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The Brightonomicon (Brentford #8)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  921 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Our teenage hero, having been thrown from Brighton Pier by the leader of The Canvey Island Mod Squad, narrowly escapes drowning thanks to the Perfect Master, Cosmic Dick and self-styled Logos of the Aeon (not to mention the reinventer of the Ocarina), Hugo Rune Himself.

Our hero has lost his memory, and, in desperation, agrees to join The Lad Himself in the solving of twelv
Paperback, 378 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
The Frightenomicon

This was only my second Rankin.

I don't know whether I'll try any more. I'm too frightened.

It cast me into some weird existentialist quandary, possibly not even of its own creation.

I thought I would love the sense of humour and the music references (and I did enjoy a few guffaws), but it was a bit like being in a bar with a guy who has a very similar sense of humour, except he thinks his sense of humour is way better than yours and he won't shut up or turn-take.

For some reason,
Neil Hocking
Good for a bit of light-hearted fun. Really makes you want to track down RR in his local and 'talk the toot'.

If you like double entendre, unadulterated foolishness and a classic detective/adventure story with some zany mystic and occult nonsense thrown in then this is for you.

If you're a Terry Pratchett fan and you're looking for that sort of creative genius that makes you laugh yet leaves you lying awake wondering about the mysteries of life then this may not be your cup of tea.

Don't expect any
Apr 26, 2009 Pangolin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rankin is always 5 stars for me. His far fetched fiction never fails to make me laugh out loud. This was especially welcome as I was reading The Brightonomicon in hospital after some very minor surgery. It seemed almost wrong to be lying in a hospital bed shaking with laughter at a particularly saucy joke about Aleister Crowley! But that's Robert Rankin for you!
Paul Russell
As a Brightonian I enjoyed all the local jokes and references, but the book as a whole was a bit too silly for my tastes, so I probably won't be reading any more by the same author.
Derek Baldwin
Jun 23, 2014 Derek Baldwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of this Rankin's books I've read and I am sorry that it spent so long in the to-read piles, but maybe it was maturing..? But no, this is chock full of silly schoolboy humour with jokes you can see coming a mile off, and that is why it's so enjoyable! The artful anachronisms are especially puerile and get extra points as far as I'm concerned. whether this will be the first of many I'll read or a one off only fate knows, we will have to see what calls out to me from the library shelves. ...more
Noel G
May 11, 2009 Noel G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wierd dont sum it up. But in a good way of course.

Set during the 60s (altho you wouldnt really know it - its basically timeless except for times when dates become relevant!), its a series of chapters based on detective musings of the supernatural, wierd and ridiculous persuasion!

Highly reccommended - altho you may want a stiff drink ready!
Tavrin Callas
Dec 29, 2013 Tavrin Callas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant !
Full of Robert Rankin's mad thoughts. More exciting than the last Lazlo Woodbine thriller !
Jo Woolfardis
"The pungent turd!"

I think that sums this book up quite nicely.
Nov 14, 2016 Helle rated it liked it
The Brightonomicon is packed with (somewhat) funny one-liners, absurd characters and out-of-this-world adventures, as seen before in Rankin’s work. I thought it was quite enjoyable.

For me it took some time for the story to get really rolling. It was almost a bit of a story collection, since not all the adventures actually felt connected, not even near the end when the plot was explained. The word “and” was used too much, especially at the beginning of sentences. I did however have some really go
M.G. Mason
A nameless protagonist takes his sweetheart to Brighton for an intended dirty weekend. He pays for the trip, the hotel, her food and drink and is feeling quite incensed when she chooses to dump him the moment a group of neer-do-wells come along to interrupt their non-date. Our unnamed protagonist (who has actually forgotten his name) ends up being thrown off of Brighton pier while his "date" laughs and applauds his apparent death - so she didn't think it went that well then?

Our protagonist is sa
Isabel (kittiwake)
Mr Hugo Rune had a way about him, something that signalled him as being above the everyday and the everyman. He was an enigma, a riddle wrapped around an enigma and tied with a string of surprising circumstances, He appeared to inhabit his own separate universe, where normal laws - and I do not mean those of he legal persuasion - did not apply. Who he was and what he was, I know not to this day.
But he was certainly someone.

