John Crace reduces JK Rowling's highly anticipated new novel to a manageable 400 words. Warning: contains spoilers. Double warning: The new book contains regular outbursts of four-letter words, along with the memorable phrase "that miraculously unguarded vagina."
A pain such as he had never experienced sliced through Barry Fairbrother's brain like an overwrought metaphor. Within minutes he lay dead in the golf-club car park.
"Fairbrother's dead?" roared Howard, but then Howard was as prone to roaring as an angry lion effervescing in the atmosphere since he was the archetypal reactionary Middle Englander, a man as flabbily obese as this prose. His wife Shirley cared not at all that there was still no sign of an editor: all that mattered was that Barry's death had created a casual vacancy on Pagford's parish council and that her son Miles, who had married the annoying Samantha whose breasts fell like huge contours to her arms, could now be elected to join her husband on the council and prevent the proles from Yarvil encroaching further on the village.
"Fuck you, Dad," yelled Fats.
Joanne smiled a smile as naughty as a very naughty smile. How she had longed to swear these past 15 years. And now she could! As much as she liked!
"Fuck you, too, Stuart," Colin shouted back. "Just get yourself ready for school."
"Please don't argue," Tessa sobbed. "Your father can't help being the emotionally repressed deputy head teacher who is a bit liberal and wants to get on the parish council so that the proles can keep their addiction centre."
"I ain't doin' fuckin' nuffink fer anywun," said Krystal in yobbese as near perfect as someone who has never spoken it could hope for, while her mother shot up some smack and her brother, Little Robbie, stood serenely as a symbol for vulnerability.
"Well, open up yer unguarded vagina then," Fats ordered, rolling on a condom like a gossamer cocoon. "I wan' ter make my life more orfentik."
Simon, Arf, Maureen, Gavin, Gaia and Kay all fluttered like a foetus with fear at the prospect of being minor characters with little development for the next 500 pages. "It's all right for you lot," Sukhinder moaned as softly as a not very cruel wind. "You're only representative of a single issue. I'm Asian and a self-harmer."
Having noticed that several other characters had logged on as "Ghost of Barry Fairbrother" to the Pagford parish council website (a site that had unaccountably experienced a massive upsurge in traffic from its normal none) to discredit various other prospective parish councillors, Fats wondered whether it would be a good idea to do the same thing – to expose his father as a potential paedophile with OCD issues.
"Don't you think it's getting a bit repetitive as a plot device?" he asked.
"That never bothered my readers in the past," Joanne snapped as sweetly as an acid drop from Howard's delicatessen.
"Your father is in turmoil," sobbed Tessa. "Not only has he had to let the horrid Miles stand unopposed to close the addiction centre, he's asked me to explain that you were an adopted victim of incest and that your dad tried to hang himself when you arrived."
"How many more social issues are you going to cram in?" sneered Fats. "Where's the fuckin' lesbian?"
"Hi," said Pat the Lesbian, turning up just in time to see her father have as massive a heart attack as a massive person can have.
"Fuckin' ell," said Krystal (who was as salty of the earth as someone swimming in the Dead Sea), while the dealer was raping her as Little Robbie looked on as innocently as an innocent baby. "Nah ahm gonn av ter get pregnant by Fats." And as she and Fats rutted soullessly, Little Robbie drowned in the river. "Ah shit," said Krystal. "I'd betta OD meself."
"Whoops," wailed Fats. "It's all got a bit too authentic."
"At least we've all learned a lot and become better people by the end," the other characters nodded.
Little Robbie's funeral cortege passed by the window. "You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh," said Oscar Wilde.
"Tell us," the critics pleaded. "Is it serious or a comedy?" Joanne fluttered her eyelids tantalisingly.
"Tell yer what," said Krystal. "It's just a bit fuckin' borin'."Posted by gerardvanderleun at October 1, 2012 8:55 AM