The Purple-Bellied Parrot – William Fagus.
Brilliant, funny, moving and thought provoking, one to rival Johnathan Livingstone Seagull. I loved it. – Lel Budge (Goodreads)
Expansive and wholly original, The Purple-Bellied Parrot is a rip-roaring, globe-trotting adventure story unlike any other.
Join one bird’s brave bid for freedom on an incredible journey that will see him traverse entire oceans and continents to arrive at that distant land he can finally call home.
Discover … The power of the ‘HhhuuuUUTTT!’
So far, life has been rather unkind to the Purple-Bellied Parrot. He has spent his years moved from cage-to-cage (some small, others smaller), only to find himself lumped in with the pink-faced man who smells funny and shouts a lot.
The pink-faced man’s dank flat in the city boasts the only four walls the Purple-Bellied Parrot has the privilege of ogling nowadays. These are dull times, and besides being goaded by the local spuggies (sparrows) who perch smugly on the fat-fingered tree he watches out of the window, there really isn’t much else to occupy his thoughts. He longs to – what’s that thing they’re doing? – the flapping thing? – that’s it – FLY! ‘HhhuuuUUTTT!’
As life becomes more and more miserable the Purple-Bellied Parrot gradually loses his purple belly – and most of the rest of his feathers too. The pink-faced man has had enough,
‘Well, you won’t talk. You poo everywhere if I let you. You’re nearly as bald as a coot. What use are you? There’s nothing else for it. You’ve left me no choice.’ He jabbed a finger, ‘This is all your fault.’
Suddenly finding himself cast out into the world, the purple-bellied parrot must learn to survive as best he can.
Befriended by his former tormentors, our hero settles into his new-found freedom. But inside of him is a longing, a longing for an emerald forest, hot sun, the smell of the sea and perhaps others with big hooters and purple bellies. If only he could find out where that might be.
Fate – and ‘Old Stumpy’ – deliver the truth. He’s from Brazil, and he’s determined to get back there. Cheered on by his new friends and aided by the inimitable Sar’nt Lofty Troggers, the Purple-Bellied Parrot gets in shape to join the marties (house martins) for part of their perilous journey back to ‘Sahth Efricah’. One of the marties has hatched a plan that may just get both him, and Shug the Scottish albatross, home.
What follows is a profound, heart-warming adventure of courage, friendship and self-discovery, with various film references for the eagle-eyed reader to enjoy; from Sar’n Trogger’s conker bouncing bomb to Moussa the African parrot’s cunning plans…
‘‘We need to be cunning,’ said Moussa, ‘As cunning as an empty-bellied hyena in the dry season with six cubs and a buffalo thorn in his foot.’
The Purple-Bellied Parrot will face many dangers, from moggies, maggies and spugghawks, to running the gauntlet of nora’s who time the arrival of their littlies to coincide with the migration of marties; from ambush by a pirate of the sky to battling through a hurricane, not to mention the many hazards of the bins (humans). When he is captured for a final time he must decide what he is willing to sacrifice if he is to finally reach his goal.
Read a short excerpt from the book at the end of this press release.
Review copies of the book and interviews with the author are available now. Contact us here for details.
Reviews for The Purple-Bellied Parrot:
This is quite simply a classic. For adults , never mind the enquiring young reader. A new ‘Wind in the Willows’, mixed with Wallace and Gromit. Funny, dark, crazy, full of joy – and danger, you soar above this ‘bin’ -filled world with the characters. If you love birds you will keep it at your bedside to dip into on sleepless nights.
Dysart Knight (Kobo)
The tone is part wildlife documentary, part Ealing Comedy (as bizarre as that sounds!) … The chapters where the PBP makes the dangerous journey home are lovely and are where the book really flies (sorry).
Thomas Duane (Goodreads)
This is a story about a parrot. As we know, though, the parrot-genre is really all about us. You will feel, really feel for this wee parrot. And you will really laugh at those VERY CLEVER ornitho-tropes. Don’t worry, though, if you’re not a ‘birder’ – the writing is intelligent, the personalities are beautifully created, the adventure turns the pages. Mr. Fagus does really know his birds, though, and if you do too you will recognise all those personalities and have a smile on your face all the while.
…personally I’ve always thought birds are cleverer than humans, I think William Fagus must think so too…
Sas Astro (Goodreads)
If you have ever wondered what a Wren running a boot camp would be like, then you’ll enjoy reading about Sar’nt Troggers, and you’ll never look at a bunch of sparrows the same way again!
Manda Edin (Amazon
For me, this book masquerades as a ‘children’s’ book, and for the most part I would say, is perfect for younger ones… but there is a plethora of adult humour, ‘in jokes’ referencing modern culture and very clever twists and play on words that are just exceptional to read. A book for the inner child this one…Loved It.
I think we all need some Purple-Bellied Parrot in our lives.
If you have found yourself in a situation where you hope, feel and want to do more…this book will be your best friend and companion when taking that first step.
Gareth Powell (Goodreads)
About the book:
Age group: 10-100+
Price: £7.99 (Paperback), £3.00 (eBook)
Copies of The Purple-Bellied Parrot are available for purchase from Amazon, Kobo and other retail outlets.
About the author(s)
William Fagus (The Imaginary):
William Fagus is the….
‘Dr William Fagus!’
