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1. The Antipope (Brentford Trilogy)
2. The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and
3. Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls
4. The Brentford Triangle (Brentford
5. The Toyminator
6. The Book of Ultimate Truths
7. Necrophenia (Gollancz)
8. East of Ealing (Brentford Trilogy)
9. The Da Da De Da Da Code
10. Apocalypso
11. The Witches of Chiswick
12. Knees Up Mother Earth (Brentford
13. The Brentford Chainstore Massacre
14. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of
16. Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
17. The Sprouts Of Wrath
18. The Brightonomicon (Brentford
19. Armageddon: The Musical
20. The Fandom of the Operator

1. The Antipope (Brentford Trilogy)
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 288 Pages (1992-02-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055213841X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
'Outside the sun shines. Buses rumble towards EalingBroadway and I'm expected to do battle with the powers of darkness. Itall seems a little unfair...'

You could say it all started with the red-eyed tramp with the slimyfingers who put the wind up Neville, the part-time barman, somethingrotten. Or when Archroy's wife swapped his trusty Morris Minor forfive magic beans while he was out at the rubber factory.

On the other hand, you could say it all started a lot earlier. Like450 years ago, when Borgias walked the earth.

Pooley and Ornally, stars of the Brentford Labour Exchange and theFlying Swan, want nothing to do with it, especially if there's aYankee and a pint of Large in the offing. Pope Alexander VI, last ofthe Borgias, has other ideas ... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars How could I have missed reading these???
I am overjoyed to have discovered Robert Rankin!I can't believe I never read him before!I just finished the Antipope, which will be the first in months of happy reading!This is a wonderful, hilarious, gripping story of what happens when evil comes to a town in England, and the only people who can battle it are a group of perpetual drunks, and eastender stereotypes with a few odd Deus ex machina (dei ex machinis??) thrown in for fun. These people were somehow very endearing.The villain, a Borgia no less, is so bad, with his evil little minions, that we are aghast as the onslaught against truth, justice, and human decency is waged.

To be 100% honest, when I first started reading, I thought I understood why I had a problem finding the books.They didn't seem to me like they would work well here in the USA.The humor seemed very, very British, and lots of phrases could only be understood in context (and here I thought we all spoke the same language!).Also, there is the fact that a few terms are terribly offensive to USA folks (some rude terms for Italians, for example).And, finally, we tend to find so much drinking as symptomatic of disease, not fine fun.

Having said all that, by page 50 I was swept away.I LOVED this book!I LOVE the characters!I can hardly wait to read the next on the list!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not my taste
About a year ago I read my first Robert Rankin book 'The Witches of Chiswick' after seeing it in the library and just being attracted to the title.I absolutely loved it.I never laughed aloud so much from reading a book.I was surprised because I am not usually into this genre.My husband read it after me and fell in love too.I then decided that I wanted to read every single book by R. Rankin.

I bought 'Anti-Pope' and neither me or my husband liked it.He gave up 1/4 through and I had to force myself to finish it.

I'm not saying it is bad... it is just not my type of thing.The story was pointless to me and not exciting at all.The writing and posh language of the characters was too surreal and the wit, puns, and silly footnotes from the author that I found in 'Witches of Chiswick' were missing completely.

I'm not giving up on R. Rankin all together, but I wouldn't recommend 'The Anti-Pope' at all.

1-0 out of 5 stars I'd review if I could read it!!!
Order placed October 10, 2005.Two missed estimated time of delivery, and two complaints later -- still not in my possession.

Don't order this book here,You will never receive it.Best of luck!

3-0 out of 5 stars The Antipope
Unfair judgement of this item!! After a month of waiting Amazon can't ship it or the Book of Ultimate Truth. US Rankin fans beware, this is not necessarily a proper outlet for order.

5-0 out of 5 stars pooley and omally- England's heroes.
I've been reading Robert Rankin for three years, and I have to say, all the books in the Brentford triangle series are classics! The sheer silliness of his stories just have you in stiches for hours, The Antipoope is a favorite for one reason only. It's a first! It starts everything off, Neville the part-time bar man, the professor, the tramp... This book starts it all and I assure you, you'll never put the book down! ... Read more

2. The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 368 Pages (2011-03-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575088532
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The pickled Martian's tentacles are fraying at the ends and Professor Coffin's Most Meritorious Unnatural Attraction (the remains of the original alien autopsy, performed by Sir Frederick Treves at the London Hospital) is no longer drawing the crowds. It's 1895; nearly a decade since Mars invaded Earth, chronicled by H.G. Wells in The War of the Worlds. Wrecked Martian spaceships, back-engineered by Charles Babbage and Nikola Tesla, have carried the Queen's Own Electric Fusiliers to the red planet, and Mars is now part of the ever-expanding British Empire. The less-than-scrupulous sideshow proprietor likes Off-worlders' cash, so he needs a sensational new attraction. Word has reached him of the Japanese Devil Fish Girl; nothing quite like her has ever existed before. But Professor Coffin's quest to possess the ultimate showman's exhibit is about to cause considerable friction amongst the folk of other planets. Sufficient, in fact, to spark off Worlds War Two.
... Read more

3. Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 381 Pages (2000-10-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$7.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552147419
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

This is the anarchic comedy of one man who realizes his secret ambition to get into the music industry—managing a band called Gandhi's Hairdryer. But he's soon to find out something very odd about the band—something other-worldly.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Rock'n'Roll Absurdity
A solid number of Robert Rankin's books are centered in Brentford around the underachieving pair of John Omally and Jim Pooley.Chronically unemployed, the duo manages to find adventures that border on absurdity.As the title "Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls" suggests, this book is no exception.

The good news is that the Beatles are back together, and Jimi Hendrix is alive.Even Elvis is still making music.The problem with this scenario is the means by which it was done.As John Omally tries to convince a mysterious local band named Gandhi's Hairdrier to let him be their manager, the world is changing.The band's lead singer's mysterious powers of voice only add an extra layer of peculiarity.Time has already ended, causing the people of the future to return to the past and change it according to their whims.The consequences can be staggering.

Gags are cleverly placed like landmines throughout the book, often causing readers to laugh out loud.It is also amusing to see the rockers we miss, having a go in old age.These scenes almost make the book worth it alone.

While I did not enjoy this book as much as his Toyland tales, it is a very entertaining book.Though I may be in the minority, I find his humor far more amusing than Terry Pratchett.

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of time, out of place, anything goes
This is my first Rankin book. Clearly this guy has been around for awhile. He has a strong fan base and deserves it.

This 5 star review is merely a reminder to myself to order more of his stuff. I don't think I'm going to add much to the discussion, really.

This book disregards the confines of time and the 20the century. The characters can move in way that are not limited by the laws of physics, reason, or propriety. That's what makes it fun.

He touches on pop culture, rock music and the strange way the brits seem to act. All worthy deviations from the old classic tales.

In the end it isfun fast read. A super summer vacation book. I didn't think about the economy once while reading this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stumble into the oddness of Brentford
I read this whenever I need to have a good guffaw and be amazed.Compelling, inspired and funny.

5-0 out of 5 stars i absolutely luvd this book
this was the first rankin book i purchased,it was recomended to me because i read a lot of Moore's stuff.well i have to say this book was unbelievably funny.Barely a page went by that i did not find myself chuckling outloud.I found the very lyrical form of writing to be an extremely fast read. the only problem with the book was that i finished it too fast.rest assured i will read more Rankin books in the months to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars Off the wall
Hilarious.Absolutely mad.Check out his other books and read the reviews on amazon.co.uk (he's an English writer).
Brentford does exist, it is near Heathrow airport on the way into London.Couldn't find the pub though.

I am not into science fiction, or time travelling, but I am into inspired, slightly insane, totally off the wall, writing.There's none better than Robert Rankin.

Recommended. ... Read more

4. The Brentford Triangle (Brentford Trilogy)
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 240 Pages (1992-08-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$5.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552138428
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Omally groaned. "It is the end Of mankind as we knowit. I should never have got up so early today" and all over Brentfordelectrical appliances were beginning to fail...'

Could it be that Pooley and Omally, whilst engaged on a round ofallotment golf, mistook laser-operated gravitational landing beams forthe malignant work of Brentford Council?

Does the Captain Laser Alien Attack machine in the bar of the Swanpossess more sinister force than its magnetic appeal for youths withgreen hair?

