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Encyclopedia > Incompetence (book)

Incompetence is a dystopian novel by Red Dwarf co-creator Rob Grant. It was first published in 2003. It is a murder mystery and political thriller set in a federal Europe of the near-future where no-one can be "prejudiced from employment for reason of age, race, creed or incompitence [sic]". A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative in prose. ... Red Dwarf is a British science fiction sitcom that ran for eight series, from 1988 to 1999. ... Rob Grants novel, Colony. ... See also: 2002 in literature, other events of 2003, 2004 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Sherlock Holmes, pipe-puffing hero of crime fiction, confers with his colleague Dr. Watson; together these characters popularized the genre. ... The United States of Europe is a name given to one version of the possible future unification of Europe, as a sovereign federation of states, similar to the United States of America. ... Sic is a Latin word meaning thus or so. In writing, it is italicized and placed within square brackets — [sic] — to indicate that an incorrect or unusual spelling, phrase, or other preceding quoted material is a verbatim reproduction of the quoted original and is not a transcription error. ...

Tag Line - Bad is the new good.

The novel tells the story of an undercover agent working for a secret Europe-wide agency. His real name remains a mystery but he commonly uses the pseudonym Harry Salt. The story starts with the death of his former mentor (Klingferm) in an apparent elevator accident. He suspects foul play, and his investigations lead him around various states of Europe. In the course of these peregrinations, he seems to be tracked by an unknown stalker. He is also hindered by the fact that practically everyone he meets has a serious character flaw and/or mental deficiency. Another ongoing problem is his inability to acquire or hang onto a decent pair of shoes. A pseudonym (Greek: false name) is a fictitious name used by an individual as an alternative to his or her legal name. ... Foul Play is a 1978 comedy/thriller film starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. ...

The concept behind the story is similar to that of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron. Kurt Vonnegut Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ... Harrison Bergeron is a dystopian science fiction short story written by Kurt Vonnegut in 1961. ...

The plot appears to be based on the film The Third Man. The film is mentioned in the drunken conversation between Lime and Klingferm near the start of the book. The Third Man (1949) is a British film noir directed by Carol Reed. ...


  • Harry Salt/Harry Tequila/Harry Pepper/Cardew Vascular: The main protagonist. Years of dealing with stupidity have left him somewhat cynical.
  • Klingferm: His former mentor and fellow agent.
  • Captain Zuccho: An Italian police captain who, by his own admission, sometimes becomes "a bit too frisky". Usually ending with him firing several rounds of his gun.
  • Gina Pallister: A guest liaison who suffers from SIR (Sexually Inappropriate Response), and an object of Harry's lust.
  • Mamma: An old woman who was widowed when the authorities declared her husband legally dead.
  • Pappa: Mamma's (late) husband. A man who has to live in the shed because the house is just for the "living".
  • Twinkle: A 100+ year old male lap dancer.
  • Wolfie: A professional henchman with very bad breath.

  Results from FactBites:
Competence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (168 words)
Administrative incompetence, dysfunctional administrative behaviors that hinder attainment of organization goals
Military incompetence, failures of members of the military
Incompetence (book), a novel by Red Dwarf co-creator Rob Grant
  More results at FactBites »



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