Crime or children’s?

Who’d have thought that my Jo Nesbø debut would be with a book about farting?

There I was, peacefully reading Hallandsposten, when I came across a review of Jo Nesbø’s Doktor Proktors Pruttpulver, or Doctor Proctor’s Farting Powder, as it’s to be called in English.

I used to believe that Jo was a woman (understandable), and Danish. Then I found out that she is a he and Norwegian. Close. I mentioned my misunderstandings to Håkan Nesser last year, and he found it amusing and said he’d tell Jo. Hope he forgot.

Where was I? Review. Yes. I took myself off to the library to see if they had it. The librarian said she had it in her room, as it wasn’t ‘ready’ yet, but very kindly offered to have it prepared for me so I could pick it up two days later.

So. Very funny story. Someone on the internet compared Jo to Roald Dahl, but I was thinking more Philip Ardagh. Intelligently written and very amusing, aiming mostly at little boys, rather than old women, I imagine. There is a whiff of Pippi Longstocking, too.

Set in Oslo just before the 17th May, which is a Very Important Day in Norway. Parades, fireworks, sausage-eating and ice cream all over the place. Lise’s best friend has just moved away, when the very tiny Bulle moves in. Together they meet their slightly odd neighbour Doctor Proktor. The good doctor has invented a farting powder. Actually, I believe he tried to invent something useful, but ended up with farting powder instead.

Jo Nesbø has come up with a fun story which includes NASA and a giant anaconda and various rats, Norwegian and otherwise. And trumpet playing.

As the good newspaper reviewer said, I wish writers would stop making the bad children in books be the fat ones. But other than that, an absolutely wonderful book. Having put google to good use, I know that the English translation will be available in the new year, and that there is a second Doctor Proktor story already.

It’s nice to see that ‘grown-up’ writers can do well on the children’s front, too.

10 responses to “Crime or children’s?

  1. With a name like Jo I would know that I wouldn´t know which sex it was, if you understand. But Danish? No way. Joan or John, but not Jo.

    I must try to get my hands on one of his children´s books. If people can write proper books for grown-ups, they may also be able to write a reasonable children´s book.

  2. Nesbø with an ø is at a quick glance either country for me. Hence the Danish idea. Jo for a female is simply the English language influence. Jo is a woman when Joe is a man. Which is how this Jo changed sex and country so easily.

  3. “After the Goat Man” had a fat kid as a hero in it. I actually don’t think there was really a specific bad guy though, just differing perspectives.

  4. “There is a whiff of Pippi Longstocking, too”

    you mean…in Doctor Proctor’s Farting Powder?

  5. Of course I can understand while you thought he was Danish even though I think Norway or the Faroe Islands with the ending ´bø´. And I wish he were Danish as we have so little crime fiction of the same quality as Sweden and Norway.

  6. Marco – when I wrote the word ‘whiff’ I knew it was going to come back and haunt me. That’s what it’s like being a witch.

    Actually, I believe the powder was quite fragrant. They eat it, you know. They enjoy it.

    I’ll stop now…

  7. Lovely post – the book sounds great and I’m now going to go to work with a smile on my face and thoughts of farting, so thank you for that. Let’s hope my work colleagues don’t notice…

  8. I have the solution to your commuting problems, Donna. Avoid snakes and saw wielding Neds by careful use of farting powder to – hopefully – propel you from A to B and back again.

  9. Pingback: post-vacation review round-up « Scandinavian Crime Fiction

  10. Pingback: No Jo for me | Bookwitch

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