Fast-paced satire for fans of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.
THE CHICKPEA CHRONICLES – VOLUME 1
Despite being a regressive and unhelpful stereotype, it was nevertheless accurate to say that dragons were aggressive, bloodthirsty brutes. Not George, though. He’s a self-professed ‘decent’ individual with a penchant for organic cookery, gardening, and making his own clothes. Oh, and he’s a vegan, you know!
George’s adventure begins when he decides he wants some hummus. However, as Dragonville definitely isn’t the sort of place to find chickpea-based snacks, he sets off towards People Town to visit his favourite place in the whole world, the glorious Farmer Fred’s feel-good, local, family, fair-trade, organic wholefoods store.
Follow George as he traverses Dragonville, desperately tolerating the idiots who wander into his path – before continuing on towards lovely, civilised People Town where unfortunately our heroic, massive, fire-breathing reptile encounters further unwarranted prejudice.
Will George get his delicious dip? Will he make any new friends? Will years of suppressing his true instincts make him have a terrifying and very-public nervous breakdown? Find out!
The Chickpea Chronicles – an adult, comedic fantasy – follow the adventures of George, a poncho-wearing, five-ton, fire-breathing, vegan dragon who is desperate to fit into woke human society. You probably shouldn’t laugh but you will…
I was sent a kindle version of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
The Quest for the Holy Hummus is a short book that is full of delightfully irreverent humour. In the description it is compared to Terry Pratchett’s humour and I think there are definitely similarities.
George, the main character, is not your average dragon. He is sophisticated and sensitive, a vegan, living a solitary life on the outskirts of Dragonville. He doesn’t fit in at all well with the other residents of Dragonville, who are more typical violent, vandalism-loving dragons such as the notorious gang, “The Dragonville Massive”, inner city terror inducing hooligans, whose daily routine involves smashing up bus shelters and terrorizing other dragons who are simply going about their business.
George may only be a recent convert to veganism, but he is very determined to get some hummus to go with the pita breads he just baked. Meanwhile he is plagued by youths picking his vegetables and throwing them at him while poking fun at his sarong.
Julian Pinkerton Smith is the owner of Farmer Fred’s feel-good, local, family, fair-trade, organic wholefoods store, who is about to have all his inventory repossessed. Julian may be in the wrong business judging from his cynical observances about his earthy-crunchy, vegan customers. He seems to despise all his customers and treats their allergies and intolerances with disdain while charging them exorbitant prices for his products.
George has to walk through the center of Dragonville to get to People Town where the whole food shop is. This idea fills him with dread since Dragonville is full of burnt out buildings and violent dragons. He has to run the gauntlet on the kids playground:
“an area so vile that even the toughest, most-violent dragons chose to steer clear of it. A place full of the worst of the worst; the most obnoxious, offensive, and outright awful creatures the town had to offer.”
However People Town is much more to George’s liking despite the fact that its inhabitants are scared of him:
“it had quickly become one of his favourite places in the entire world, packed full of culture and sophistication, and where fear of authority more or less successfully stifled the base instincts of its obsequious inhabitants.”
Eventually he makes it to the wholefood shop only to find that Julian is terrified of him and runs away without selling him his beloved hummus. Poor George – I felt sorry for him after all the trouble he had gone to braving gangs and walking all the way from one side of Dragonville to the other, to then end up without the hummus he was so determined he needed. He is a likeable character, a misfit who enjoys gardening, baking and making clothes, unlike his fellow chaos-causing dragons.
“Ok, so maybe he did look stereotypically terrifying – to those who allowed prejudice and basic survival instincts to determine their decisions. But underneath he was a nice guy.”
Poor lonely George wants nothing more than to be friends with Julian who he thinks of as Farmer Fred, but sadly Julian returns with a pitchfork wielding mob. He tries to reason with them but unfortunately just after someone throws a pepper spray bomb at him he sneezes and fire erupts from his snout, causing the humans to flee all the way to Dragonville. Here they come face to face with a bunch of non-vegan dragons.
Can George save the humans and persuade them he’s a decent dragon? Will he be able to continue shopping at Farmer Fred’s or will the shop be repossessed and closed down? Read The Quest for the Holy Hummus to find out. I will be reading Volume 2 of the Chickpea Chronicles and can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment. Highly recommended for adult readers who like a quirky story and can identify with misfits.
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About the Author
James Allinson is a husband and father of two. Initially a wannabe children’s author, James soon became sick of non-swearing heroes and the crushing restraints of morality and, driven by the maverick lack of focus that has dominated his entire life, stopped writing books for kids and instead started writing childish stuff for his own amusement. Fortuitously (for the world of literature although not necessarily his bank account), this resulted in the accidental birth of a hilarious – albeit apparently, unmarketable – comedic fantasy series about a poncho-wearing, vegan dragon named George. Ideally, James would love his books to earn him a fortune, entertain his readers, and attract the absolute least number of violent threats possible (in that order).