As well as the zodiac in the stars, there are also zodiacs in the landsca
Guy Haley
Dec 14, 2015 Guy Haley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Rankin’s anti-anti-hero Hugo Rune returns for this, the third book in an unofficial trilogy. Unofficial as this is simply the third book on the trot to star the Lad Himself; official in the sense that Rankin planned it that way. On the other hand, it is heavily tied into Rankin’s mythos of pub-shuffling occultists. And when we interviewed him last month he said it was part of a trilogy, but then he told us not to mention it. So let’s drop it already.

This is yet another slice of far-fetche
Nathan Dehoff
Apr 04, 2013 Nathan Dehoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in 2005, this book ties together and references a lot of Rankin's earlier work. It's sort of a sequel to The Witches of Chiswick, as well as a link between the Brentford Trilogy and the books about Hugo Rune. Actually, I believe Rune originated in one of the Brentford books, but it was the Cornelius Murphy series that really developed his character. This story features Rune and his acolyte Rizla, who is really another established character with a lost memory, solving cases based on the ...more
Oct 13, 2014 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Will by: 132
It is the 1960s and in Brighton...

Look! Zulus, thousands of them!

Did you think I was really going to give you a review?

Those who are suffering withdrawal syndrome because there are no more Douglas Adams books, and want to feed Eoin Colfer and his ghastly "sequel" to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast, may want to look into this installment of the Brentford Trilogy (nine volumes so far), which has a similar style --- but more daft. Which makes it unsurprising that Mark Wing-Davey, the first Zaphod
No star rating for this one because it's too hard to decide what I'd give it.

You really need to be in the mood for Rankin's voice and style before reading his books, which is why this book sat on my shelf for 9 long months before I read it.

On one hand, it was good. I read it all in one sitting and I was interested to know what was going to happen next. On the other hand, it was not really the slightest bit funny or fun, and I certainly have no desire to ever read it again.

Much of it is probab
This is the second book of Robert Rankin that I have read. The cover blurb mentions that he is the UK's answer to Spike Milligan. I haven't yet been through any of his works. What I have read, though, is a big lot of Tom Holt books and this is very much in the same weird, funny, albeit diluted vein.

The writing is not so fluid, and it took me a while to get acclimatised to the story - I had been going through it, on and off, for the best part of a month which is unusual for me as I'm a very fast
Gary Baker
Jan 31, 2011 Gary Baker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked The Brightonomicon up at the library after reading "The English Spike Milligan" on the back cover. I'm pretty sure I've read just about everything Spike wrote and even went to see him live where he beat seven bells out of his plastic 'frustration dummy' with a baseball bat if his jokes didn't get a big enough laugh.

This is my first Robert Rankin and, probably, my last.

Our hero, an amnesiac teenager, is saved from drowning by one Hugo Rune, a large, bald geezer who claims to have known J
This was my first Robert Rankin book so I was curious how I would like it. I hadn't heard a LOT about him but the cover looked fun and the title was ridiculous so I thought it would be fun.

It was so much fun at the beginning that I had to start over and read it with/to my woman. We both agreed it was hilarious but that this kind of comedy gets old so the book would have been better if it was shorter. There were many groan inspiring puns and repeated gags and that's okay because they were funny s
The Brightonomicon chronicles the adventures of Hugo Rune and his amnesiac assistant Rizla as they attempt to solve twelve mysteries, in an attempt to obtain and destroy the Chronovision, before it falls into the evil hands of Count Otto Black. The twelve mysteries aren't really mysteries so much as mini adventures that serve as a vehicle for the running gags that abound throughout the book. Not as funny as some of Rankin's works and purposefully redundant, it tends to be a bit of a slog to get ...more
Haralambi Markov
Jul 31, 2012 Haralambi Markov rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Right, so I bought this in a bookstore in Vienna and the concept seemed too interesting not invest two pounds in. I have learned my lesson and will never again buy a book based on my instinct without reading a small portion of the book first.

