Rankin Over The Past

The last two reviews from my list of ancient reviews are Web Site Story and Waiting for Godalming by Robert Rankin. A glance at the titles of my posts will immediately reveal something I retain from the past me who read each Rankin he could find through with nothing but necessary pauses: a love of titles that adapt quotes, phrases, and other titles. However that near compulsion to read them in one sitting has left me with an unfortunate association between Rankin and having a slight tightness across the forehead that has meant I might borrow one if I see it but I no longer seek them out.

Web Site StoryI have been to Brentford and this is not it; but then I am a reality deviant.

Imagine the Matrix set in a London suburb. Now imagine it was written by a person who loathes computers. Now imagine it is so funny you cannot stop laughing long enough to realise how accurate it is.

I have only one more thing to say about this book; it deserves to be on a plinth.

Waiting for GodalmingGod is dead. The Meek have not inherited the Earth.

But, nobody panic, Lazlo Woodbine is on the case.

Robert Rankin revives his homage to film noir in another hilarious trip to Brentford.

I feel these reviews suffer, possibly much more than the others, from being written for an audience who are assumed to have read other works by the same author. Had I been writing them now I would have commented on the alchemical process of fusing disparate plot threads into a single story, and the genteel surrealism of the world. I might have drawn parallels with Iain Sinclair.

Rereading these reviews has also filled me with a desire to watch the Beiderbecke Trilogy again. I really enjoyed Alan Plater‘s whimsical thrillers. They are less intense than Rankin but share the sense of national scale conspiracies being run from suburban allotments. The plots also have closer links to the events of the time, so I suggest anyone who is not familiar with the era glances an overview of the United Kingdom through the Eighties to get the most from the scripts.

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