I’ve talked a lot about the new Charlie Fuller book and only a little about where he actually comes from. The truth is that the original book was ridiculous, silly and without a doubt one of the most awful stories ever put to paper. It is so bad it makes Twilight look like the complete works of William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens combined, a work of literary genius if you will. In the new version of the book I’ve only kept the bare necessities, the characters and the few decent ideas that could be salvaged. However, as you are about to see, that doesn’t leave me a lot to work with as I present you with an early Christmas present: The original, nonsensical and truly awful plot of the book once known as Under the Führer’s Control….
I’d like to start off with a warning by saying that this is without a doubt the worst thing I’ve ever written. I will not say more as now I’ll let you see the plot of the books first part:
– It begins in 1944, innocuously enough, with a very long descriptive paragraph of the ending that gives quite a bit and absolutely nothing away at the same time. Needless to say, it is something to do with somebody dying… This then cuts back about six or seven months to a German prisoner of war camp where one of the prisoners is being executed by the camp commandant, ‘General Fritz.’
– Then we cut to a week later where a new prisoner, captured at Dunkirk (Yeah… Almost four years after the evacuation!) is being instructed by General Fritz… The prisoner, simply called ‘Graham,’ drifts off into a fantasy whereby we get a long winded and completely irrelevant description about his life back in England. It transpires that he is the son of a grocer and engaged to a fat woman called Katherine whom he saved after she fell into a lake whist ice-skating. He is then snapped awake by Fritz and told that the camp belongs to the Germans and he is to obey their every order. He is escorted into the camp whereby he is then rounded upon by a rather improbable, childlike brute called Hector Robinson and almost beaten up. However, he is a saved by a weird Scottish man called George who looks suspiciously like General Fritz (you can see where this is going can’t you?) George escorts him to see Captain Frank Malous, the C/O in charge of the camp who tells him, rather confusingly, that the camp actually belongs to the British officers. He then throws Graham out of his office and Graham is confronted by Simon, an old school bully.
– That night Graham decides he will go for an improbable midnight wander around the camp (which is set out more like an overcrowded caravan site than an POW camp.) and he stumbles across a dead body in the dark. Getting scared, he runs off back to bed only to find General Fritz in his bunkhouse. General Fritz discovers blood on his hands and shoots Graham dead, effectively rendering much of the book up to now null and void.
– Then we learn more about Frank Malous, the C/O, and we discover that he was jilted by his fiance Jezebel for a man nicknamed ‘Big Nosed Bill.’ He’s still a little peeved by this as it happens, and then suddenly Bill just turns up in the prisoner of war camp. Frank get’s angry at him and Bill tries to explain the Jezebel was actually only using Bill to mask her real lover who is a man called Geoffrey. Ten points for guessing where Geoffrey is! Frank doesn’t listen and throws Bill from his office in a fit of pique. Bill then encounters George whom he decides looks like General Fritz and then he meets some other prisoner called Geoffrey who just so happens to be married to a woman called Jezebel.
-The next day Hector Robinson is found dead and while discussing the matter Jezebel just outright walks into the camp as though it were a department store. She just… Walks in. Frank and Bill are a little bit disturbed and Jezebel is dragged off to some other room by the Germans where she discovers a hole in the floor and a tunnel packed with explosives at the end of which is Geoffrey who confronts about the fact that she’s not really Jezebel but Jezebel’s identical twin sister, Alice.
-Meanwhile Captain Malous takes a knife out of his drawer and he intends to use it to kill Jezebel. Outside his office he is confronted by George and the two get into a brutal fight during which George is knocked out cold. At the same time underground ‘Alice’ escapes through the other end of the tunnel while Geoffrey goes back into the camp and at the same time lights the explosives in the tunnel behind him. The explosives go up and the wire is ripped to pieces. Frank takes this opportunity to run away and hide in some nearby woods whilst the rest of the prisoners just stand around like dummies.
– Alice, meanwhile joins up with her hitherto unmentioned ‘resistance’ compatriots, one of whom is called Marian but she isn’t important now, in a nearby village where it just so happens that everyone speaks English. Frank finds himself in the same village after being rescued by a vicar and a man named Timothy Wolfe who also work for the resistance.
– The Germans pursue Frank and deduce that he is hiding in the village and so they launch a full scale assault in which the male villagers fight back with pitchforks. They all get killed apart from Wolfe and the Vicar who run away before it starts. Before this Frank and Alice (who he still believes is Jezebel) are sent away to wait at a nearby unoccupied resistance encampment but on the way there Frank stabs Alice to death and leaves her body in the woods before going to the encampment alone.