The writing is overbearing, complicated and aims to use every high-brow alternative to day-to-day words creating an overwrought dialogue with unbearable prose and an unnatural sameness to the characters involved. I think that the actual writing itself is thi
Jul 16, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been picking up the odd Robert Rankin novel from charity shops and the like of late following a suggestion I may like them...on the whole I do.
It was maybe fortuitous that I read 'the witches of Chiswick' before this one as there is a fair bit of crossover from that one to this...and in honesty from a few of the others I have read...that said I suspect this novel would have made some sort of sense had I not as it seems Rankin's style that things make 'some sort of sense'.
Anyhow I didn't e
Danger Kallisti
Feb 12, 2008 Danger Kallisti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of kooky BBC sci-fi shows
Shelves: sci-fi
After reading four of his books, I've decided that I like the more Hugo Rune-themed novels best. Granted, he references all of his books back and forth, and characters from one end up in another all the time. But, if the books could be divided into series, I think this one would fit more with the Witches of Chiswick (which I heartily enjoyed). The ending was really nice to this one too, and I didn't get bored halfway through like I did in Fandom of the Operator. I guess like any prolific fiction ...more
Susan Doyle
Apr 02, 2012 Susan Doyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first heard this on BBC Radio with the wonderful David Warner as Hugo Rune, but I recently read the book and it is even better. The first laugh out loud came on page 3 and it got funnier from there. Maybe Rankin's humour isn't to everyone's taste (I can't imagine why not), but I advise everyone to give his books at least one reading. I can't recommend which one to start with just get one and dive in. Don't read it on the bus, you'll find everyone moving their seat as you sit there laughing.
May 05, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I mostly found 'The Brightonomicon' funny, surreal and engaging but my enjoyment was ultimately limited by weird, jarring sections of narrative where the tone slipped from playful to being quite hateful (towards women, towards homosexuality...). I think they were meant as jokes, and I understand that Rankin's style is supposed to be absurd, but for me these passages weren't even intelligent - they were just cheap shots that didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the book.
Feb 20, 2011 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this more than Retromancer -- while it's fine, plot-wise, to read the books out of order, there's a bit more character development in Brightonomicon as Rankin introduces Hugo Rune and Rizla (and, to a lesser extent, Fangio). As a result, Brightonomicon felt a bit less like a collection of running gags and puns than Retromancer (though it was still chock full of both), and more like an actual story.
Nimue Brown
Nov 13, 2012 Nimue Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mad, charming, funny, this is a delightful, entertaining sort of book. It was my first forray into the world or Robert Rankin, but won't be my last. It would sit well alongside Terry Prachett and Douglas Adams. This one will be particularly entertaining for pople who are, in the first place, rather amused by conspiracy theories, Atlanteans and the kind of man who ight have a pentogram tattoed on his head. Did I also mention that it is quite, quite mad? Defintitely recommended.
Mar 08, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
It's been a while since I read a Rankin book and this is a mammoth one! It contains all of the trademark quips, traditions and old charters. I found it a little tough as it's very disjointed, even more so than some of the earlier books, but it is still very enjoyable. I was particularly delighted with the ending which I happily did not see coming. It has made me want to go back and read some of the titles I've missed and re-engage with Mr. Rankin.
Mar 02, 2011 Adele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent nonsense, had me rolling on the floor! This is the first of Robert Rankin's books that I've read. It was recommended to me by my brother-in-law who said that Terry Pratchet's work was a poor copy of Rankin. I can see the similarity but can't say that I agree with him. A great read for anyone who has a sense of humour.
Sep 24, 2015 Lacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want a book that is somewhere between Hitchhiker's Guide and a novel by 'Kilgore Trout', you've come to the right place. Painfully goofy and best read in an English accent, impossible (and impossibly stupid) adventures are to be had. There's a lot of 'toot talking' to be had and a lot of laughs therein. A good read if you haven't smiled in a while.
Jul 26, 2008 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Douglas Adams, Robert Asprin fans
A thoroughly odd little tale, or twelve combined tales, regarding the Brighton (England) zodiac...figures found in the streets of Brighton by a mystic likely high on acid. Good for plenty of chuckles, word play, and several standing jokes throughout. If you like fantasy, the absurd, or Douglas Adams; give it a try.
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"When Robert Rankin embarked upon his writing career in the late 1970s, his ambition was to create an entirely new literary genre, which he named Far-Fetched Fiction. He reasoned that by doing this he could avoid competing with any other living author in any known genre and would be given his own special section in WH Smith."
(from Web Site Story)

Robert Rankin describes himself as a teller of tall
More about Robert Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Brentford (9 books)
  • The Antipope
  • The Brentford Triangle
  • East of Ealing
  • The Sprouts of Wrath
  • The Brentford Chainstore Massacre
  • Sex and Drugs and Sausage Rolls
  • Knees Up Mother Earth (Brentford Trilogy)
  • Retromancer

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