The title says it all: Barry Trotter and the Unnecessary Sequel
is Michael Gerber's needless follow-up to Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody
. Who needs a second raucous spoof of Harry Potter? Ask Mr Gerber's publishers and bank manager...
Boy wizard Barry Trotter is now 38 and long married to his over-achieving schoolmate Ermine. With serious hairline problems and two kids (Nigel and Fiona), he's grown quite chummy with his old nemesis Lord Valumart, and is a far cry from the idealised Barry in bestsellers by "JG Rollins":
Not that Barry was a bad fellow--he was always ready to tell a fictitious story, dispense bad advice or lend an inexpert hand. It's just that he was sort of a loose cannon. A very loose, very, very big cannon that fired nuclear-tipped artillery shells. Into heavily populated areas. At dinner time.
Now it's young Nigel's turn to endure "The Obligatory Train-Platform Chapter" and become a first-year pupil at the famous wizarding school Hogwash, while his parents tag along for the old students' reunion. Gerber has fun sending up the lake journey, the banquet, the Sorting (sorry, Picking) Hat and other familiar props.
When the current Headmaster comes to a very messy end, it has to be foul play, probably by the author. Barry unwisely takes over as interim head, while Nigel suffers squalid agonies at the bottom of the Hogwash pecking order. The mystery grows deeper, also ruder and grosser, as Barry himself is cursed with "youthanasia"--doomed to become forever younger until he painfully implodes into nothingness. A badly disguised "stranger" on the Hogwash staff is evidently implicated, but as usual our chums are too busy suspecting Professor Snipe...
The farrago lurches onward until, at last: "This is the part in the book where the villain explains his plan!" En route, Unnecessary Sequel offers more sleaze, innuendo, cheap shots, bad taste and bodily fluids than you could shake a broomstick at. If you enjoyed what Bored of the Rings did to Tolkien, you'll enjoy this as outrageous, irreverent fun. --David Langford
About the Author
Michael Gerber is an American humour writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, The Wall Street Journal and on Saturday Night Live.