– At this point the Germans return to the camp and decide they’re going to shoot everybody. Bill and Geoffrey manage to somehow escape the massacre through the same tunnel packed with explosives that blew up not so long before. In the woods they meet up with Frank at the resistance encampment (because Geoffrey knows about it because he works for them) and a while later Wolfe and the vicar turn up (having run away from the battle with the Germans like little cissy girls) carrying Alice’s dead body. Rather stupidly they dump the body on the campfire instead of burying her, which causes so much smoke that the Germans see and come to investigate. Instead of just shooting the prisoners like they normally would they instead set fire to the clearing. All except the vicar escape and they come to the edge of a mountain range where they all decide to travel to the resistance headquarters at Genevieve, a city, on the other side.
Now I’ve only gone through ‘Part 1’ of the book so far but already you can see the major problems with it. It’s convoluted and messy and makes very little coherent sense. There is seemingly no main character. Characters just come in for a few pages and then die. The whole thing is farcical. There is very little that is salvageable about part 1- In Charlie, only Captain Malous and Jezebel remain as characters though their backstories and place in the book are changed considerably. Generel Fritz is to be replaced by a new villain and Alice, meanwhile has been relegated to Jezebel’s older sister instead of her identical twin.
-Part 2 starts with Frank getting annoyed at Bill and beating him to a bloody pulp. Frank, Geoffrey and Wolfe leave him to die by the side of the road as they climb up into the mountains. Soon it begins to rain so they take shelter in a cave where they come across a weird Stalinist shaman type person by the name of Vladimir, who also looks uncannily like General Fritz. Geoffrey and Wolfe dislike him but Frank seems enchanted and invites him along on their journey.
– After a while, Geoffrey and Wolfe grow tired of Vladimir and they wait behind in the mountains whilst Vladimir and Frank wander off like a couple of lovers, not caring that they have left Geoffrey and Wolfe behind them. They soon come to the edge of the mountains and see Genevieve ahead of them. They make towards it but not long after they find themselves being captured by a group of Germans.
– Geoffrey and Wolfe soon follow them out of the mountains and they sail along a river in a remarkably convenient canoe, stopping at the resistance headquarters, which is a huge golden tower lit up like a Christmas tree. They make their way to the top penthouse office and inside they discover none of than Bill sat behind the desk.
– Frank and Vladmir are taken through Genevieve by the Germans, passing a heavilly fortified building along the way, and then they are released in front of a bridge and made to cross to the other side of the river. Then they’re left.
-They wander around in utter confusion for a while before they come across a mansion and decide to go and ask for help. They knock on the door and are invited in by a British maid called Meg and are taken to a sitting room occupied by Seven children, all of different ages. Six of them are escorted from the room but the eldest, Edward is allowed to stay. Edward deduces that Vladimir (who stands in the corner looking moody) is a man not to be trusted.
– Back at the gold tower we are introduced to Geoffrey’s boss, Alice’s real husband and co-ordinator of the resistance movement, Montgomery Morfasson. He reveals that his men found Bill half dead by the side of the road and brought him to Genevieve (how??? HOW???? It doesn’t make sense!) He also reveals that they aren’t in France but actually on a geologically impossible island the size of Wales somewhere in the bay of Biscay THAT NOBODY HAS NOTICED. This is probably the most nonsensical part of the book so far.
– Bill, Frank and Wolfe are taken to Monty’s home and the next morning in a matter of extreme coincidence they discover Frank and Vladimir. Monty reveals that Vladimir is actually an evil tyrant and throws him from his home with Vladimir swearing his revenge. Not long after they all troop back to Monty’s office to make their plans for an assault on General Fritz who just so happens to have his base located in Genevieve (the heavily fortified building.) However, once there they come across George who, in a twist that will surprise no one, turns out to actually be General Fritz and he isn’t German he’s British and that every German we’ve seen up to now is actually a British person pretending to be a Nazi in order to kidnap British soldiers and lower morale. Fritz then escapes by means of a zip wire attached to the top of the building.
– And then we cut back to the village where Marian (remember her?) and the rest of the women are being held prisoner. Marian tries to escape but along the way she overhears some of the soldiers speaking English, gets shot and falls into a river where the current drags her downstream. She is rescued by a couple of farmers and then taken to their weird Stalinist village…
-Back in Genevieve Monty takes Geoffrey down a long tunnel with a large room at the end of it. Inside he reveals ‘Alice’ and explains that it really was Jezebel who was killed in the forest. Geoffrey is distraught and on the way back he gets lost in the tunnel and dies. Not long after Monty realises that Alice isn’t Alice she’s actually Jezebel who switched places with Alice because she didn’t want to die.