Is Brentford the first base in an alien onslaught on planet Earth? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A comic masterpiece!
This book had me laughing from cover to cover thanks to the exploits of Pooley, Omally and Co.Never before has such a humourous alien conspiracy story been told and with the unlikeliest of heroes too!!A compeling read! ... Read more

5. The Toyminator
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 346 Pages (2010-03-19)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575085479
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Somewhere over the rainbow and just off the Yellow Brick Road stands Toy City, and things are not going well for the city's inhabitants. There have been outbreaks of STC—Spontaneous Toy Combustion—and there are strange portents in the Heavens. The preachers of Toy City's many religions are predicting that the End Times are approaching and that a Toy City Apocalypse will soon come to pass. With the body count rising and the forces of law and order baffled, it is time for a heroic duo to step forward and save the day. Eddie Bear, Toy City Private Eye, and his loyal sidekick Jack must face their biggest challenge yet: to save not only toykind, but the world of mankind too.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Creative Wit that is Laugh Out Loud Funny
Rankin has a way with words that few humourist can master or sustain... Think of the original "Red Dwarf", or anything by Douglas Adams. Suspend your logical thinking, climb on board for a wild ride of wry humour co-existing in a crazy acid-hazed alternate reality... I will seek each and every one of his gems out.

2-0 out of 5 stars Unfunny, irritating and sexist.
This is the second of Rankin's books I've read. I didn't enjoy the first, but thought I'd give him a second chance with another book. Unfortunately, it wasn't any better. Not only was this not funny, but it shared so many annoying things in common with the other book (which was The Greatest Show Off Earth), that I was disappointed in the lack of new thought. I even made a list of the (annoying) similarities in both books, and it came to seven (major) items. I won't go into all of them in detail now, but I'll cover the worst.

1. Starting 10 sentences in a row with the word "And". This was *really* annoying. Sure, if it only happens a few times, it's no big deal. However, it ran all the way through the book, and occurred in practically every chapter. Just about every time a complicated scene appeared, all the action would be described with Ands. It was boring, repetitive, and not a very good use of English. Besides, wasn't it enough to use it in one book already? Why two? Probably more, seeing as I haven't read any others yet.

2. This book was so sexist that I could be here all day going into the details. To be quick, I'll just point out that - with all the many colourful characters in the story - there was exactly ONE instance of a conversation between two women. Just one. And a brief, unimportant one at that. I dare readers to try and name one novel they've read which does not involve two male characters holding a conversation with each other. I know I can't think of one. Rankin doesn't seem to be interested in writing about two female characters talking, or writing women into scenes that don't involve them being leered at by men. It isn't just this book, either - The Greatest Show Off Earth was exactly the same.

I was flabbergasted at the way in which every single female character (even an inanimate one!) was highly sexualised, their sexual attractiveness closely scrutinised, and so on. If the same had been done to the male characters, I'd say this was fair, but there wasn't so much of even a mild "handsome" or "good-looking" adjective in there anywhere regarding any of the men. I found this really offensive, and I'm honestly saddened that women are still being objectified to this extent in published material even now. There were more worryingly subtle sexist implications in there as well that didn't seem to be linked to comedy, such as the implication that beer is a "man's drink", or cocktails are a "woman's drink". Anyone with half a brain knows this is rubbish. This may be a comic novel, but sexism isn't funny. Also, it seems like an excellent way of alienating 50% of one's potential audience. I hope Rankin reads this review at some point and fixes this in his subsequent novels, because it's quite appalling. At the very least, he needs to give his male characters the same treatment he's giving the women and at least make them *both* sex objects, if the idea of women not being sex objects is really so hard to fathom.

3. Running gags. The trouble with these is that if they don't work the first time, they're never going to, and the reader will continue to be subjected to them. Even in the footnotes, the mythical editor complained about how tedious they were. Well, author, listen to your mythical editor and get rid of them! Even if they are funny (which I'm sure they will be to at least *some* people), they're still repetitive and unoriginal.

I just couldn't find any humour in this book, even ignoring all the problems listed above (and the others I didn't list here). The story was fairly interesting and original, which is the only reason I'm not giving this book a one star rating, but it didn't make so much as the corners of my mouth twitch. I need a bit of intelligence and wit in my comedy, and this doesn't have it.

PS: If the author does nothing else, I hope he at least gets rid of the plague of Ands. They really were terrible.

4-0 out of 5 stars Toys with Attitude
Plenty of humor. I enjoyed the idea of a teddy bear who goes to the pub and has a stash of toy weapons. Book gives some piercing insights into the "real" world and meat-head (human) behaviour. Beware the chickens !!

Backcover: Somewhere over the rainbow and just off the Yellow Brick Road stands Toy City, formerly known as Toy Town. And things are not going well for the city's inhabitants. There have been outbreaks of STC--Spontaneous Toy Combustion--and there are strange signs and portents in the Heavens. Preachers of Toy City's many religions are predicting that the End Times are approaching and that a Toy City Apocalypse will soon come to pass. But can this possibly be true, or is there a simple explanation--an alien invasion, for instance? With the body count rising and the forces of law and order baffled, it is the time for a hero to step forward and attempt to save the day. Well, two heroes, actually: Eddie Bear, Toy City Private Eye, and his loyal sidekick, Jack. Our courageous twosome are about to face their biggest challenge yet--to save not only toykind, but the world of mankind, too.

Sequel toThe Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (Gollancz)

3-0 out of 5 stars Rankin's books are as strange as.
The cover copy says this is the "longed-for sequel to The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse." That's a bit of publisher's hyperbole, but after four years, Rankin has indeed produced a sequel. Eddie Bear, Toytown PI (he used to be the bear of the late Bill Winkie), has been removed from the position of Mayor by the kindly, white-haired old toymaker who put him in that job at the end of the first book. Eddie, it appears, is a reformer and his efforts didn't go over too well. So he gets back together with Jack, his human partner (or, possibly, his "comedy sidekick"), who has been washing dishes in a diner (part of Nadine Sprat's franchise operation). At this point, you can see where Rankin's peculiarly English sense of humor is going, if you didn't already know. Anyway, the two get caught up in the investigation of the simultaneous murder of every cymbal-playing wind-up monkey in Toytown, followed by the abduction by chicken-aliens of a club band and the opera's orchestra, followed by an incursion into the meat-head world Beyond the Second Big O. Frankly, Rankin's idiosyncratic narrative style is more fun than the plot itself. (He not infrequently tries too hard.) Myself, I still prefer Terry Pratchett, but this isn't bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
If you liked Hollow Chocolate Bunnies Of The Apocalypse then you'll love the sequel, but make sure you read Hollow Chocolate Bunnies Of The Apocalypse first or you wont know what the hell is going on! ... Read more

6. The Book of Ultimate Truths
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 347 Pages (1994-04-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055213922X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The late Hugh Artemis Solon Saturnicus Reginald Arthur Rune, hailed as the guru's guru, penned more than eight million words of genius. However, vital chapters which could have changed the course of history were suppressed—and two youths set out to recover them.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Book of Ultimate Truths (Mass Market Paperback)
Unfair judgement of this item!!After a month of waiting Amazon can't ship it or the Antipope.US Rankin fans beware, this is not necessarily a proper outlet for order.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book defines madness...
First of all, I don't understand why this guy isn't that popular (at least in the USA)! His sense of humour is unlike anything you would have ever read in your life. Laced with witty humour, brilliant use of words and insane ideas, his plots keep getting better and better with successive novels. However, this one remains a classic to the very end. Its about Hugo Rune and all his crazy theories about life (well, at least the life of a screw!). I sometimes wonder how this guy's mind works...I mean, first of all, his plot is incredibly complicated, on top of that, its situational comedy to the very best (forget those stupid sitcoms after reading this...at least I have)
Read this one and expand your mind! And the ending of this book is...well, MINDBLOWING!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hugo Rune... an extraordiary man
I read this book once and laughed out loud.I read this book twice and had a giggly fit.I lent it to my Grandma and she didn't give it back.

Robert Rankin is a master wordsman and his books never fail to deliver.The Book of Ultimate Truths is mentioned in other books of his, and Hugo Rune is in every book.This is truly wonderful - the extracts from TBOUT are really clever and makes me wish that I'd realised that first.An extremely funny book (in case you hadn't gotten the message by now) that EVERYONE should read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The secret life of the small screw
This is Robert Rankin's eighth novel, the first of a new series. It introduces some endearing characters: the wild-haired seventeen-year-old Cornelius Murphy, and his dwarf-like companion Tuppe.

