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Sometimes what every reader needs is a book that will make them laugh uncontrollably. Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder did just that for me, and I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to read it, as it's not something I would have bought myself.

Nesbo's story of an eccentric inventor and a boy with a very small head was originally published in his native Norway in 2007, and has finally been flawlessly translated into English. It's stylishly illustrated by Mike Lowery, with the drawings being quite simple, but very effective. Nilly really does look like the world's smallest boy when compared to bullies Truls and Trym, and his shock of red hair on the cover image gives you a fantastic idea of what this little inventor-in-waiting looks like.

The plot is funny and random, with a hint of the weird thrown in when a giant anaconda turns up in the Norwegian sewer system. It has big teeth, and a name and everything (Anna Conda, heehee!) -- scary or what? Thankfully, Nilly isn't scared of what's lying in wait underground and, after much deliberation and a brush with death, he finds himself well on the way to saving the day. It just shows that small people can be just as brave as others, and Nilly is a great way to prove that point.

I really enjoyed Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder, much to my (and everyone else's) surprise. I chuckled my way through it, wished someone near me would invent something so fun, and am now looking forward to reading the future adventures of Doctor Proctor, Nilly and Lisa. I wonder what they'll come up with next?!
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on 20 March 2014
On the back of the ‘Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder’ written by Jo Nesbø is the claim that this is the story of a fart. And that is the truth.

But the prejudice that Nesbø used a vulgar and meaningless way to attract attention reader should leave aside. This is a high quality and very tense novel for children and young teenagers for which ridiculous physiological human need served only as a very good teaser for even better story.

Jo Nesbø, the Norwegian writer known for his world-wide popular thriller books, came into children's literature with eccentric figure of the old Doctor Proctor and so far he wrote four novels about his lucid inventions.

A redhead Nilly is a tiny boy who moved to Oslo and in his new neighborhood he will become close with a girl Lisa and senior Doctor Proctor, an unusual scientist who for years unsuccessfully is trying to patent his unusual inventions. Trying to blend medicine for hay fever, Dr. Proctor quite accidentally invented the substance that provokes blowing unbelievable strong “winds”, though fortunately they don’t stink. Nilly and Lisa will become Dr. Proctor assistants, but guardians as well when his loved experiments someone will attempt to steal...

Winds blowing in children's literature came with the book BFG (‘Big Friendly Giant’) written by Roald Dahl, whose characters, with the help of bubbling potion were belching and blubbering on their backside. Not at all vulgar, Nesbø has used same ridiculous motif to attract children's attention and on it built an elaborate plot that would, no doubt, look good in the animated version.

Peculiar boy characters such as Greg Heffley and Horrid Henry recently became favorites among young readers and Nilly fits perfectly into this trend. The lack of height he successfully compensates with his sarcastic attitude and frequent, but polite conflicts with authorities.

The frayed motif of unusual scientist and children that helps him didn’t hurt well-made story that reveal some interesting details about Norway as well as the shortcomings of the police system for which the author couldn’t withstood not to mock. Parallel plot that follows the exciting life of an underground sewage in Oslo, through which dangerous creatures are going, contributes to a sense of tension, and the author at the very end successfully links that part of plot to the primary story.

Nesbø, above all, wants to make laugh his young readers but he didn’t neglect providing the lessons. Discretely and intermittently he gives advices about life, justice and friendship, not leaving the novel entirely for ridiculous and suggestive names of characters and Proctor inventions, but provides an exceptional story. The humor is not slowing down from start to finish, and eccentric characters, fluent text and engaging storytelling skills give the impression that Nesbø really successfully sailed into the waters of children's literature.

Therefore, I’m sure that novels about Dr. Proctor audience will receive with the same enthusiasm as Nesbø’s mystery thrillers.

Pencil sketched illustrations with an emphasis on the expression of emotion and humorous details were signed by Per Dybvig.
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This book starts a bit awkwardly, but then the author, (a very successful adult mystery writer just now venturing into the middle grade genre), sort of gets his middle grade writing sea legs and the fantastical adventure story that follows is funny, creative and entertaining.

The first few chapters are all over the place. The tone is sometimes cutesy and arch - the writing equivalent of sing-songy - and there is a touch of ironical detachment that I suspect might be off-putting for a young reader. But then, like a swimmer getting into cold water, the author seems to get comfortable, commits whole-heartedly to the endeavor, and begins swimming about quite nicely.

