A Conversation for Talking Point: A Good Read

Robert Rankin - the slightly deranged persons alternative to DNA

Post 1

greenmansi

I am assuming that most members of this community are familiar with douglas Adams. This probably means that you are partial to clever, and sometimes odd flights of the imagination. If this is the case, I urge you, really urge you to dip your toes into the world of Robert Rankin - Captain Beefheart fan and general raconteur.

His first series of books, 'The brentford trilogy' (5 books in all!) create a skewed picture of the lovely London Borough of Brentford, seen through the eyes of the two reprobates Pooley and Omally, patrons of the world famous 'Flying Swan' Pub. These gentleman of unknown age get drawn into a series of quite improbable and frankly bizarre adventures. An outlet for a very clever, if slightly disturbed imagination on behalf of Rankin Himself.

I read A LOT, TONS, it's like an addiction. Rankins books are some of the only ones I read that I can return to time and time again and always find something a little different to make me smile.

Rankin is a very clever, eclectic and anarchic writer, and I am sure fans of the clever and well written humour of DNA would really appreciate his stuff. I assure you that I am NOT his PR guy, I just want to spread the word, have a read of a few of his books and you will see what I mean.


Robert Rankin - the slightly deranged persons alternative to DNA

Post 2

Pimms

I agree smiley - biggrin

Though not partial to his other works The Brentford trilogy are eminently re-readable, even if some punchlines do stick in the memory -who can forget "Time and tides wait for Norman"?

Pimms smiley - stiffdrink

If you like Rankin's puns you'll probably also like "Callahan's Crazy Crosstime Bar" and others by Spider Robinson.


Robert Rankin - the slightly deranged persons alternative to DNA

Post 3

Elfrida

Sounds great fun! Which book should I start with, d'you reckon? smiley - cheers


Robert Rankin - the slightly deranged persons alternative to DNA

Post 4

stokie_helen - The Moonlit Knight and Keeper of that Thing Your Aunt Gave You That You Don't Know What It Is

I've been eyeballing Rankin's stuff for a while in Waterstones, being a DNA / Monty Python / Pratchett (and lots of other stuff too) fan, I think I'd like it. So, I also want to know, where best to start? Does it matter? And what's the deal with sprouts?

smiley - moonTMKsmiley - moon
H smiley - rainbow


Start with...

Post 5

Judge Mental

...the Antipope, the first novel of the Brentford Trilogy (which has five books).

The trilogy books are easy to read, and a great introduction to Rankin's amazingly eccentric and singular style.

After readin these, you are free to move on to his other works, some of which are just weird-in-a-can.

He's a genius. You'll like him.

Judge


Start with...

Post 6

Laura

Robert Rankin's books are brilliant smiley - biggrin. The Brentford trilogy is great! smiley - wow

*feels a sudden need to re-read them* smiley - run


Start with...

Post 7

White Hart

Another Rankin-lover here! I actually have several waiting to be read...must get round to them.

As for the best to start with, I started with 'The Antipope', and haven't looked back since, but when I was persuading my Dad to read them I bought him 'Waiting for Godalming'...and even my Mum liked it!


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 8

EncyBass-: Not going to be around much next week, cos I've got a new job...

Rankin is a genius. Anybody who can make the line "I've never been to Penge" hilarious has to have something.....


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 9

Laura

smiley - laugh Yes, genious smiley - biggrin


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 10

Elfrida

Hi EncyBass! *rushes out to bookshop* smiley - winkeye


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 11

greenmansi

I'm very glad to have kicked off such enthusiasm about the great man. Even though the first trilogy is great, his later work is evn better - I thought 'The hollow chocolate bunnies of death' was worth a booker prize just for the title!


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 12

Laura

The hollow chocolate bunnies is a brilliant book certainly. Love the title - wasn't it of the apocalypse though? smiley - smiley


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 13

greenmansi

Yup, my mistake!!

Long live Hugo Rune


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 14

Mammuthus Primigenius

I read something by Robert Rankin once and thought it was awful. Can't remember anything else about it, not even the title.


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 15

Laura

You either love it or hate it smiley - smiley


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 16

greenmansi

By the way,

I recently bought a copy of 'Last chance to see' on ebay. It's shaping up to be a good read.....


It's a fact well-known to those who know it well

Post 17

EncyBass-: Not going to be around much next week, cos I've got a new job...

Actually, you all might be able to help me out here. My friend Dan and I have been wondering....
What the hell does "Sandra's Crotch" actually mean? Is it just an inventive expletive? Or what?

Answers on a postcard, please.


Robert Rankin - the slightly deranged persons alternative to DNA

Post 18

Hoovooloo

Ahem.

A735743.

H.


Robert Rankin - the slightly deranged persons alternative to DNA

Post 19

Pandapig

Good to see so many other h2g2ers are fans of the great Robert R. I can assure you he's just as bonkers in real life as the books are - I met him (briefly) at GenCon on London last year.
For starters, try the 'Armageddon' trilogy - IMO his first few books (the beginnings of the Brentford series) are more 'quirky' than truly insane, either he had a stricter editor then or he hadn't realised the comic power of true madness. smiley - biggrin
I have many favourite Rankin bits, but the Nazi rhyming slang in 'Nostradamus Ate My Hamster' is true genius (and gloriously tasteless too) LOL


Robert Rankin - the slightly deranged persons alternative to DNA

Post 20

David B - Singing Librarian Owl

Rankin-lovers may also like Andrew Harman, who does "weird" very well.

My favourite of his is "It Came From On High", about encounters between aliens and the Pope. Just plain mad!

David


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