A typical Rankin plot: Cornelius and Tuppe are on an epic quest to retrieve the suppressed chapters of The Book of Ultimate Truths, and to keep them out of evil hands. Hugo Rune, the author of the book in the book, appeared in earlier Rankin novels, but now his outlandish ideas get the full attention they deserve: about the secret life of Gandhi and H.G. Wells, about the strange behavior of biros and small scews, stories that make you laugh aloud.

This was the first book I read from Robert Rankin, and at times I wondered if this guy needed to see a doctor. I read it again recently, after having read all his other books, and I found out that I had missed a lot of jokes during the first reading. The more you read these books, the better they get.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilariously wierd
References to Douglas Adams aside (no, it's nothing like the Hitchhiker's Guide), this book is absolutely hilarious. It's one of the few books I've ever read that's been able to make me laugh out loud so often. Rankin'sbizarre and somewhat halucinatory style is guaranteed to catch you offguard. The endorsements on the back include Terry Pratchett saying thatRankin is one of the few authors that can consistently make him laugh. Whatbetter reason do you need? ... Read more

7. Necrophenia (Gollancz)
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 400 Pages (2009-08-01)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$2.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575082429
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The symptoms have been studied; the diagnosis is confirmed; the prognosis is bleak. The universe will cease to exist in just 12 hours—12 hours during which all of the loose ends must be tied up, all of the Big Questions answered, and all of the Ultimate Truths revealed. It promises to be a somewhat hectic half-day—during which a Brentford shopkeeper will complete a sitting room for God, a Chiswick woman will uncover the Metaphenomena of the Multiverse, an aging super villain will put the finishing touches to his plans for transdimensional domination, serious trouble will break out at the New Messiah's Convention in Acton, and a Far-Fetched Fiction author will receive Divine Enlightenment. Will the universe end with a bang or a whimper—or something else entirely, possibly involving a time-traveling Elvis Presley with a sprout in his head?
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and No New Gags
Rankin hasn't produced anything really good since Brightonomicon and Necrophenia is just another failed attempt.

I love Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse and Brightonomicon...as well as Garden of Unearthly Delights, Knees Up Mother Earth (and The Brentford Trilogy [all 7 or so books of it] in general), etc. but I think he's turning out the same book over and over now.Perhaps Mr. Rankin needs to take a break and recharge his creative juices.

What's Wrong With This Book
1) Disjointed narrative that isn't usefully or aesthetically disjointed
2) Same characters...though some are going by different names
3) Same gags
4) Same fractured grammar that is fun for a while but gets old fast
5) Poor plotting and structure

Whenever he publishes I get the new title and they are always funny (on the funny side at least), but after Brightonomicon there hasn't been one to rival the best of his earlier books...and I am greedily anticipating this.

Some may feel this review is unfair but I paid money for this and feel, a little, cheated.

Not a bad book until measured against his earlier efforts...this is why only 2 stars.And a little over priced for an ebook.

Come on Bobby...get your game on!!!o_O

3-0 out of 5 stars A lot better than "Toyminator"
All Tyler wanted was to be a world famous rock star or a private eye, but neither dream seemed destined to succeed. His band, The Sumerian Kynges, was derailed by a baffling circumstance and his career imitating Lazlo Woodbine was cut short by the fact that he wasn't Lazlo Woodbine.

And what should be the simple story of a band's brief rise and fall is complicated somewhat by zombies, ukuleles, the true lineage of Elvis Presley, the map to a lost city, and an impending apocalypse.

//Necrophenia// is the latest bit of chaotic creativity from the mind of Robert Rankin, and it is jam-packed with ridiculousness. Lavishly detailed and populated by a cavalcade of weirdos and ne'er-do-wells, it is part homage to the detective genre, part "behind the music" for a band that could have been (and probably was), part coming of age tale, and wholly bizarre.

While the pace of the book can feel pokey at points, the numerous tangents being especially grating on the nerves, the sheer strangeness of Tyler's journey through time, space, and alternate history will keep you turning the pages. //Necrophenia// is hardly perfect, but it's definitely unique.

Reviewed by Glenn Dallas

5-0 out of 5 stars robert rankin: wanted dead or alive
There's a man named Robert Rankin out there. If you see him, he is to be exterminated immediately. Preferrably with something large and powerful like some kind of dalek planet-drilling laser or something. His crime? For being cruel and evil. Why cruel and evil? Because this man is determined to turn my funny bone into powder! He is trying his hardest to rip apart my sides with that awful device he is so fond of using - humour, which causes my sides to shake with fits of devastating and uncontrollable laughter. He must be stopped! Immediately!

I have said it once before, perhaps many times before, but the funniest book in existence is The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Robert Rankin, however, seems to want to fill the next thirty (!) or so slots. I'm terrified of him. Terrified he might actually have a book I have yet to read which will disembowel my entire belief system and turn out to be funnier than the Guide. My god, but he's so close to it just with the couple I've read so far. I'm biting my nails because I know I haven't read his best offerings yet. Could the world suddenly about to be turned on its pitiful head? Stranger axises of evil have been discovered this century so far. It's possible...

But, I ramble.

I finished reading Necrophenia about ten minutes ago, and I'm still shaking with the after effects of excess mirth.

Robert Rankin has introduced Tyler in this one. He's a private detective and former rock and roll legend. He has mastered the Tyler Technique - a system by which he solves his crimes. It's a successful system, and one I have always aspired to in my own life. To see it finally in print feels to me that part of my religion has been stolen from me, and for this I also wish to see Robert Rankin on a pike in front of my house. I'd do it myself, but the Tyler Technique is far too eerily similar to my own. The Tyler Technique is quite simple. Deceptively simple. Dastardly simple, perhaps. It involves doing nothing at all. In fact, the more nothing you do, the easier it is, and the more successful it becomes.

Plotwise, it's about how Tyler almost saves the world from the evil forces of forceful evil. He lives through the swinging sixties, flashes forward through each decade with decided cool and faces off against Elvis' evil brother in a grand finale guaranteed to give a giggle. It even has ninjas in it. I mean - NINJAS! Is Mister Rankin not the best at giving you everything you could possibly want and more, or what?

I'm a big fan of the do-nothing heroes. They're my favourite, because they're the ones I relate to most. Trinity from the old Bud Spencer and Terrance Hill movies was one of the best. Anyone who just sits around and lets it all out is just fine in my books. There's a vast element of discordianism raging through Robert Rankin's books, and you see it never more clearly defined than in Necrophenia. It's on for the show, and Tyler's belief system simply moves the world around for him - albeit with help from others. The Tyler Technique is simply the most simplest way you can describe Discordianism, I believe, and now when I am asked to explain this sharp little religion, I will simply offer them Necrophenia as a grimoire which will explain it all.

Is this book funny? It's terrifyingly funny. No man should be able to string along a set of jokes like this outside a Carry On film. It's simply mind-boggling how funny Robert Rankin is, and just how consistent his novels are. They are funny from beginning through to end, with no moment of boredom or slowness whereby you sit there thinking Mister Rankin got a little tired of his novel and went out for some tea while letting his secretary tap randomly away for a few chapters. His style is witty, sharp, eccentric and every bit as you could imagine if you, like me, ever wondered what would happen if a Discordian were let loose with a typewriter, an old grimoire, a Best Of the Rolling Stones album, a battered Mickey Spillane novel, a nude photoset of a rather popular weathergirl, two packs of chocolate, a hot cup of tea and a fistful of lsd. The results are astounding. And that's before the talking of the toot!

I cannot recommend Robert Rankin enough. The man is insane. Why isn't he locked up for the good of humanity? Keep his typewriter away from him! Don't let him near a pen, and for my sake don't let him near a computer!

Please, Mister Rankin, stop tormenting my sides!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Rankin
This is Rankin's thirtieth book if I counted correctly, and it's one of the more enjoyable ones of the last couple of years. This is classic Rankin: it has Lazlo Woodbine, Elvis, the Ministry of Serendipity and all the usual running jokes in it, but otherwise the book stands on its own. I assume Count Otto Black was left out of the story for that reason, although he would have been a logical choice in such an occult book. Also classic Rankin is the (anti-) hero who is an ordinary bloke who has to save the earth in a grotesque battle between Good and Evil. Almost. No aliens this time, but lots of zombies to compensate.

The plot is good and interesting, but there are a few loose ends that disappointed me a little. We never really find out who is the mysterious Ishmael, and the occasional recurrence of the main character's father creates an expectation that he will be involved in the plot's finale, but that expectation is not met. Otherwise, the many twists and turns of the plot are highly entertaining, and the number of jokes is amazingly high, as usual.

