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The Brightonomicon (Brentford #8)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  770 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Were you aware that there are, hidden in the streets of Brighton, twelve ancient constellations, like the Hangleton Hound and the Bevendean Bat? Well, there are, and on each one hangs a tale, a tale so strange that only The Lad Himself, that inveterate spinner of tales and talker of the toot, Hugo Rune, can get to the bottom of them. And he'd better do it quickly, because ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,283)
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Ian Pagan-Szary
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
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!
Derek Baldwin
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
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!
Oct 29, 2014 Will rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Tavrin Callas
Brilliant !
Full of Robert Rankin's mad thoughts. More exciting than the last Lazlo Woodbine thriller !
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
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
Nathan Dehoff
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
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
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
Gary Baker
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
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.
Truly awful writing; glib and tedious, trying far too hard to be clever. I got to page 65 and then gave up when I realised I'd been grinding my teeth. I did not find it remotely funny. I would point readers towards the far superior David Wong instead.
Coe Roberts
I usually like Rankin's books, but I couldn't even get through this one. I listened in audiobook and strongly disliked the reading.
Hazel Thomson
my very first Rankin book I read and it's made me a life long fan. Very funny and far fetched. A must read for Rankin fans!
Haralambi Markov
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
Danger Kallisti
Feb 12, 2008 Danger Kallisti rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
Nimue Brown
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.
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.
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.
Wonderful performances by a stellar cast. I found that Rankin's mixture of surrealism, parody, and non-sequitur wore a bit thin after a while - the book kept me amused, but not gripped. On the whole, the book is like a strange mixture of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, and Robert Anton Wilson's Schroedinger's Cat trilogy. If that sounds at all appealing, I'd recommend checking this out.
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.
Aug 22, 2008 Edward rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Kristen Gurri
I read a review about one of Rankin's books and thought I had found a British Carl Hiaasen. It's been a week I haven't slogged more than 20 pages into the book. It's so slow! Maybe I'm missing a lot of small idioms but still . . . . I can't do it.
Nothing is as it seems ! Its like Sherlock Holmes meets Aleister Crowley meets Steampunk ! Filled with witty situational permutations its best experienced in the radio play version, full of great sound effects and a delightful signature theme.
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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
  • Retromancer
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse The Antipope The Brentford Triangle Armageddon: The Musical East of Ealing

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