Our heroes, brainy Lisa and puckish Nilly, are very engaging characters and complement each other nicely. They are bright, resourceful and stalwart, and are well served by the dry and slightly deadpan tone that the author finally settles on. We have a bullying adult villain who cries out for a deserved comeuppance from the very first and his two dim sons, whose fates are suggested by the titular fart powder. When you add a pleasantly mad scientist and then let the plot drift into adventure/fantasy, well that does turn out to be a formula for success.

This is not your standard "fart" book, in that not all, (or even most), of the jokes are based on the repetition of fart jokes, butt jokes, and other toilet humor. That's there, of course, but there is also dry and clever humor aplenty, as well as some charming moments and a few especially sly jokes to entertain adults and older readers.

So, all in all, an entertaining and well written and sly adventure that becomes more and more engaging as it progresses. You will grow very fond of our two heroes as you follow their story.
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"Shall words of wind have an end?" -- Job 16:3 (NKJV)

A new boy who is very tiny (named Nilly, which rhymes with "silly") soon runs afoul of two bullies (Truls and Trym). A friendship with a neighbor girl, Lisa, leads to learning about a miraculous powder that an inventor (Doctor Proctor) has created. Fascinated by the potential, Nilly is soon trying the limits . . . with truly impressive results.

References to outrageous flatulence and related humor definitely amuse a lot of young boys (and more than a few young girls). Those who are serious readers and enjoy such humor eventually discover Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, probably around age 13. It's a big book, filled with outrageous humor that goes beyond windy references.

Before that, most youngsters want to get their humor in smaller doses. Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder may seem like more content than they seek relative to the amount of outrageous humor.

The story in many ways is a simplified version of one of Jo Nesbo's excellent detective stories. There are a lot of plot threads here that tie together in more ways than one would expect.

For a youngster who wants an amusing story to go with the humor, the idea of outwitting bullies will appeal, I'm sure.

I suspect that the book will mostly disappoint those who want to see the humor keep progressing. By mid-book, the reader has a fairly full sense of the intent to develop the humor and won't have too much in the way of nice surprises remaining along that line.

But if your youngster has run out of humorous books to read about flatulence, definitely give this one a go. Its length may be a blessing in disguise in terms of stretching out that eternal age-related pleasure of finding flatulence to be very funny.
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on 4 January 2016
I think the author must've thought that if you put the word 'Fart' in a book title, that children will enjoy it.
The title appeals to reluctant readers, and the widely spaced text makes the book look like an easy read. It's not easy though - the writing is, in my opinion, long-winded and difficult to follow, for that target audience.
The story tells of a scientist, who invents a Fart Powder strong enough to make you lift off into the air (and eventually, strong enough for astronauts to use)
Not one I recommend at school (secondary school)
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on 28 June 2015
My husband brought our eldest child the 3'rd doctor Procter book last year. He brought it because my husband likes Jo nesbo's books.I thought it was a great idea until I read the title. our child was instanly hooked. for Christmas he got 4 and 2 and for his birth day he got the first book. he is now begging to go see the film.I think that this book is a good read and according to my son it is off the scale funny! I would recommend this book to people who enjoy strange storys and have a good sence of humour.
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on 12 October 2011
I bought this book for my younger grandson, a twelve year old ,not a big reader, though he does enjoy a good story , the idea was that as I enjoy the book,s by jo nesbo , (he slips in some quirky humour into his Harry Hole stories) and Liam has a good sense of humour, he might enjoy dipping into this book now and then, Im pleased to report that Liam enjoyed the book . and HE would reccomend it .****
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on 7 March 2014
What an amazing writer ! Having read the Harry Hole books I bought the book on the reasoning that he writes well so I would give this a try. This is a totally different style but so clever, funny and, like the Harry Hole books, he touches all the right spots!
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on 13 March 2010
This book is very funny. But then with such a title it has to be really.

A very silly book written for children, but never let something like that put you off. Although I suppose you have to be a bit childish to really appreciate it. The plot is pretty unbeleivable, and it mentions farting on nearly every page, but it is wonderfully written, and wonderfully entertaining. There aren't many books that make me laugh out loud when reading them, but this is one of them.

I can't wait for the next Doctor Proctor to be translated, and then I will have to wait for some more to be written.
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on 26 August 2011
The children loved Captain Underpants so bought this looking for the same silly sense of humor but a bit older. I don't think it would matter what age you are though it just isn't funny.

Maybe it just loses something in translation
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