This is a highly recommended read, although you'll enjoy it more if you've read some of his books before. Nevertheless, this is as good a place as any to start discovering Rankin. Over the years, Rankin has perfected the art of introducing characters and plot elements in a smooth manner, and although it gets complicated at times, I never felt lost or disoriented.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rankin
Great book, but at times Rankin seems to fall back on old jokes and scenarios.Still, a good book, especially for Rankin completists. ... Read more

8. East of Ealing (Brentford Trilogy)
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 288 Pages (1992-12-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$7.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552138436
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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'Ahead, where once had been only bombsite land, theLateinos & Romiith building rose above Brentford. Within its cruel andjagged shadow, magnolias wilted in their window boxes and syntheticGold Top became doorstep cheese...'

Something sinister is happening east of Ealing. The prophecies of TheBook of Revelation are being fulfilled.

Lateinos & Romiith, a vast financial network, is changing all therules with a plan to bar-code every living punter and dispense withold-fashioned money. A diabolical scheme, which would not only endcivilisation as we know it, but seriously interfere with drinkinghabits at the Flying Swan.

Can Armageddon, Apocalypse and other inconveniences of the modern agebe stopped by the humble likes of Pooley and Omally, even with thehelp of Professor Slocombe and the time-warped Sherlock Holmes ofBaker Street ... ? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I must say after having read the first two novels in this series, and quite enjoying them, this one was a disappointment.The story does not end so much as it stops, with none of the plot lines resolved.I expected much more from an author whose work I have come to enjoy.

1-0 out of 5 stars I really wish I could read this wonderful sounding book
I have not read this book. Why? Although I ordered it in NOVEMBER 2005, I have yet to receive it! I have written many letters to no avail. However, I read another review for a product sold by Amazon that the purchaser had some problem with, and their problem got resolved when they wrote a bad review. That's all I'm trying to do here, really; simply get my problem resolved.

4-0 out of 5 stars Robert Rankin at his best
East of Ealing, a part of the "infamous" 5 book Brentford trilogy, will not disappoint the fans of the series. Find out in this book whether the flying swans patrons will once again outlive the fiendishschemes of the archvillain, or even worse, will their drinking beinterrupted ("mine will be a pint of large , neville"). If you'rea fan, you will love this book, if you are not, you have been wasting yourprecious few daily hours of sobriety ....

4-0 out of 5 stars Robert Rankin at his best
East of Ealing, a part of the "infamous" 5 book Brentford trilogy, will not disappoint the fans of the series. Find out in this book whether the flying swans patrons will once again outlive the fiendishschemes of the archvillain, or even worse, will their drinking beinterrupted ("mine will be a pint of large , neville"). If you'rea fan, you will love this book, if you are not, you have been wasting yourprecious few daily hours of sobriety .... ... Read more

9. The Da Da De Da Da Code
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 330 Pages (2010-03-19)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575085487
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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All Jonny Hooker has to do to claim a big prize is to solve the Da-Da-De-Da-Da Code. Jonny knows that beat: it is scattered throughout popular music and it has something to do with the Devil's Chord, as well as the great blues musician Robert Johnson; Elvis Presley—who is of course still alive—and with the Secret Parliament of Five, who dictate world affairs. When he solves the Code, Jonny will discover why all the most famous rock musicians die at 27, the truth about raising an ancient god, and all about the destruction of the world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Robert Rankin manic humor.
I have been for some time a fan of Robert Rankin and he never fails to entertain,and he does it again with off beat manic homour and a sense of the absurb.His characters are beliveable as sometime in our lives we have met them or know of them. I cant wait till the next manic installment.

1-0 out of 5 stars Rankin reuses the same basic plot in every book.
I'm not completely sure why I keep torturing myself with Rankin's books, but I have a hunch that the blurbs have something to do with it. I doubt that Rankin writes his own blurbs (or, if he does, he should adopt that style of writing for the stories themselves). Every book of his I've picked up *looks* really interesting. The brief summaries on the inside cover *look* hilarious, and they *seem* attention-grabbing, and they *sound* unique. Then I read the actual stories and am bitterly disappointed every time.

This one's the worst yet. Everything I disliked about his other books is still present here, plus the added annoyance of being largely unable to follow the plot. But you know what? I think I've figured him out this time. I've cottoned on to the fact that all of Rankin's books are so bad for the same reasons because he's simply writing the same basic tale over and over - only with variations.

The story goes like this: A blokey bloke, with his friends the other blokey blokes, sit around in pubs all day, every day, talk to the bartender, and have run-ins with police constables. At the same time, a series of murders is going on, which turns out to be the work of a secret organisation (or more than one) that the general public knows nothing about. This inevitably leads to a close call with the apocalyptic end of the world. But blokey bloke saves the day and perves on women with his mates whilst doing so.

What's more, Rankin keeps reusing the same phrases in all his books. "Transperambulation of pseudo-cosmic antimatter" is one of them. References to "dimac" (supposedly the world's most lethal form of martial arts) and dimac's famous instructor are also in there. So is the same annoying method of transition between chapters that I've outlined in previous reviews. The only thing that wasn't in this one was the dreadful bunch of'Ands' Rankin loves to use to start consecutive sentences with. At least that's *one* good thing about this book. The characters, too, may as well be the same generic set shifted from book to book but painted over with different physical appearances and backstories. Whatever interest factor they had in the first Rankin book I read has well and truly worn off by now.

Why, I ask? These books aren't sequels, and as far as I know they aren't even set in the same universe. I don't want to read about the same plot, the same fine details, the same unfunny jokes three times in a row. Probably a lot more than three, seeing as Rankin has published many more books and it seems like too much of a coincidence to assume that I just so happened to select the only three that have this identical plotline in them. It's very unimaginative.

Of course, this all indicates that the awful sexism of the other two books is still present in this, and yes, it is. Once again, women are almost solely described according to how attractive they look. The only female characters in the book are either gorgeous sex objects with no interesting role in the story whatsoever, or old ladies, also with no interesting role in the story whatsoever (with the possible exception of Queen Elizabeth, who at least gets to take part in secret talks), and rather disturbingly also portrayed as sex objects in most cases of this particular novel. Well, at least it isn't ageist in addition to being sexist. Once again, we never, ever see two females having a conversation with each other in this Rankin book. It just doesn't happen, because the women are clearly only in the story for the male characters to perve on extremely blatantly. In one scene, for example, a woman was described with practically every single mention as being amazingly gorgeous, with especial emphasis on her breasts. And yet, not a single man in the story is so much as fleetingly referred to as being attractive or ugly. I don't know, maybe this would appeal to some sleazy, low-brow subsection of the male population, but I didn't find it tolerable, let alone funny. It makes my blood boil! Even the most (which is to say, not very) prominent female character was constantly being referred to in terms of her breasts and bottom. It was really sickening to read. From reading a Rankin novel, anyone would think that women were worth no more than an average piece of (very pretty) furniture. I know it's a comedy - but then why aren't the *men* being similarly sexualised, huh? Huh? Why don't the women get to perve on the men?

Well, I gave this author three chances in the hope he'd improve, and all three turned out to be a total waste of my time. This is officially the last book of his that I will ever read, since the trend seems set to continue. I don't think I've ever made a conscious decision to not open a book by a particular author before (because, after all, most authors have their good and not-so-good novels), but there's a first for everything. Sayonara, Rankin. I'm glad I found these at the library and didn't waste any money on them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Funny Stuff
This book was my first exposure to Robert Rankin, and I have to say it was a very pleasant surprise.A book that can make me laugh out loud is a rare find.It has the same zany appeal as Gaiman and Pratchett's "Good Omens" although it's a bit more uneven.The book has a good-natured silliness that I found very appealing.I sent a copy to a friend who said she started laughing at the second line. I have since started "The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" and have, thus far, been disappointed that the wonderful turn of phrase and clever goofiness of The Code is missing in it.However, I plan to read more Rankin in the future.

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't Read This
Horrible.I'm a big Rankin fan but this was the worst of his book that I have read.The best I've read is Brightonomicon...far, far superior.

DA DA was flat, stale jokes, boring characters, too long, too zany without tying it all together in the end.It had its moments but they were few and far between. ... Read more

10. Apocalypso
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 364 Pages (1999-07-01)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552145890
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The Ministry of Serendipity at Mornington Crescent runs everything. When it hears of a spacecraft that crashed into the Pacific 4000 years ago, it sends a team of paranormal investigators to recover it. Danbury Collins is on the team, but he isn't keen—what if a mad alien thaws out?
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

2-0 out of 5 stars Terry Pratchett he ain't!
A smile now & then, the odd good turn of phrase, but, see the title.

