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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2006-10-08 23:15
Subject: #63 Robert Rankin: The Brightonomicon
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
Robert Rankin: The Brightonomicon

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (13 Jul 2006)
ISBN-10: 0575077735
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.
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Sheep with a guitar
User: sbp
Date: 2006-10-09 09:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I dunno - I usually manage to get through his stuff and enjoy it, but this one was a bit hard going, and I only managed a few chapters. I think there's a reason that Rune has been a bit of a background character up 'til now i.e. you can attribute all sorts of things to him that don't really stand up and it doesn't matter. Anyway, just my thoughts.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2006-10-09 09:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
An interesting point of view. Now, I didn't have any difficulties with it, and found it easier than some earlier ones, but it's certainly a valid point that Rankin was taking a risk by bringing Rune out from behind the curtain.

Personally, I found Rune to pretty well match what he had to be to fit the references elsewhere. He is still fairly inscutable - he always seems to know the answer - and a lot of questions remain unanswered because we only see him through Rizla's eyes.
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