Oh good, it’s another Robert Rankin book. Rankin, who I’ve mentioned before
is one of a small number of authors whose books I always buy in hardback as soon as they appear. Waiting nearly a year for the paperback is not an option
. Just for a change, the latest novel isn’t the sixth in a trilogy, or part of any of his ongoing series. But on the other hand, it does cross reference with events, people and ideas from many of Rankin’s other stories, so it’s not strictly
a stand-alone novel.
So, what’s it about then? Ah, well. Asking that about a Rankin novel is missing the point, somehow. I mean, there is a plot, and I could give you a synopsis, but that wouldn’t really tell you much. But there again, perhaps I should…
It’s the 1960s, and our teenage hero has taken his girlfriend to Brighton with the intention of having what I believe is known as a “dirty weekend”. Unfortunately, this is interrupted when he is thrown into the sea and (so he believes) drowns.
He is pulled from the sea by none other than Hugo Rune, a towering and mysterious presence in many of Rankin’s books. Having lost his memory, Rune gives him the name “Rizla”, which might ring a faint bell with regular Rankin readers. Rune employs Rizla to assist him in a bizarre series of exploits centred around the “Brighton Zodiac”. At stake is the future of the world. Can Rune and Rizla prevent the evil Count Otto Black from gaining control of the Chronovision and becoming World Dictator? Well, yes. Of course they can, but there’s a lot of extreme silliness and fun on the way.
And at the end of the quest, Rizla regains his memory, and we find that he’s a very old friend.
Completely nuts, very, very silly, and highly recommended.
Or you could wait for the paperback.
 I’ve always wanted to say “synopsis”. I may have to say it again at some point.
 Mostly. Many quite outrageous anachronisms and the like are to be found here
 You’ll have to read the book to find out about that
 Which has also been mentioned in other Rankin books…
 To anyone who’s been reading Rankin for a long time, anyway