5-0 out of 5 stars We should all be more like WOK BOY (!)
If I had a penny for every time I giggled, sniggered or experienced any form of emotion whilst reading this book, I would have....I think. Rankin has written (another) fantastic peice here. All the characters are great (especially Wok Boy with his ideas agout ladies underwear. ahem) andall come together in the end in a grand finale involving an alienvegetable, Nelson's Column (and indeed all of Trafalgar Sq.), Magic and abloody big explotion!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Truth IS Out There (deep under Morningstar Crescent)
Great paranoid romp through the bowels of governmental and alien conspiracies. Why for God's sake is Douglas Adams published in the States and not Rankin. Only the men under Morningstar Crescent know for sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Porrig, Ripplington, and Wok-boy are great
Apocalipso took me a while to get into but when the Ministery of Sependery (MoS) Plan to nuke Dilbert Norris (An alien evolved from a vegetable) Things get interesting. ... Read more

11. The Witches of Chiswick
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 410 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$8.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575085444
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A great and sinister conspiracy exists to keep mankind from uncovering the truth about its past.  The Victorian authors and artists, for instance, did not simply dream up their various fantastic futuristic fictions; instead, their ideas were all based upon fact. The war of the worlds was a true account of real events; Captain Nemo's Nautilus even now lies rusting at the bottom of the North Sea; and there really was an invisible man. Furthermore, Queen Victoria had a sexual relationship with Dr. Watson, the elephant man was a product of an E.T./human hybridization program, and Jack the Ripper was a terminator robot sent from the future. In actuality, a cabal of Victorian Witches from the Chiswick Townswomen's Guild—working with advanced Babbage super-computers—rewrote 19th-century history. But now a 23rd-century boy called Will Starling has uncovered the truth about everything.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

3-0 out of 5 stars Was Rankin on Crack?
If the persistent rumor that Alice in Wonderland was written by Lewis Carroll high on LSD is plausible, then it's very likely that Rankin wrote Witches while on crack cocaine.

Let me start off by saying that this review for the audio version of the book, the unabridged version read by the author. And Rankin did an excellent job as reader. He varied his voice admirably and really gave life and personality to his characters. In fact, I'd be tempted to say that he did a better job as reader than writer in this case.

Witches is a book that absolutely refuses to take anything seriously, especially itself. Whenever the storyline starts to turn serious, the author seems to feel a compulsive need to interject something so outlandish, so flippant that a reader can almost imagine him winking at him with a Cheshire grin. So if your tastes align more with serious sci-fi/fantasy then you'd best give this book a wide berth.

If you're the kind of reader who enjoys a splash of humor in his/her fiction and are willing to give it a go, prepare to be dunked. Rankin seems to revel in absurdity. Every time I thought to myself, "He's outdone himself, it can't get any more absurd than this," he would prove me wrong. However after the story progressed it started to get annoying at times. I found myself wishing he would get a little more serious; it was almost like the silliness had taken over the story.

It's an intriguing premise. A future where a cabal of witches has taken control, unbeknownst to the public, and rewrote the past. Where the hero, Will Starling, is attacked by a Terminator (yes, that's right) sent there from the past. So, at its core, this is a time traveler story. But it's a story that's littered with references to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie Time Cop, and Mary Poppins to name a few. If that's not enough, how about a talking, magical, time-travelling, sprout? Or a boy raised by snails?

It was really the premise that kept me going, that and curiosity at how the author was going to finish. How was he going to resolve this? Was he ever going to wrap things up? The problem was that the author seemed to get so wrapped up in making his story whimsical and lighthearted that he failed in other areas...like cohesion. There are inconsistencies, meanderings, and holes galore in this story. For example, initially there's a big deal is made about Will being thin in a world of heavy people, yet other than the beginning of the story it seems to have absolutely zero purpose. And the author failed to portray Will's future as this dystopian society other than 3/4 of the way into the book where one of the characters told Will, "We lived in a dystopian society." I wish a little more effort had been put in to making the story cohesive and spent a little less time in random interludes and spinning off into ludicrous ramblings. Ironically enough, the author even went so far as to have has his characters point some of them out. If not for the frustrating silliness I would have given it a solid 4 Star rating but it doesn't really deserve just a 3 Star either.

Because of this as well as the author's unchecked absurdity, I'm likely to avoid this author's works in the future...unless I hear he's off the crack pipe.

1-0 out of 5 stars I Wish I Could Time Travel and Not Read This Book
I won't re-hash what others have already said.This book is about time travel but Rankin gets caught up in the time travel paradox and I guess he's trying to be clever but it turns into a headache for the reader.Reading this novel is like driving on a highway until you come to a maze of multiple highway connections and start trying to drive on more than one route.That's what Rankin tries to do then sort of stops, or maybe I gave up trying to understand what was happening.As the end of the book approaches, you get the sense that either Rankin went on vacation and someone else took over or he just lost interest in the book and ended it.I felt the latter that by the end of the book, I just didn't care.If I could time travel, I would go back in time and not buy this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars this guy is brilliant
I love love love Robert Rankin. This was one of my favorites. Read anything of his you can get your hands on. He is very hard to find in the states.

3-0 out of 5 stars Periodically clever, consistently amusing- just don't expect it to make a lot of sense
At one point in The Witches of Chiswick our protagonist (one of numerous William Starlings in the novel) says "If this were a book or a movie, the critics would tear it to pieces, saying the hero was two dimensional and the entire sorry business unconvincing and totally plot-led."

The author makes a number of references like this (characters refer to things that `happened in earlier chapters' or point out continuity problems in the story).The author is essentially winking at the reader, as if to say "We both know this is all pretty silly."

The plot here is absurd, convoluted, and seems not to have been entirely thought out.The pleasure in the novel comes, not from a plot that really doesn't make much sense, but rather from the writing itself.Rankin has a writing style that demands to be read out loud (if not actually spoken, at least read out loud in one's own head.)

The entire novel has an amusing tone but I can't say that anyone ever caught me laughing out loud while I read it. It did have me smiling most of the way though.This is a novel that features a boy who was raised by snails (they call him Snail Boy of course), talking vegetables that you insert in your ear, and a cabal of pinch-faced witches who fancy quilting and world domination.The novel portrays John Merrick (the Elephant Man) as an oversexed alien human hybrid spy, Queen Victoria (God Bless Her) as a party girl who parades around in diaphanous outfits wearing nothing else but high heeled clogs, Oscar Wilde as a `ladies man', and HG Wells as an invisible (literally), obnoxious and frustrated scientist.

The Witches of Chiswick is amusing enough* but lacks the big laughs needed to inspire a `four star' rating.Its incoherent plot falls apart near the end, leaving loose ends dangling everywhere.Very little of what happens makes any sense.The Witches of Chiswick may not be as funny or as inspired as Adam's The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but if you like your science fiction mixed with humour (1 part clever, 3 parts silly) the Witches of Chiswick is an oddly entertaining novel.

* The asterisks at the bottom of the page provide some of the funniest bits in the novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars A mostly Wonderful Book
Mr. Rankin has created a wonderful world here hats off to him.Sometimes the jokes are subtle and other times they are incredibly funny quite frankly words can't do justice to how funny parts of this book are.

You will love all the characters Will, other Will and Barry the time traveling sprout.There are also characters that are more familiar to us H.G Wells, Jack the Ripper and Queen Victoria just to name a few.

Great book, great story but the last 10 pages totally destroy whatever the author had been working towards.This is not enough to destroy a wonderful book but the ending is indeed a letdown.Either Rankin is setting things up for a sequel or he is just guilty of sloppy plot resolution.That is why it gets a fourth star and not the whole 5.
... Read more

12. Knees Up Mother Earth (Brentford Trilogy)
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 410 Pages (2010-03-19)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575085452
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Developers are planning to destroy Brentford's beloved soccer grounds. Something must be done, and the men of The Flying Swan—Brentford’s celebrated drinking house—take up the challenge. Norman has recently discovered a Victorian computer that holds the secrets of the super-technology of a bygone age, and Archroy has just returned from his seventh voyage with the fabled Golden Fleece. Surely, with these stalwarts working for the cause, the field is as good as saved. But this is Brentford, and the ancient forces of evil—Old Testament horrors, beasts from the bottomless pit, and Lovecraftian demons—are stirring.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Robert Rankin genius or madman
Having been a soccer fan this book is quiet beliveable in that why would some obscure team reach the dizzy hieghts of FA glory only if they had the devils luck.His books is peppered with characters who we either love or laugh along at the absurb plots, although most of his books follow the same formula they are immensely funny and entertaing.Can't wait for my next purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wacky Romp
This is a wacky romp through the underbelly of British Football along with other creatures from the less savory dimensions.The heroes are ordinary.The situation is bizarre.The writing is irreverant, and the book is a delight.This was my first meeting with Mr. Rankin's work, but it will not be my last.