-Marian awakens and as soon she realises she is in a Stalinist hell hole she is paraded naked through the streets and thrown in a dark and dank prison cell. She soon realises she is a not alone and discovers she is sharing a cell with a journalist by the name of… CHARLIE FULLER!!! Charlie reveals that the place is run by an evil man called Vladimir (yes that one) and that one day he swears he will have his revenge.
– Some time later Frank has disappeared and Bill, Monty, Wolfe and Jezebel are having a meal before Bill and Wolfe go off to infiltrate Fritz’s headquarters and blow it up. Apparently by this point the seven children that were present earlier are to be sent off back to England with the housemaid and Jezebel. Then Frank turns up at the door and is driven insane by the sight of Jezebel. He runs away in anguish only to come back and lurk in the bushes outside.
– Charlie and Marian scrabble out of their dungeon through a hole in the wall (Why didn’t Charlie do that earlier?) and outside they encounter yet another vicar who offers to blow up the entire village while they run away. They agree and that is what happens. Charlie and Marian begin to make their way to resistance headquarters in Genevieve.
-The children, Jezebel and the housemaid leave the mansion but Jezebel decides to return to collect something. Captain Malous jumps out of the bushes and Gouges her eyes out with a knife. She is taken back inside and given emergency surgery to seal the gaping holes in her head before then being sent on her way back to England along with the children and the housemaid.
– All the while, Bill and Wolfe travel through yet more underground tunnels and find their way into Fritz’s headquarters where they plant various explosive devices and start to make their getaway. However, an alarm is set off and Wolfe decides to distract the pursuing villain whilst Bill escapes down one of the tunnels. Wolfe inevitably dies in this endeavour. Bill finds himself outside where the building explodes spectacularly. Then he is attacked by a fighter plane which crashes into the street nearby. Captain Malous crawls out of the wreckage but finds he is too weak to continue and collapses in the street. Bill leaves him there. Vladimir then appears before Frank and tells him that he can offer him ‘salvation.’
– Charlie and Marian arrive at Monty’s house shortly before Bill does and they are all told that they must flee the island because it’s actually the peak of a massive geologically impossible supervolcano that’s about to collapse in on itself. So they all decamp and then they find Edward hiding in the bushes outside, apparently not wanting to go back to England. As they have no choice he is dragged along with the others.
– They reach the mountains and then discover a random bottle of vodka in a cave. Like and Idiot Bill drinks it and dies. As is usual his body is left and everybody else wanders away. They enter yet another fucking tunnel system and then dig their way out of the other end into the Atlantic ocean and swim to the French cost, Edward loosing consciousness along the way.
This part is much worse than the first and the only bit that can really be salvaged is Charlie’s imprisonment. Vladimir has to go, although i like the idea of Captain Malous being driven to madness by Jezebel… Just not as sudden or as melodramatic as it happens here. Despite how bad it is, the second part is really where the seeds of my literary universe are sown. It’s where for the first time we actually meet the Morfasson, Though they aren’t quite rounded yet. All seven children + Monty still exist as characters, two of whom, Edward and Seamus, play an important role in The Rebels, which also features Monty’s ghost. This part is also where we’re introduced to Charlie who wasn’t fully fleshed out here but would later became an important character, effectively spawning the plot of the original second book (with another character who you’ll meet in Part 3) and setting off the chain that ignited the universe. Marian is also retained from this part, although now she’s Monty’s mistress rather than simply some random resistance member. This part is really where it all began… Even if it is really bad. Also by the end all of the original characters (barring General Fritz) have been disposed of in one way or another.
-Part 3 begins with Monty, Charlie, Marian and the unconscious Edward running through woodland and arriving at a house which is owned by another member of the resistance. They are invited in where they spend the night. At this point it’s implied that Monty and Marian have hot, dirty sex (within earshot of Charlie and Edward) and Marian here gets pregnant with Harry who is the father of Otto who is the main focus of The Rebels… Otto also has an important son but I’m not going to tell you any more than that for now.
– The next morning Monty has vanished and Charlie, Marian and Edward are forced to flee the house in order to escape from some real Germans. After an encounter with a bull in a field they find themselves in a small town where they are taken to a posh hotel by some local resistance girls. Soon enough the real Germans catch up with them and surround the hotel. The three of them escape to the roof where they find a two seater helicopter. In a rehash of Wolfe’s death from earlier, Charlie offers to stay behind and fight off the Germans whilst the other two escape.
