“Have you heard people say that if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, then it is a duck?
You need to be aware that ducks are not necessarily what they seem...”
For adults with too much imagination and children who’ve mentally grown up, The Fabulous Duck Derby is a novel in which the leading characters are highly intelligent ducks in a world dominated by us, white apes – or ‘huminks’. Ducks have always been intelligent; it’s just that they were bright enough to keep quiet about it. But after centuries of keeping quiet they finally crack – or quack. They’re doing it for themselves, heroically overcoming all obstacles, and in doing so display the quality formerly known as humanity.
The novel’s hero is Elvis, a silver duck making a living as an Elvis Presley impersonator on the fading Northern club circuit. He hits Millbridge, a glowering relic of the Industrial Revolution, during the politically-correct Duck Awareness Week, but despite his obvious talent he can’t hack it at the club. The place is on its last legs and in suspicious hands too. Paid off with a cheque that bounces and beaten up when he tries to collect his money, Elvis loses his voice and is forced to seek alternative employment. A letter from his mother – ducks are inveterate letter-writers – gives him the idea of organising a duck derby with real ducks. After all, everyone’s seen races with plastic ducks – and the ducks just keel over and float on their sides.
Attacked by a shadowy political party who are criminally opposed to duck rights and keen to isolate and exploit the secret to duck intelligence, Elvis and his friends fight to stage their race and to change humanity’s view of the world. Written in a style of Nick Park (of Wallace and Gromit) meets Kurt Vonnegut, The Fabulous Duck Derby is a humorous and inventive novel that will appeal to big kids – and clever little ones.