Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (13 Jul 2006)
Category(ies): Science Fiction/Humour
This is not the first book I've read this year by someone I've met - that honour goes to Frances Hardinge: Fly By Night. It is, however, the first that has someone I've met as an important character.
This is, as far as I know (and I await corrections from the Sproutlore regulars), the first RR book that actually deals with Hugo Rune. Many of his other books mention Rune, but always as a background figure. In this one, however, we have Rune as a great WC Fields of a character in 1960s Brighton who, together with the point-of-view character, a naive youth who has lost his memory and been named Rizla, attempts to solve twelve crimes based round a zodiac of figures to be seen in the Brighton street map.
RR is very much his own writer - I don't know of any other writer who mixes a mad SF with a very local style of humour in anything like the same way. It's probably not surprising that he has an appreciative fan club, and that such as James jamesb Bacon and Tobes tobesv end up getting guest roles. I'll leave you to find out which turns out to be able to turn water into wine.
Both silly and sometimes surreal, with a post-modernist retelling of the 1960s.