting, and anything else you can think of. And in his corner sits only a lawyer who has never before seen the inside of a courtroom.

It's unlikely to go well...

Oh, my. I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed Something Is Rotten in Fettig. It's glorious, it really is. It's surreal and high-spirited and such good fun to read. But more than that, it's also so detailed. This is a satire of the American legal system and it lampoons every stereotype from hang 'em high judges to desperate-to-convict juries via bail prisons and dramatic opening and closing speeches. Being British, I may have missed a target or two but even if I have, there was something to recognise and laugh at on every single page.

I loved the character names, which are Dickensian in their whimsicality.I loved the slapstick and the absurdism. I loved the speed of it all but also that the hectic pace still took care over the clever touches, such as the standard of proof beyond a nagging doubt and a trial's opening speech becoming an opening rant. And I was rooting for sad, awkward little Leopold Plotkin with everything I had.

Something Is Rotten in Fettig is hilarious. Honestly, it is. It's serious and its satire is, as all good satire should be, saying something important and timely about the US justice system. But lessons are best learned when there is laughter involved and this novel, with its flavours of Dickens, Heller and Woody Allen, provides a great deal of laughter.

Recommended.

And if you want something else that's both very American and very funny, look no further than Fup by Jim Dodge.

You can read more about Jere Krakoff here

Booklists.jpg Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff is in the Top Ten Self-Published Books 2016.
Buy Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Something Is Rotten in Fettig: A Satire by Jere Krakoff at Amazon.com.


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