Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbø

Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder

By Jo Nesbø

265 pages

Published by Simon & Schuster (2010)

If you are looking for a logical or realistic story – this book is certainly not for you. Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder features extremely powerful farts that could launch people into the sky, a boy who is small enough to be flushed down the toilet, a teenaged girl who is indifferent about her 10-year-old brother being held in prison, and much more wacky stuff! However, beneath all those madness the story is not void of substance as it also highlights issues such as school bullies and discrimination, among others.

Nilly was a diminutive 10-year-old boy who had just moved to Oslo, Norway. Despite his size, and the fact that he had been bullied and called ‘Silly Nilly’ all his life, he was actually far from silly. He was quick-witted, had the nerves of steel and very eloquent in his conversations.

On his first day, he had already made the acquaintance of his neighbours Lisa, who turned out to be his classmate at school, and also the eccentric professor Doctor Proctor who was always up to something with his strange inventions.

Most recently, Doctor Proctor had tried to create a concoction to prevent hay fever, but instead came up with a powder that seemed to make people fart not long after it was consumed. The fart that was produced through Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder was extremely powerful in force but without a smell. The professor had always thought that his inventions were useless, including the fart powder.

However, the optimistic Nilly insisted that somehow there must be a use for that fart powder. Eventually, with the help of Nilly and Lisa, Doctor Proctor came to the realization that he could even possibly make a lot of money with the fart powder too!


Nilly suggested that the powder be sold to kids prior to the upcoming Norwegian Independence Day celebrations because kids can have fun letting out powerful (but harmless) farts that sounded like fireworks. And with a few tweaks to the original powder ingredients, Doctor Proctor made a more powerful concoction that can practically launch people into space without a rocket. For this more powerful formula (called the Fartonaut powder), they planned to sell it to NASA because the space agency would surely love something that could help them save money on rocket and fuel.

Their project of selling the fart powder to kids had been so successful that it sold out on their first day of sale. Kids at school, who had previously shunned Nilly and Lisa, began to view the two in a much higher regard than before. However, their plans with NASA had been put on hold after a disastrous encounter with the horrendous twin Truls and Trym.

The twins, who were also probably the biggest bullies in Oslo, tried to bully Nilly into giving them the powder for free. Annoyed, Nilly gave the twins Doctor Proctor’s Fartonaut Powder instead and the fart caused the twins to be launched into air and got stuck on a high oak tree.

Later on the frightened twins whined to their father Mr Trane about the incident. And the manipulative Mr Trane planned an idea for revenge: he first called up the police and lodged a report about Doctor Proctor producing dangerous explosives. When Doctor Proctor and Nilly were arrested by the police, Mr Trane ordered Truls and Trym to break into Doctor Proctor’s house and steal the fart powder. Mr Trane decided to let Truls and Trym make money through the selling of the normal fart powder, while he himself would sell the powerful Fartonaut powder to NASA and make himself a millionaire.

Lisa, being the only one in the gang still free, decided to counter Mr Trane’s evil plan. Before the twins got into Doctor Proctor’s house, Lisa broke into the house first and hid the powder away. She then put up a fart powder label on a jar of a rather useless invention of Doctor Proctor’s to trick the twins. Lisa’s plan worked accordingly when the twins stole the fake fart powder instead.

After the ‘fart powder’ robbery, many things began to happen at once: (1) Mr Trane quickly went to the patent office to get the fart powder patented, but instead he was exposed as a hoax when one of the officers at the patent office realized that the contents of that jar was Doctor Proctor’s (rather useless) invention. Mr Trane ran away to escape prosecution. (2) Nilly found a way out of his prison cell – by going down the toilet and into the sewer system. Nilly came out of the sewer through exploding the manhole cover. (3) Truls and Trym were hit on the head with the manhole cover, and both ended up in hospital. They were visited by the police who wanted information on their father. The less-than-bright twins confessed to everything they did. (4) Doctor Proctor was let out of jail because the real crook – Mr Trane – had been confirmed through his sons’ confession. (5) Mr Trane tried to escape police by hiding in the sewer system, and ended up being eaten alive by a giant anaconda who lived in the sewer (the anaconda had been kept as an exotic pet long ago before he escaped his home – and guess who was the previous owner of that anaconda? Yup, it’s young Mr Trane).

Doctor Proctor was united with Nilly and Lisa just in time for the Norwegian Independence Day celebration. As there had been a lack of gunpowder for the cannon for the royal salute, the Commandant had decided to use Doctor Proctor’s fart powders to produce the powerful bangs. The King of Norway was so happy when he heard the royal salute. Everyone was happy on Independence Day, but Doctor Proctor, Nilly and Lisa were probably the happiest of them all.


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