…Yes, er, Dr William Fagus (PHD) is the elusive author…
…behind the The Purple-Bellied Parrot. An esteemed ornithologist, his idea for the book began when he took a shine to the alliterative name of the Brazilian bird species and from here, he saw his chance to tap into the adventure-book market.
He writes because he thinks it’s fun and, because of… er…
‘Escapism. When I write it’s like going on a first date. Worries, mundanities, the passage of time, appetites, even physical aches and pains, vanish. My whole self is consumed by the page before me and what I am trying to construct. I write because I want the reader to view something, be it commonplace or singular, from an aspect hitherto neglected and apprehend something new. It could be a tree or the international wild bird trade or friendship or traffic or, god forbid, a sunset. I want the reader to come away thinking, yes, I never looked at it that way. I write because I want to earn a living from writing.’
A true academic, Dr Fagus has little time for socialising, and besides talking on occasion with his cleaning lady Mrs Lush and parrot Fausto, he leads a reclusive but happy life in far-off, undisclosed location.
For more information about the author (and for exclusive content from Mrs Lush’s blog), visit his website: http://www.williamfagus.com/fagus_biog.html
William Fagus (The Real):
William Fagus is the pseudonym (or should we say alter-ego) of Robert B—.
Born into a working-class family in Stoke-on-Trent, Robert left school at sixteen with three GCSE’s to his name. Up until his mid-forties, he worked a number of manual-labour jobs in construction, carpentry and window-cleaning.
That was until he took the plunge and enrolled at University where he discovered an untapped talent for academic writing. One first-class bachelors, a Master’s-level distinction, a PHD in architectural history and an impressive (but rather dull) graduate job later, Robert decided it was high-time to seek out a career in writing fiction.
In his spare time, he likes walking in wild places, visiting historic buildings (‘not posh ones’), ornithology and traditional carpentry skills. He also plays blues guitar in (what he hopes to be) the manner of BB King.
For an interview with the author, imaginary or otherwise, please contact him at: email@example.com
Excerpt from Chapter 9: Yee-Haw!
‘Now listen up. I’ve taught you the essentials, just enough to get you through this feather-brained trip, no more. But you will meet tribulations the like of which your tiny mind has never dreamed. So this is what this mission is all about. To get ready for them unknown unknowns. You ready for this boy?’
‘Sir, yes Sir.’
‘Well alright then. On my command you will fly. You will obey every order I give you. If I tell you to turn to the right you will turn to the right. I tell you to turn to the left you will turn to the left. I tell you to dive you will dive. I tell you to shove that great hooter up a moggie’s arse and whistle Jerusalem, you will insert said proboscis into said anal cavity and chirp said sublime air. Questions.’
Sar’nt Troggers had lost him with that last bit, but the Purple-Bellied Parrot said, ‘Sir, yes Sir.’
‘You will make two circuits of the park. Fly.’
The Purple-Bellied Parrot leapt off the branch, but immediately plunged, the weight of the conkers and Sar’nt Troggers clinging to the matchbox behind dragging him down. But he managed to convert the plunge into a controlled dive, and bottomed out and then soared upwards. He glanced around and noticed spuggies flitting through the branches and marties whirling low overhead, like they all knew something he didn’t.
‘Goo-on my son!’ chirped Chalkie.
After completing the two circuits, Sar’nt Troggers issued his first order. On the basketball court below one of the hoops had been twisted around so that it was now vertical instead of horizontal. Sar’nt Troggers told him to dive down and fly through it, and by Jiminy he had better still be attached after or he’d ‘have his arse for breakfast.’
The Purple-Bellied Parrot got the gist and swooped down. Folding his wings a little at the crucial moment, he and Sar’nt Troggers and the matchbox sailed through. Piece of cake.
‘That was just the warm-up Boy,’ Sar’nt Troggers yelled.
… some text missing …
‘You pull this one off son,’ he yelled, ‘you’ll go down in the annals of spuggiedom till kingdom come. You’ll be the cock o’ the park.’
At the far end of the duck pond was a large hopper where the parkies kept the duck food. At the foot of the hopper, almost lapped by the water, was a glass inspection panel. After all, you don’t want to feed those berts mouldy food. Sar’nt Troggers leapt from the matchbox and onto the Purple-Bellied Parrot’s back. Tapping on his head, Sar’nt Troggers told him to come in low over the opposite end of the pond.
They swerved round a cyclist, flicked the bum of a big female bin bending to smell the bizzie lizzies, and ruffled the hair of a boy bin chucking out bread to the berts. As they reached the railings that stopped the bins falling in the water, Sar’nt Troggers told him to dip even lower. The Purple-Bellied Parrot felt his toe flick the head of a bert.
Sar’nt Troggers was now peering over the top of the Purple-Bellied Parrot’s head, ‘Left a bit … right a bit.’ He had lifted a couple of the Purple-Bellied Parrot’ nape feathers, and was using them like reins. They rounded the island and the hopper came into view. ‘Straighten up … that’s it … Steady … Steady.’ Sar’nt Troggers snipped one of the elastic bands and a conker rolled away and splashed into the water. The Purple-Bellied Parrot glanced down, and what he saw dumbfounded him. Rather than sink, the conker bounced along the top of the water going like the clappers — straight towards the glass panel. But then the conker lost momentum. Its final bounce was a ‘plop’, and with a bump it washed against the foot of the hopper.
‘Bank! Bank! Climb! Climb! Climb!’