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.