Even as the penultimate draft of Fowl Play taxes the patience and benevolence of my beta-readers, the first edit of Book 4, Manuel Estímulo’s Fascist Book of Everything, begins. It is a timely work, a metaphor for Brexit, for xenophobia, for western cultural imperialism, and the merits of peace and love. Drawing from sources as diverse as Don Quixote, Flaubert’s Bouvard & Pécuchet, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, and William Donaldson‘s Henry Root’s World of Knowledge, the Fascist Book of Everything will cover every topic under the sun in order to provide the definitive rulebook for correct living as a Fascist in the modern world. But be not afraid: There’s a plot afoot, to boot. Some examples (from the A’s):


Four-footed marsupial indigent to Africa whose name literally means “First one on the ark.” Most people are aware that Noah collected the animals two by two. They are less likely to know that he did so alphabetically.

Killing, skinning and cooking a whole aardvark will fill you with a false sense of accomplishment. Wearing the skin and successfully passing yourself as a real live aardvark is more impressive. Eating while wearing the skin is something to write home about. Tastes of chicken.


Research shows that of every ten deaths that occur during sex, nine of them take place during extra-marital relations. This proves conclusively that God is watching with intense interest. It is also worth bearing in mind Thomas Aquinas’s proof that a man commits adultery if he enjoys himself too much while having sex with his wife.


According to the mass media, there has been a big increase in the number of children suffering from allergies in the past 40 years. This, they say, is because of all the cleanliness children are covered in. What rubbish. The truth is that more children suffer from allergies today because interfering scientists have kept alive lots of children who would be dead if Nature had been allowed to take her course. The mortality rate has dropped by so much in the last century that the species has been enfeebled and feminized by the survival of offspring who under normal circumstances would have happily succumbed to croupe, tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, chicklenpox, avian flu, dengue fever, Spanish flu, Indian hobnobs, German Byte, or French kissing disease. Because these weaklings have been immuned to such fatal race-enhancers as these, they are free to cough and sneeze and splutter and swell up all over their genetically superior officemates, ruining their day and all because of some supposed civil right to eat peanuts. No wonder the Chinese are laughing at us. Over there, such anti-social elements are thrown off a cliff the same day they are born. It is a shame that this new rabies strain we are seeing on the island does not result in death: Cross-country races in the mountains would have provided natural selection and a salutary lesson to the local kindergartners.


I don’t mind telling you, this book has been the most fun to write so far, a reminder of why I do it. The next 12 months of editing and re-writing should be a hoot!