Christine & Ethan Rose are the authors of the new fantasy series Rowan of the Wood

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good
All the old characters come back for a good one.Read the early books first, but don't miss this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brentford United!
I only have one gripe with this book! The Campbell's a good guy!?! I'm a MacDonald! Surely this must have been a typo by Mr Rankin?

Aside from that, tis good, fun filled frivolity, copious in-jokes, straw hatted ladies, deamons threatening the Large drinking residents of Brentford with only O'Mally n Pooley to save them, with a little help from an aged Professor, H G Wells, the wisdom of Rune,and not to mention a sprout named Barry.. you get the idea.

Cthulhu has a cameo role too, which pleased me, as last i heard he'd taken to hiding in phoneboxes and dialing up people at odd hours of the day! Nothing like a bit of taking over the world to get you back on track!

All in all, tis a good read indeed, and well worth adding to your Rankin collection. If your new to Rankin, imagine Tom Sharpe with Ben Elton, then think of the combined creature being very drunk! Thats the spirit! You know theres wit, satire, politics, and crudity, it may give you a bad head, and perhaps mother would not approve... but, you know you want it anyway!


4-0 out of 5 stars Generally funny
Knees Up Mother Earth concerns the forces of darkness and their attempts to gain control of Brentford football (soccer) ground, so they can bring about Apocalypse. Only two professional layabouts can save the world, by getting Brentford to win the FA cup. This is near-impossible, but the forces of darkness aren't about to let it happen. Then things get complicated, when all sorts of strangeness appears...
Rankin likes in-jokes, wordplay, and general silliness, but it's not comedy, more sly humour. This isn't as good as some of his books, but it's not bad. It's a good break from more serious reading.
This is the seventh in the Brentford trilogy and the second in the Witches of Chiswick of Trilogy, and though it's not necessary to have read either (you'll pick it up quickly enough) I recommend having read the Witches of Chiswick first. ... Read more

13. The Brentford Chainstore Massacre (Brentford Trilogy)
by Robert Rankin
 Paperback: 365 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$7.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 055214357X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
'Jim took himself to his favourite bench before theMemorial Library. it was here, on this almost sacred spot, that Jimdid most of his really heavyweight thinking. Here where he dreamed hisdreams and made his plans...'

There is nothing more powerful than a bad idea whose time hascome. And there can be few ideas less bad or more potentiallyapocalyptic than that hatched by genetic scientist Dr StevenMalone. Using DNA strands extracted from the dried blood on the TurinShroud, Dr Malone is cloning Jesus. And not just a single Jesus, he'sgoing for a full half-dozen so that each of the world's majorreligions can have one. It's a really bad idea.

In Brentford they've had a really good idea. They're holding theMillennial celebrations two years early to avoid the rush and itpromises to be the party of this, or any other, century. Unless, ofcourse, something REALLY BAD were to happen... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars I wish I could read this wonderful sounding book
I have not read this book. Why? Although I ordered it in NOVEMBER 2005, I have yet to receive it! I have written many letters to no avail. However, I read another review for a product sold by Amazon that the purchaser had some problem with, and their problem got resolved when they wrote a bad review. That's all I'm trying to do here, really; simply get my problem resolved.

5-0 out of 5 stars An extremely gripping read
For anyone who has read any of the Brentford trilogy this bookis simply a must. The adventures of Jim Pooley and John Omally yetagain never fail to completely abosrb and entertain the reader. Although some may find that what goes on in these novels are slightly far fetched this is the point entirely and the simple fact remains that it is entertainment of the highest degree. Robert Rankin describes himself as a teller of tall tales and this book is no exception, with a mad scientist making clones of Jesus using DNA from the Turin Shroud and the town of Brentford hosting millenium celebrations two years early in order to get it out the way with less fuss (while also being the first to take advantage of millenium funding).I would reccomend reading the other four 'Brentford' novels, The Antipope, The Brentford Triangle, East of Ealing and The Sprouts of Wrath, before reading this as it will allow you to familiarise yourself with the characters and also grow to love them and be excited at the thought of another ecounter with all of the great characters.The book focuses on two lay-abouts who are admired by myself for their lifestyle and the aventures which they get into, and is a thrilling tale as they once again go into battle with the forces of evil.This book is not all serious good vs evil stuff though as it contains much humour of which I found myself unable to control my laughter in a quiet room full of people after a riot was caused in the most funny of circumstances.If humourous science fiction is what you're looking for then this is certainly your cup of tea and comes with my highest recommendations. ... Read more

14. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 304 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$7.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575085436
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Once upon a time Jack set out to find his fortune in the big city. But the big city is Toy City, formerly known as Toy Town, and it has grown considerably since the good old days. It isn't all that jolly any more, and there is a serial killer loose on the streets who is slaughtering old, rich nursery rhyme characters one by one. Meanwhile, Private Eye Bill Winkie has gone missing, leaving behind his sidekick Eddie Bear of the Toy City Police to take care of things. Eddie may be a battered teddy with an identity crisis, but someone's got to stop the killer. Eddie and Jack team up to take down the killer, and along the way participate in heavy doses of bad behavior, car chases, and plenty of gratuitous sex and violence.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (70)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good place for Rankin newbies, but veterans may find it a little familiar.
Jack is off to the city to make his fortune, which he has heard is the thing to do for a clever young chap in search of adventure. The city in question is Toy City, formerly Toy Town, but all is not well there. Someone is knocking off the city's rich elite. Humpty Dumpty has been boiled alive in his own swimming pool and Little Boy Blue has had a fatally intimate encounter with his own shepherd's crook. With the city's finest detective, Bill Winkie, missing, it falls to Jack and Bill's sidekick, Eddie Bear, to solve the case and find the serial killer, whose calling card is a hollow chocolate bunny...

Robert Rankin is the UK's second-biggest-selling writer of comic fantasy (after Terry Pratchett) but is a rather different humourist to his knighted colleague. Whilst Pratchett deals with satire, Rankin is much more of an absurdist and surrealist (or, indeed, an absurd surrealist) who comes across as a mix of Jack Vance and Spike Milligan after they've gotten spectacularly drunk and torn up the town. His books have a reputation as being somewhat impenetrable for the newcomer, consisting as they do of myriad references and running gags spanning dozens of novels (The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse is Rankin's 24th novel, of 32 published to date), although in practise there are several viable entry-points, with this novel - set in its own reality unrelated to the 'Brentfordverse' of most of his other books - being one of them.

The premise is both barmy and logical, clever and slightly derivative. The idea of there being a place where all the fictional toys and nursery rhyme characters live together isn't exactly new, but the depiction here of Toy City being dirty, run down and slightly seedy (Old Mother Goose is the madame of a high-class brothel) is well-handled. It's a little bit of a shame that Rankin doesn't wander further from his comfort zone by maybe treating the premise more seriously, more like a real noir thriller which just happens to be set in Toy City, but the result is nevertheless still entertaining. Rankin cleverly uses the classic nursery rhymes to build up a cast of interesting characters and riffs off the standard detective fiction tropes in an appealing (and sometimes metafictional) manner. For newcomers, this is also (despite the premise and title) Rankin at his more restrained, with a notable lack of sentient time-travelling vegetables providing the impetus for the action.

There is one major issue. If you are familiar with Rankin's other books, this one, despite its unique setting, will be very familiar. Several recurring gags reappear, with Jack, like every single other Rankin protagonist of note, coming into possession of a minigun at one point in the narrative for the purposes of causing havoc (although, possibly in deference to the setting's lack of modern cultural references, it is not described as being "like the one Blaine had in Predator,"). The presence of two protagonists, one tall and handsome and the other short and slightly seedy, is also a recurring Rankinism, seen in his other double-acts such as Cornelius Murphy and Tuppe of the splendid Book of Ultimate Truths. In short, seasoned Rankin fans may feel disappointed at the over-familiarity of events, whilst newcomers will likely enjoy it more.

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (***½) is an amusing, occasionally hilarious slice of comic fantasy which makes a perfect entry-point for newcomers to Rankin's work, whilst more seasoned readers may find the experience enjoyable but also a little predictable. The book is available now (with new artwork) in the UK and on import in the USA.

