The Story of Pooville
by Fenton Roades

"The Pooville company was at the top of the heap in all the important metrics that judged a successful company."

In this amusingly conceived but philosophically attuned novel, a clever entrepreneur turns his wish for a better fertilizer into an internationally known mega-business. George Poo, a humble science teacher in England, begins to experiment with a radical notion: the use of human manure, or poo, for crop cultivation. His testing shows remarkable increases in the poo’s productivity over that of horses or other animals. But how to market such a weird idea? George takes the Poo family to the United States, where his innovation finds fertile ground. A colony is established where residents don’t have to work, and room and board are provided, as long as they poo regularly and copiously. When the Poo family realizes that dead pooers make even better fertilizer, the company really takes off—but in an atmosphere of extreme secrecy.

The author is clearly a highly imaginative thinker whose lively, fast-moving saga evolves gradually into a panorama in which can be seen some of the ills of current American politics. Using Pooville as a sometimes eerie model, Roades demonstrates how easily a small family business can morph into a many-tentacled international cartel that combines drug company and government collaboration, revealing a willingness to approve of unfair, life-threatening practices in the name of bigger profits. Central among Roades’s proposed remedies, enacted through the character of a few good folks in Pooville who strive to expose its dirty dealings, would be term limits for elected officials, to prevent corruption from having time to get its nasty grip on national policy. By making the subject matter a rich source of puns and well-aimed satire, Roades succeeds in bringing these issues to light. His book will amuse and engage those who strongly agree with his underlying thesis, as well as those simply seeking a neatly constructed modern parable.

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