– The helicopter flight doesn’t last long and soon enough it crashes into a field owned by a friendly farmer’s wife. Marian and Edward are bundled into the back of a laundry truck and escorted to a nearby village, being stopped at a roadblock along the way and almost caught. In the village they are brought to the attention of a local resistance leader who turns out to be Edward’s old school master Benjamin Gladstone. Edward and Gladstone discuss what to do about Fritz and they agree to wait for him to show his face.
– Several months later and the allies land on the Normandy beaches. By this point Marian, being heavily pregnant with the baby that will eventually become Harry has returned to England.) Edward and Gladstone get word that Fritz has been sighted in Paris. Whilst Gladstone makes plans to go there Edward sneaks out of the house and arrives at a nearby railway station. Unbeknownst to him Gladstone follows and corners him on the train. Where they also happen to meet Charlie Fuller…
-Charlie explains how he was able to escape by stealing a German gun and going on a Tarantino style killing spree throughout the hotel and when he runs out of bullets he jumps from a balcony into a lake and swims to safety. He spends the next few months secretly working behind enemy lines and it was he who sent the word to Edward and Gladstone that Fritz was in Paris. It also transpires that Charlie and Gladstone know each other after working together on a case in Austria, 1938, which forms the basis of the second book (Although when you take the new book into account this can’t happen as Charlie spends most of 1938 in Spain on the trail of rogue British agents.)
– Not long after this Fritz and his last two remaining henchmen reveal themselves to be also on the train. It is uncovered at this point that Fritz was never even close to being a Nazi and he’s actually a Stalinist tyrant who goes by the name of Vladimir (Yes… The same Vladimir!). A gunfight then ensues and Fritz’s henchmen are killed. Fritz jumps from the train shouting ‘See you in Paris Gentleman.’
– Gladstone, Edward and Charlie get off the train in the middle of an air raid and then ensues several stupid pages where they follow some floating light through the streets and then get into a landrover/jeep. They drive all the way through France without hinderance until eventually they are picked by a squad of allied soldiers.
– They accompany the allied soldiers to the edge of Paris where Edward and Gladstone are asked to assist in clearing a farmhouse which is ridiculously full of German soldiers. Charlie takes the opportunity to go off into Paris alone and search for Fritz. The entire squad is killed by the Germans and in the end Edward and Gladstone kill them all themselves.
– Charlie makes his way through the streets of Paris and eventually he finds Fritz/Vladimir in Notre Dame. The two of them duel to the death, Fritz mocking Charlie mercilessly the whole time. Nothing spectacular is revealed here and eventually Charlie wins out. Fritz is then shot by a man standing in the eaves and Charlie looks up to see who his saviour was… His fate is left uncertain.
– In the epilogue set soon after the end of the war, Marian, baby Harry and Gladstone are on holiday by the sea. Marian leaves Harry with Gladstone and goes for a walk along the sea front. There she bumps into Monty and the two walk hand in hand into the sunset, completely ignoring the fact they’ve left Harry with Gladstone. The end.
Part 3 makes little more sense than the first two and by now you can see clearly that the book has virtually no plot and no central character other than a lunatic with three names running around dressed as a Nazi, a prisoner of war and Stalinist Tyrant. The fact that by the end only Charlie, Edward and Gladstone remain says much. Only Edward meets the original prisoners and Charlie appears from a sort of weird, out of place sub-plot into the main plot. The ending doesn’t even tie in well with the beginning as all you have linking each part of the book is a maniac who goes by the name of ‘General Fritz’ (which is a truly awful name in all reality.) The whole book is messy and badly researched from start to finish and it’s so complex and tied in knots that it’s difficult to even work out what’s going on at any given time and the result is just ludicrous. It is plain and simply, very bad and very little is salvageable from this train wreck. All that really remains of this now are a few characters and some minor plot points. Much of it has gone onto the rubbish pile in order for me to write a much better and much finer piece of literature.
I am actually ashamed that I wrote this piece of rubbish in the first place. There is little salvation within the text and almost no gems of literary gold. The only good thing to come out of it is what it eventually spawned. It spawned the universe that interlinks all my written work: The Morfaverse. It is this universe which, since I finished this book, has evolved beyond recognition. This is now like the dirty old uncle at the party. It’s a blight on the family tree, as it were. Even it had an ounce of goodness in it would no doubt need work to bring it up to scratch with the rest of the universe but it isn’t and it’s so bad that over ninety percent of the book has to go, meaning, in effect, that a new book will take its place. ‘Charlie Fuller,’ which started out initially as a rewrite of this book, will act as a forerunner, setting the stage for what will eventually replace this. How that will play out is yet to be seen but I’ve got an idea of what I want to do with it… And it makes much more sense than this!