2-0 out of 5 stars tries way too hard, and fails because of it
A young boy arrives in Toy City (where toys are alive) and teams up with a detective stuffed bear to solve a serial killing crime spree targeting notable nursery rhyme characters.

Parallels to Jasper Fforde's "Nursery Crime" series are obvious, and there are also heavy inspirations "borrowed" from Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. I don't have (that much of) a problem if an author rehashes someone else's material, as long as they bring something fresh and new to the table. Sadly, Rankin contributes nothing positive.

One of the biggest problems with this book is the narrative style. Long, convoluted sentences abound, and they are so horridly written that I am convinced the author genuinely spent hours at a stretch laboring to make them as painfully unreadable as possible.

Indeed, this book smacks of "effort." The author is *trying* to be funny, and the attempts are as transparent as they are unsuccessful. I could tell where I was supposed to laugh, but none of the material was even worth a chuckle or grin. I say this as a fan of British humor, too. The jokes (and plot) come off as forced, rather than natural, and fall flatter than a pancake because of it.

I came close to giving up on this book twice (at the 1/4 and then 1/2-way point) but ultimately chugged on solely because I literally had nothing else around to read instead. Having finished it, I feel like I wasted several days of my life, and I want them back! Admittedly, I wasn't expecting the ending, though this is largely due to the plot being so ineptly handled throughout... indeed, I probably should have expected a glaringly inconsistent left-turn in the final few chapters.

I debated whether to give this 1 star or not, but I didn't hate it enough to do so. To be honest, I suspect that some people might actually like this book, though I can all but guarantee that they are unfamiliar with Fforde or Pratchett, so won't notice the weak imitation of genuinely good material.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money-- even if it's free
I bought this book because I liked the sound of the premise and I liked the absurd title and book cover. It is difficult to put into words my feelings about this author's writing. It isn't horrible, or unimaginative, it's just very tired and tiring. He's not Douglas Adams, even though he seems to try desperately. He's not dry and witty like a Monty Python skit (his writing might be more tolerable if it were the length of a Monty Python skit).

His writing reminds me of a high school sophomore's attempt to be cool.

Based on the book blurb, I guess I was expecting something edgy and fun-- kind of a Hunter Thompson meets Chuck Palahniuk meets Warner Bros cartoon.The best thing about this book is the title.

3-0 out of 5 stars Shame on Amazon.com
I like this book.I read a library copy and decided to buy my own personal copy.I received it today and someone placed a barcode sticker over the printing on the back.The sticker isn't an easy to remove sticker, and I am afraid of ruining the cover.Please don't cover the printing on the back with a barcode sticker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
First I have read by Robert Rankin and I loved the quirky, whimsical humor. Absolutely one of the bests in British humor. I don't understand those who were disappointed b/c Rankin is not a "Douglas Adams clone" If that is what you are looking for, then why not just read Douglas Adams. Rankin is refreshing and if you are looking for something new, give this one a whirl. ... Read more

Hardcover: 144 Pages (2008)
-- used & new: US$11.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1846141168
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16. Nostradamus Ate My Hamster
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 320 Pages (1997-06-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$6.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552143553
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

They're making a movie in Brentford. It's unlike any movie that's everbeen made before. All the Hollywood Greats are in it. All the deadones anyway. They've got this Cyberstar equipment, you see. A computersystem that can generate life-sized moving holograms of famous filmstars. The big question is, where did they get it from? Or should thequestion be WHEN?

Russell's producing the movie. Not that he really knows how to, buthe's prepared to give it a go. He's a very nice chap, is Russell,perhaps a bit too nice. He works too hard and he cares too much, andpeople take advantage of him.

Morgan takes advantage. He tells Russell stories. In fact, if Morganhad never told Russell about Pooley and Omally Russell would neverhave spent his lunch-time trying to locate the real Flying Swan. Andif he'd never done that, Russell would never have found out about thealien technology in the Second World War, seen the flying saucer, metAdolf Hitler, heard the voices of God, helped make a movie that wouldchange the future of the entire human race and come within a gnat'stesticle of selling his spine to Satan.


Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Deservesa wider US audience
Rankin is not well known (and not generally available) in the US, but I think he is a very funny and creative writer. The perfect antidote to the generally depressing economic news.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as It Could Have Been
Robert Rankin is not as funny as he makes himself out to be, or so IMHO.This story(?) is so disjointed that it's hard to believe that anyone actually edited this book.(I listened to Rankin read this on tape and it's got so much nudge-nudge wink-wink to be unbearable at times.) So much of the book digresses to show how smart? cute? verbally impressive? etc. that Rankin thinks he is.

At one point of the book he is doing an American accent which is so patently NOT and American accent but what an Englishman thinks an American sounds like.What am I trying to say? Pretentious is what comes to mind.This is not Jasper Fforde or someone of that ilk, but a man who knows he's funny and you will too, whether you like it or not.

And I think that's the defining point.Rankin writes for himself and if you read it it's because your smart enough to track down something he's written.But I didn't find this to be funny (ha ha) as much as I found it funny (weird) which is hard to sustain (and he doesn't).Well that's my opinion.

Zeb Kantrowitz

3-0 out of 5 stars Not too bad.
This book made for a, well, interesting read.If you get it, just keep reading.It will all make sense in the end, sort of.Had some very funny lines it.

4-0 out of 5 stars I love hearing Rankin read his stories
Robert Rankin has become one of my favorite authors, and I rank this as one of his best.Even better than reading Rankin, in my opinion, is hearing Rankin himself.His characterizations really bring the story to life.I still think Fandom The Fandom of the Operator is his best work ever, but I haven't read all his works.Anyway, if you're a fan of audio books and strange science fiction, you should really enjoy Rankin's audio works.

4-0 out of 5 stars confusing but great fun
I checked out Nostradamus Ate my Hamster from the library based just on its bizarre title and was not at all disappointed.This very unusual story was hilarious, at times disturbing, and occasionally offensive, but almost entirely enjoyable.A warning to the reader: be prepared to abandon all rationality and to suspend disbelief, because this is a book that breaks all the rules.If you enjoy the work of Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and Monty Python's Flying Circus, this sci-fi comedy/fantasy is highly recommended. ... Read more

17. The Sprouts Of Wrath
by Robert Rankin
 Paperback: Pages (1995)

Isbn: 0552138444
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars I really wish I could read this wonderful sounding book!
I have not read this book. Why? Although I ordered it in NOVEMBER 2005, I have yet to receive it! I have written many letters to no avail. However, I read another review for a product sold by Amazon that the purchaser had some problem with, and their problem got resolved when they wrote a bad review. That's all I'm trying to do here, really; simply get my problem resolved.

3-0 out of 5 stars Standard Rankin
Not the best Rankin novel - Sprouts fails to inject enough humour into theproceedings to carry the bog standard plot. Rankin regulars (like myself)will be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy smokes, this is fine!
Well, it isn't the first Rankin I've read- in fact, I've gone throught them all.But this is one of the best. Coming from Ealing, near Brentford, where the books are set, I must admit I feel a certain affinity with MrRankin, but I am damned glad I do.He is incredibly funny, and get'sfunnier with each book.Sprouts...deals with Brentford's hosting the nextOlympic Games, which will be held in a giant invisible floating stadium. Hmmmm.Anyway, it's a great laugh, as much for regulars as newbies.Trustme - you will enjoy it.You have my word.No, really. ... Read more

18. The Brightonomicon (Brentford Trilogy)
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 378 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$9.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0575085460
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Having been thrown from Brighton Pier by the leader of The Canvey Island Mod Squad, the hero narrowly escapes drowning thanks to the Perfect Master, the self-styled Logos of the Aeon—not to mention the reinventer of the Ocarina—also known as Hugo Rune. The hero has lost his memory, and in desperation he agrees to join The Lad Himself in the solving of 12 mysteries based upon The Brightonomicon, the new zodiac signs formed by the alignment of Brighton streets. Together they must find the Chronovision before it falls into the wrong hands and affords ultimate power to the would-be world dictator Count Otto Black.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars A weak showing
"Retromancer" was the first Rankin book I'd read, just a few months ago, and while I had an initial "meh" reaction, I kept being drawn back to it for rereads.So I decided to buy "The Brightonomicon" because it was also about Rune and Rizla.(In the meantime I had read "The Antipope" and found it to be like a beach read, nothing seriously good or bad about it.)

