This is the third book in the ‘Doctor Proctor Fart Powder’ series and fans of the Doctor and his young partners-in-crime-solving Lisa and Nilly (the former an apparently normal looking girl with braids, the latter a teensy-weensy little boy with freckles) will know what to look forward to: there’s something nasty in the sewers underneath Oslo, something set on world domination. Only the ingenuity and courage of our unlikely band of heroes can save the people of Norway and the rest of the world from a future as breakfast.
The titles of the books promise the gross humour that is familiar from lots of current children’s fiction and indeed non-fiction, and there’s much here that is delightfully rude, gross and ridiculous – the action is powered by super-strength farts after all; it turns out that the aliens in the sewers look like baboons, their rear ends full of haemorrhoids.
There’s much more to the books than this, however, including parody, satire, and some very witty dialogue; no matter how crazy the plot (and 464 pages allows for a lot of plot) the story retains its own rationality and logic. The book fizzes with inventiveness and intelligence. Adults too will appreciate the swipes at politicians, and the monarchy, while Abba and the Beatles come in for a bit of a pasting too. And it’s hard to see how anyone could resist a book of Animals You Wish Didn’t Exist (aka A.Y.W.D.E.)
Nesbø is an international bestseller for his Harry Hole thrillers but the Doctor Proctor books bring to mind that other Norwegian bestseller, Roald Dahl.