By Paddy Bostock
Paperback: 452 pages
Publisher: Wings ePress (2013)
About the book:
Outraged at the market economic policies adopted by their university, Professor Vinnie McVittie and his colleagues in the Podiatry department kidnap a senior academic, Dr. Malcolm Moon, in protest. Initially they have little hope of success, particularly as their captive refuses to be freed from his new — and improved — life on the North Wales farm where he is being held. However, the chance coincidence of the interests of the gutter press, the Pantymwyn branch of Welsh Freedom Fighters, and a Prime Minister struggling for re-election combine to ensure a minor campus story escalates into cataclysmic national proportion.
Being popular and getting the votes is the foremost objective in the mind of any government. When it comes down to it, making the right noises at the right times and spending time thinking of good ideas for saving the country money, making more, lining their own pockets and looking after themselves is what really matters. There is little consideration given, to the effects of the new policies on the people involved by the government or those who are unaffected; the affected may protest, but their complaints are just brushed under the carpet, and forgotten.
However, this is the story of what happens when the people fight back, when the government’s economic policies are not just meekly accepted. When the Podiatry department of a university hears about proposed cutbacks, which may affect them, the professor in charge of the department Professor Vinnie McVittie and his colleagues decide to fight back, and their plan is to kidnap Dr. Malcolm Moon, a senior academic.
Plan accomplished, the Podiatry department with their captive, hide out, deep in the welsh countryside. However, Malcolm discovers, on the farm a part of him he has never see before and experiences emotions he never knew existed. His incarceration has not turned out as his captors expected, a fact, which soon becomes worryingly apparent.
Back in London, the race to find out where the missing academic is being held is on. With a Prime Minister who has ‘issues’ and is desperate for re-election, government policies and university politics, it seems nothing more could complicate the search for the missing academic, until the journalists become involved…
This amazing story is jam-packed with fantastic characters. They come in all shapes and sizes, the weird, the wonderful and the stereotypical images of government officials, ‘old boys’ and regional characters, all of whom are brought brilliantly to life by this talented author.
This really is the funniest book that I have read in a very long time, in the same vein as Tom Sharpe. I found the author’s use of local dialect really added to the story. I came originally from the U.K., although not from the Midlands, and I actually know the areas and roads in the story very well, having spent the last three years travelling to visit my daughter at university in Wales.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, it is witty, has a fast moving plot and I, for one, just couldn’t put it down.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
(18 December 2013)