Ostensibly translated from the original fly text by debut author Sirtup, this four-volume book is a satiric pun fest featuring flies as the heroes.
Who knew? Flies are not only sentient but literate and have been for eons. Fecal the Fly comes from royalty. His grandfather, the Great Fly, is a randy oaf and one of the rulers of Flyland. His father, Imago, disappeared after the assassination of Great-Grandfather Vloid Da Kine and Mother Fecaletta. Imago now roams the earth as a fly holy man known as Phat the Bodi. Against an absurd backdrop replete with Machiavellian intrigue, murder and sex, Fecal, who doubts the existence of God (Gad), leaves home to find his father and himself. This is an astounding book. At first blush, it’s astonishing that anyone would go to such lengths—more than 600 pages filled with illustrations; glossaries; diagrams; scientific, cultural and literary allusions; an epilogue, afterword, and 100 quatrains comprising a second book of fly wisdom—to write a purposefully goofy story about insects. Once readers get beyond reading about excrement-eating, vomit-loving vermin who defecate in the food of people (known as monsters), however, they begin to appreciate this brilliantly executed tale. Sirtup, who manages a Flyland website (http://www.flyland.net/), remarkably succeeds in making these creatures genuine, sympathetic personalities. As Fecal’s journey of discovery proceeds, he faces physical and moral challenges worthy of Hercules. Pursued by the Four Horseflies of the Apocalypse (hit men sent by his family’s enemies), Fecal manages to trick them into a spider’s web, escaping himself through a small tear. He also falls in love, an act abhorrent to flies. Or, in the words of the fly Quatrains, “There is no need for love in perfect nature or in the behavior of a fly” and “Do not unto others / give nothing / receive nothing / and leave nothing behind.” When Fecal finds Imago, there’s much philosophizing in a place called the Reincarnation Factory, which would spoil the fun to describe here.
Readers who thrive on satire, allusion, irreverence, puns and all-around nonsense rolled into a well-told tale with serious underpinnings will relish this sturdy tome.