And upon reading this I find myself really grinding my teeth at a couple of repetitive things.

1. Every time they get in a taxi, the driver waxes poetic about his preferred sports club.
2. I got sick of reading about Rune applying his stout stick to everyone that made him angry.It seems it was done excessively.

I simply didn't find it as inventive as "Retromancer," and a lot of the cases they solved were really weak.It seems like for much of this book, Rankin was unncessarily padding it with either repetitive dialogue or total nothingness.Even for Rankin (which I admittedly have a scant knowledge of), it was rambling and unnecessary.Even the talking of toot was weak and cheap.I do not think I will be continuing with Rankin's books; instead, my beloved Discworld books will get more rereads.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Rankin
This is hilarious. A very good first book to read if you're considering joining the cult of Rankin.
Also, for some reason, it gave me fantastic dreams and I felt that Rankin's prose was singing through me for days and days. It was quite a good thing to have happen, if odd. I then went and bought dozens of Rankin books so perhaps I was hypnotized...

4-0 out of 5 stars always a treat
It is always a treat to read a Rankin novel because you never know what to expect. I loved this one because it was full of Rune i love that guy. If your not a fan of running gags or the talking of toot best to avoid this and all other Rankin but if you are looking for fun times and a few tips on the finer talking of toot then read this book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I have read most of Rankin's stuff and have usually really enjoyed it.He missed the mark on this one.It isn't particularly funny. It is disjointed. It repeats itself constantly, and just isn't very interesting.It might be a bit more interesting if you are familiar with town he sets this in, but just a bit. They can't all be winners. Try something else by him instead. His Brentford stuff, and Bunny stuff are far better choices.

... Read more

19. Armageddon: The Musical
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 336 Pages (1991-04-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$6.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552136816
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Theological warfare. Elvis on an epic time-travel journey thePresliad. Buddhavision - a network bigger than God (and more powerful,too). Nasty nuclear leftovers. Naughty sex habits. Dalai Dan (the153rd reincarnation of the Lama of that ilk) and Barry, the talkativeTime Sprout. Even with all this excitement, you wouldn't think abackwater planet like Earth makes much of a splash in the galacticpond.

But the soap opera called The Earthers is making big video bucks inthe intergalactic ratings race. And alien TV execs know exactly whatthe old earth drama needs to make the off-world audience sit up andstare: a spectacular Armageddon-type finale. With a cast of millions -including you! DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL - IT'S GONNA BE A HELLUVA SHOW! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars very funny books - and it's right there are Elvis churches
I think this book has it right, Elvis will be a future religion.

The reason that I believe this is the many religious aspects of the Elvis story.

* born in humble circumstances and poverty.
* sole survivor of a twin birth that his father later claimed to recalling a strange light in the sky on the night of his birth
* escaped death again at age 5 from a tornado that ripped through Tupelo.
* He lived in Memphis along a mighty river and became known as The King, giving Pharoh assocations.
* He recorded his first music on Sun Records - and most religions have sun gods, gods of light
* He ushered in a great cultural change - broke racial barriers while heightening the generational gap and put overert sex at the cultural forefront
* His personal image was one of racial tolerance, generosity/charity
* The kisses, scarves and other items given out to the crowds during concerts is like having a blessing bestowed upon you
* He was surrounded by a core group of disciples (memphis mafia) who have split into camps and written conflicting books after Elvis' death
* there are stories of him having visions, laying on hands healing,
* there's been after death sightings of him in person, or just his image appearing as do Jesus, Virgin Mary, etc.
* Elvis' image is reproduced in religious type paintings
* Impersonators or Tribute Artists are priests
* people make pilgrimages to Graceland - especially for the winter holiday (Jan 8) and the end of summer (Aug 16) holidays - which is already a weeklong festival
* people have special areas in their homes of their Elvis collections, serving as altar areas or even rooms in their homes which act as temples.


4-0 out of 5 stars Extremely funny and intelligent 'fantasy'
For all fans of comic literature, Robert Rankin does the goods. This is an extremely funny and weird book, which is also quite intelligently construed. I think some of Rankin's other works are even more funny, butall in all this book is miles ahead of most other works in the genre. Ifyou like Terry Pratchett, you will definitely enjoy all of Rankin's books,and maybe even prefer the self-consciousness of his works over others. Verymuch recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elvis, a time sprout and Rex Mundi
All I can say is that this is one of the funniest books I have ever read! Not only that it is also possessed of a plot so complex that it only makes any kind of sense at all when you reach the grand finale but it also has somany running gags concerning "that amazing rotary machine gun thatBlaine used in Predator" that every time you watch said film you willhave a smile on your face. I have read many humourous sci-fi books in mytime but this one had me laughing out loud whilst sitting on a traingetting some very odd looks from fellow passangers. If only the ElvisAppreciation Society had not blocked moves to make the film...... Be thatas it may, if you are just dicovering the sprout miester for the firsttime, this is the perfect place to start and get hooked. BEWARE howeverreading in public can cause very embarrassing hesterical laughter fits!

5-0 out of 5 stars READ MY BOOK!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Madness.. utter Madness
Rankin has been compared to Pratchett and Adams.. this is unfair. Rankinis Rankin in the same way as Pratchett is Pratchett, they shouldn't becompared because although both are brilliant they are brilliant in quiteastoundingly different ways. All of Rankin's books have a different feel tothem, and if you didn't know, you could swear that some were written bydifferent authors.. but despite that there are always those rankintouches.. the Running Gag.. oh how we love the running gag.. not justrunning through chapters but running through every book. Armageddon themusical is a start of a trilogy of books all concerned with... yup, the endof the world. The good guys include Rex Mundi (King of the world, althoughonly by name) Elvis Aron (or Aaron, no one is really sure) Presley.. Barrythe loqacious sprout, what better could you ask for.The plot twists andweaves and is quite complex but it all makes sense and it all adds up tothe really and tottaly unexpected trick ending (no, don't skip forward,you'll spoil it) I have heard it said that it's not as Rankin-esque as"The book of Ultimate Truths" but that's one of Rankin'sStrengths, There's always something new. Buy this.. buy all his others too.You'll be happy. ... Read more

20. The Fandom of the Operator
by Robert Rankin
Paperback: 389 Pages (2002-05-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$3.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552148970
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In Robert Rankin’s outrageously funny new novel, advanced telecommunications technology offers the first–ever hotline to the dead… ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars audio version is a must have
I agree with another reviewer... I listened to the audio version, his dry wit and sarcasm came across in a way that I'm not sure would have by reading it in print, especially since Rankin is the speaker as well.I highly recommend the audio version over print.I wish more of his books were available in audio, in fact!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not awesome, not bad either.You got a couple of hours?
Robert Rankin's books are kind of like a really good BBC television show.Superficially, they don't take a lot of brainpower to comprehend, they're hysterically funny, and there are really only like, six characters in the whole series.

Conversely, the real reason they're so funny is because there's a core of intelligence and education to them that one rarely sees in American media.I've actually learned quite a few interesting things in researching offhand jokes about obscure historical characters, for instance.

All in all, I'd never call any of his novels life-changing gems of intellectualism, but I'm always pretty glad that I've read them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Try the Audiobook!
I borrowed this from the library as an audiobook before a roadtrip and loved it. I think though, being an American and prone to reading things with an American's timing, rather than a Brit's, that I would have missed the humor had I not heard it read by the author. This book is funny, but exponentially more funny read aloud by Rankin. Reading it to myself, I would have likely rated it much lower, as I think I'd have mistimed the delivery.

3-0 out of 5 stars Sorta funny
I read Fandom of the Operator because of ONE blurb on the back: Terry Prachett, author of the Discworld series, wrote "One of the rare guys who can always make me laugh."Well, that, and the fact that I picked it up cheap at a used booksale for charity.I won't go into the plot too much--suffice it to say that the ludicrous plot is the source of most of the humor, and alien mind control and raising the dead play a big part.It's a very silly book with more twists than an anaconda committing suicide, and nobody can rightly say they figured it out in advance.But for me it wasn't terribly satisfying.It's basically light entertainment, with a tiny touch of sex and a bit of disgusting stuff for fun.Discworld's much richer textured and funnier.I can't see it being worth the price asked here at Amazon--I think that's cause it's a UK book, and I'll bet you can get it in paperback from amazon.uk much cheaper.If you're someone who roars at the humor of the title, you'll go for it big.But the cover blurb, from the Daily Express, says it all for me, "Everybody should read at least one Robert Rankin book in their life."Well, now I have. ... Read more

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