Robert Rankin is, of course, completely Dagenham, and has been for quite some time now. Well, strictly speaking, he’s more Brentford, but you know what I mean. He’s been writing some of the funniest, oddest, most unclassifiable fiction around for a long time now. A typical Rankin book is likely to feature the impending end of the world, talking sprouts, unlikely inventions, copious quantities of alcohol, Elvis, Evil Forces, pre-decimal currency, and running gags that even I wouldn’t attempt to get away with. All good fun, and all highly recommended.
You could start at the beginning with The Antipope which is the first in the legendary Brentford Trilogy in which we first meet such characters as Neville the part-time barman and the even more legendary Pooley and Omally. Later books include the fictional detective Laszlo Woodbine and many more weird, wonderful and downright odd characters. But to be quite honest, you could pick up any of the books in any order and not really miss anything. There is something of a cumulative effect as the gags pile up, the situations become more and more unlikely and the silliness reaches unprecedented levels. Very good for reading on the train, provided you don’t mind getting funny looks from all the people who are wondering what you’re laughing at.
Anyway, here we have the latest Rankin novel, Knees Up Mother Earth, billed as the seventh novel in the Brentford Trilogy and also the second novel in the Witches of Chiswick trilogy.
Set (as is generally the case) in Brentford, it sees the return of Pooley and Omally and their associates. There’s an evil conspiracy to release an ancient evil power that is buried under Brentford football ground, which for reasons that make sense in the context, can only be defeated if Brentford win the FA Cup. With a rather unusual team….
It’s all very silly, and makes remarkably little sense. I loved it. Rankin is one of very few authors whose books I’m prepared to buy in hardback as soon as they come out. If you haven’t read any of his work yet, either get this one, or maybe pick up a paperback of one of the earlier ones.
 Three stops past Barking
 Old joke
 This site might help if you don’t get it
 Legend in its own (liquid) lunchtime, most likely
 But ever-present
 Who says trilogies should be limited to three books?
 In addition to Cthulhu, who’s hanging around….
 In as much as anything makes sense in a Rankin book
 Some kind of ritual sport thingy, I believe. I really wouldn’t know.